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What is a Retail In-Store Tech Stack, and Why Does it Matter?

Retailers are well on their way to building their own in-store tech stack. What exactly does this mean?

Learning from their e-commerce successes (and in some cases, failures), brick and mortar retailers are leveraging their most powerful assets to meet the needs of changing consumer habits. Merchants are adjusting their in-store success metrics to reflect the changing role of their physical stores and, in doing so, realizing the ROI potential of consistent omnichannel brand experience, from e-commerce browsing, to in-store try-ons and purchase.

Similar to how brick and mortar retailers took ownership of their tech partner relationships to build a more effective and efficient e-commerce tech stack, retailers are partnering in a similar fashion to achieve ownership over the omnichannel and the in-store customer journey. In this blog post, we examine these trends, and suggest that retailers need to move quickly in the current land-grab to assume ownership over the all-important the payment moment, and the data associated with this experience.

How Retailers Develop Their Tech Stack

Retailers, such as large scale department and fashion stores, have had to become more agile to meet the demands of the online shopper. Some of the more alarmist commentators have argued that brick and mortar retailers are doomed, given the growth of e-commerce and mobile shopping. That assumption may soon be debunked, though, as retailers demonstrate significant advantages designed to bring e-commerce efficiencies, such as leveraging their physical presence to offer in-store pickup and ship-from-store options.

Moreover, trends such as showrooming and webrooming, once seen as a threat, are now being used to the retailer’s advantage. Retailers are now able to understand how shoppers navigate numerous shopping channels with the help of partners like LISNR. The debate is no longer as simple as “offline” vs. “online” retailers. The focus now is on the omnichannel, and ensuring a smooth customer journey that integrates all channels seamlessly for consumers. For this reason, in the coming years, the most successful retailers will have to become masters of the omnichannel,.. [offering] shoppers an equally rewarding experience both in-store and online.”

Retailers have recognized the need to innovate quickly, driving new forms of customer engagement and reimagining the retail experience. Retailers are leveraging technology to enhance in-store experiences, operations, and to personalize in-store service. New technology, such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality solutions, are cropping up daily.

New Technologies Rocking the Retail Industry

As a result, an entire ecosystem comprised of hundreds of tech startups has emerged to help brick and mortar retailers adapt, working across categories from inventory management, to merchandising, to checkouts. New technologies in location analytics, proximity marketing, POS systems, shelf-management, ominchannel analytics, customer loyalty, and inventory management are helping retailers better understand their customers and processes.

One area of intensified focus is the checkout and payment experience. From cashierless, to self-service models, to proximity mobile payments, there are many new ways to reimagine retail payments. Merchants are striving to offer the most seamless process possible, with ease-of-use and speediness being key considerations. How do merchants offer frictionless check out, yet still retain ownership over the transaction?

Owning the Moment of Payment

Some technology solutions threaten to disintermediate merchants further from their consumers. Mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay or Google Pay might offer some level of convenience, but they detract consumers from the branded retailer environment. The providers – not the merchants – ultimately ‘own’ the payment experience. Furthermore, transaction data is blind to the merchant, leaving them at a disadvantage in terms of understanding customer transaction behavior and impeding their ability to develop best practices when it comes to creating an efficient checkout and payment process.

In this use case, LISNR ultrasonic technology can be a win-win for both consumers and merchants. LISNR protects and enhances a merchant’s most important payment micro moments. Only LISNR’s ultrasonic data transmission can enable secure, bi-directional transactions, where the user never has to leave a branded environment. Audio tones embedded in a retailer’s app can connect to payment systems seamlessly and securely to process payments.

In conclusion, as retailers emphasize technological innovation to make seamless omnichannel a reality, they should prioritize solutions that allow them to maintain control of the user journey. Ready to explore how LISNR can help upgrade your retail environment? Get in touch!