By using mobile devices to retrieve data from product barcodes, retailers can blend the physical and digital worlds. Mobile barcode scanning enables a true “bricks and clicks” retail environment where customers have one seamless experience.
By putting the consumer in control of scanning barcodes, retailers can ensure a seamless customer experience that reaches shoppers in their homes as well as in stores. Following is an overview of how mobile barcode scanning serves as a seamless customer experience enabler in each of these environments.
Reaching Consumers Where They Live
The emergence of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is a major development in seamless retail. No longer do customers need to log into a website or app to remotely place orders. A variety of connected “smart” devices and appliances are now directly linking shoppers to digital purchases.
However, mobile barcode scanning offers consumers a more convenient and controlled method of automated home shopping. Smart devices and appliances are expensive, may be bulky and costly to install and maintain, and may only be useful for purchasing certain goods. In contrast, a mobile retail app with a scanning feature gives consumers a single tool for automatically selecting virtually any item in their home for purchase or review. Once scanned, items can be added to a digital shopping list, placed into a click and collect order, or requested for home delivery.
Customers can also use at-home scanning for activities such as checking stock levels at local stores, obtaining targeted discounts and reviewing product data.
As a result, mobile retail apps become much more useful and easier to adopt for consumers. Providing scanning capability can help boost app engagement, leading to increased mobile customer satisfaction and purchase rates. This also increases the ROI of app development efforts. For customers, mobile scanning takes shopping to the next level by connecting the digital and physical worlds.
Helping Shoppers Help Themselves
Mobile data capture can also be employed to extend the seamless customer experience to the store. Self-checkout is the traditional in-store mobile data capture activity performed by customers. But there is far more to customer-facing data capture in the store than self-checkout.
For example, consumers can scan barcodes to obtain product reviews and videos. They can also lookup prices, as well as the ingredients of food items or materials used in apparel goods. Consumers are also increasingly concerned about ethical product sourcing. A quick barcode scan can inform customers of an item’s origin to help ensure it was not produced inhumanely or illegally.
In addition, shoppers can check for availability of stock across the enterprise and place orders for items not located in the store. They can also redeem individually targeted in-store discounts and loyalty offers, as well as general coupons and other saving opportunities.
Finally, mobile scanning is an ideal way to let customers efficiently add products to gift registries or wish lists as they move about the store with their personal smartphone or tablet. Providing these types of self-service scanning options through a mobile app, rather than a dedicated scanning device, offers several benefits to both customer and retailer.
For the shopper, using a personal device is more familiar, convenient and secure. Meanwhile retailers avoid the substantial cost of purchasing and maintaining dedicated scanners while providing a superior customer experience. The bottom line: mobile data capture makes the store environment function more like the e-commerce environment. This achievement lies at the heart of the seamless customer experience.