When retailers were empowering themselves with technologies such as 3-D body scanning, virtual trial rooms, endless aisles and self-checkouts, etc., the last thing on their mind at that time was that these technologies will allow them to go contactless in the days to come. But being ‘contactless’ is becoming the new normal, a part of everyday retailing and technology is helping retailers reach this new normal at a faster pace.
So, as Numero Uno reopens its stores and focuses on going contactless, it is working on educating and familiarising its staff with technology that the brand is adopting.
“Both online and offline training is being provided. One-on-one training has been provided to the team to ensure people understand and follow new ways,” says Santosh Srivastava, Marketing Manager, Numero Uno.
“Mock practice sessions are been organised to ensure things are well understood and followed. While doing all this, we have been following and stressing on social distancing, use of sanitizers, sanitizing workstations and wearing of masks. Proper training manuals have been created to help them understand the SOPs,” he adds.
In an exclusive interview, Srivastava further elucidates on the brand’s reopening strategy, how it is going contactless and training and educating its workforce…
Excerpts from the interview…
How important a role does technology play in a retail set up when it comes to boosting customer satisfaction levels?
Customers now rely on technology more than ever. Technology plays a vital role at every step of customer decision making process. Right from identifying a problem to post purchase valuation, we use technical assists. So, it becomes imperative for any firm to innovate and bring convenient and user-friendly
In today’s scenario where physical retailing has suffered, e-commerce and app-based shopping have surged and become sustainable options for both companies and consumers. Convenience along with minimum contact makes these easy options. The entire browsing, ordering, trials (in some cases), tracking, delivery, post delivery service process is so fluid and
technically advanced that customers feel satisfied at the end.
Even at physical stores, processes like catalogue browsing, e-billing, e-payments and dedicated helpline help boost customer happiness.
What micro-services are you working on to support in-store applications?
We are currently working on strengthening our in-store experiences. From improving digital payment services to introducing e-bills with customer loyalty information, purchase
history and product recommendations. We are also simultaneously working on improving our e-commerce by introducing new and user-friendly website.
How do you go about creating an innovation culture in the company?
People need to understand that change or innovation is the only constant. Adopting an innovation is a smooth process that is made easy with proper training and guidance. Especially during last two months, when offline stores were totally shut, we had to rely on our online channels to generate revenue. We brought in two new things: one, prepaid vouchers and second, WhatsApp shopping. Both these concepts were new for our company,
but people were educated about them before the launch and they were up for these. Our team understands that without constant innovation, we will cease to exist.
What are some of the new technologies that will be indispensable for fashion retail post the COVID 19 pandemic?
Technology has to play a vital role in fashion retailing now. Things like contactless browsing, e-payments, e-billing, virtual assistance, and virtual trial rooms (Augmented Reality) will gain more popularity. Technologies that were a choice earlier will now become a usual thing, without which it would be difficult to render retailing services.
A key strategy will be to utilise its omnichannel presence. Shopping over apps will surely increase in volume as people will now choose convenience plus safety. Brands need to up their online game with smooth UI, easy to use and browse pages, more product and style options, attractive product shoots, easy and fast delivery, convenient payment options, tamper proof and shielded packaging, etc.
Efforts will be made to bring in more technology driven sales to reduce contact. At store level, contactless self-checkout options and digital payments will be important.