Do you have your own store? Then you have probably noticed that there is a significant labor shortage. The Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics reports that more than 80 percent of companies in the retail sector are now suffering from the labor shortage. Filling open positions is easier said than done, even though you do need that missing staff to keep your store running. According to research by Bureau RMC, many shops are forced to close their doors earlier in the day, but that is not always the best answer. A better solution is to make use of technology in your physical store.

Using technology as a solution to labor shortage is not something that immediately springs to mind. Yet more and more forms of digital expressions are visible in physical stores. This provides you with a phygital shopping experience. Phygital is a combination of the words digital and physical. It is used to indicate a situation where digital techniques are placed in a physical environment. Given that consumers are used to navigating independently on a digital platform, it is a relatively small step to address this behavior in the store as well. A proven digital application is the use of screens. For example, screens like digital signage, interactive screens or touchpads.

Dynamic versatility on just one screen.

Digital signage, also called electric signage, has become a relatively well-known term in the retail world. For instance, think of a screen in the shop window that tempts the visitor to enter the store by means of dynamic content. But digital signage can also be used in the store itself. To show the latest promotion or to highlight the latest collection, for example. It is an ideal way to draw attention to your products, services or content. It’s the best brand ambassador you could wish for. Digital signage informs, inspires and activates the shopper in-store. This ensures that your sales team needs to inform and inspire less, since digital signage largely takes over that part from them. You can still place a sales employee where necessary, of course, but in general digital signage can largely take over the role of a sales employee. This allows you to reach your customers even with a smaller team. In addition, you can also use digital signage for wayfinding.

Another additional advantage is that digital signage offers the possibility of smart programming and content automation. Unlike static posters, you don’t have to put up new content every week. That saves your employee’s time. As a result, you also need fewer employees, as they can now use this time for things that normally receive lower priority. It also saves money in the long run: no transport or production costs.

You can see an example of digital signage in the Rituals stores. The shop window display is on 24/7 with after-hours content. This allows you to inform your customers about your promotions even outside of opening hours. Another great application for Rituals is the cash register display. This not only shows digital content, but it also serves as a presentation display. Ideal for internal training.

Digitale Signance in Rituals winkel Amsterdam

Add consistency and interaction.

You can take digital signage one step further. For example, by using interactive screens. As a result, taking in information does not become a passive experience, but the choice about which information to receive is left to the customer. This can be done, for example, by RFID technology. This technique has been implemented at World of Hearing by Schoonenberg. Schoonenberg has used the Lift & Learn solution. The customer picks up a product in which he/she is interested and is presented with the information on the screen. An employee is no longer needed to answer general questions, the screen is able to give the information. Customers can ask employees specific questions about a product where necessary, as they have already easily found the basic information. As a result, the customer knows exactly which information he still wants to know. This saves long conversations to determine the question. Comparing products also becomes easier. All this helps a customer to meet their information need. Another advantage is that an employee does not have to remember everything about a specific product. The screen helps with the information retrieval. Ultimately, an employee won’t have to ask for or look up information as often, which in turn saves time and energy. As a result, a sales team can consist of fewer full-time employees. In addition, an interactive screen helps the customer to process information at their own pace. If they want to go through the information 3 times, they can do so without an employee having to stay available. This helps the employee, who now has time to help several customers at the same time. With RFID tech you also ensure that your product information is a consistent story. You can also provide more information at once.


Digitale schermen Schoonenberg

Combining online and offline.

Another example of interaction is through a touchscreen. On such a screen you can, for instance, check live in the store whether the product of choice is in stock. Or a customer can order the product immediately in the store and have it delivered at home. You then have a combination between the online and the offline sales channel. As a result, an employee is not necessarily needed to support the customer with the purchase, the customer can do it himself from the store. Digital solutions have made complex sales processes easier to guide, which means that the salesperson can focus on other matters. If an employee is not needed at every step of the purchasing process, it means that it is possible to run your store with fewer people. The employees also do not have to know all product-related information by heart, the screen functions as a memory.

A touchscreen can also be used to support a conversation between salesperson and customer. At Tui, the interactive advisory table provides a way to add images to the conversation. When discussing the locations of various hotels, it is easier to show that on the map than to tell it. But the customer can also operate the touch table independently to retrieve all information if no employee is available.

Digitaal scherm in tafel

Experience it yourself.

Feel free to visit our experience center where you can find many examples to provide your store with the right techniques.

Boek een experience tour