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How technology factors into the retail experience

How technology factors into the retail experience

We are living in the age of technology. You may think that cell phones, tablets and laptops have no place in the retail world (unless you work at an electronics store), but in reality today's gadgets can have a big impact on sales. Here are a few ways that technology can factor into the retail experience:

Price comparison
You can count on the fact that most of your customers will walk into your store with a cell phone on their person, and it's likely that many of the devices can connect to the internet anywhere, at any time. This means your customers will be able to browse the products lining your display tables and gondola shelves and immediately compare your prices to those of online retailers like Amazon and eBay. This can be frustrating, but the best way to overcome the issue is to offer something those online stores can't – strong, in-person customer service. If your staff is extra friendly and you provide perks like free gift wrap or gifts with purchases, they'll remember the experience you have in your brick-and-mortar strong. It also doesn't hurt to use store signs to remind customers that they won't have to wait for their items to be shipped if they buy in person.

The social media game
Every big retailer has a social media presence, which means small and midsize shops need to step up their game to stay competitive. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are just a few of the many social networks that stores can use to their advantage. If you find yourself too busy to sign on to your computer and update these accounts, remember that you can quickly snap photos of your adult and child mannequins and upload them to your social media pages with just a few taps if you own a smartphone.

Online coupons
In the past, shoppers used to comb through the Sunday newspaper in search of coupons they could use to buy their favorite products. Today, consumers have similar coupons delivered to their email address every single day. Shoppers love saving money, especially in tough economic times, so getting on the online coupon bandwagon could be a smart move. Services like Groupon, Scout Mob and Living Social can help you get the word out about your business and bring customers in the door.