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What can we learn from Aldi? How online retailers can embrace the best of in-store

Jack Wearne
Jack Wearne
CEO
What can we learn from Aldi? How online retailers can embrace the best of in-store
What can we learn from Aldi?

As retailers face growing pressure to find a new balance between their physical and online offer, more and more brands are spearheading innovative ways of doing so. Aldi recently announced a checkout-free technology trial at a concept store in London.

As part of the trial, customers will scan a smartphone app to enter, pick up their shopping, and pay automatically online after their visit. The move makes it one of a small group of UK retailers moving towards checkout-free retail, and a frontrunner in merging the benefits of online and in-store. In Aldi’s case, the supermarket giant has utilised the tech-enhanced convenience of online shopping to improve its in-store experience, but learnings can be taken in the opposite direction too. So, how else can retailers embrace the best of both?

Blurring the lines of physical and digital retail

If Aldi’s trial tells us anything, it’s that the lines between online and physical stores are blurring, leading to a knock on effect for online and in-store brand engagement. As customers migrate from physical to digital channels they will expect to see a consistent level of service and personalised experience, making it vital that retailers of all sizes recognise the importance of delivering a seamless multichannel experience.

One way brands can achieve this is through personalised online engagement. For many customers, one of the biggest draws of in-store is face-to-face customer service, but with the help of technology this personalised experience can now be matched online. In delivering a personalised online experience, retailers can understand customer needs and guide them accordingly, building positive customer sentiment and eventually all-important brand loyalty.

If Aldi’s trial tells us anything, it’s that the lines between online and physical stores are blurring, leading to a knock on effect for online and in-store brand engagement. As customers migrate from physical to digital channels they will expect to see a consistent level of service and personalised experience, making it vital that retailers of all sizes recognise the importance of delivering a seamless multichannel experience.

One way brands can achieve this is through personalised online engagement. For many customers, one of the biggest draws of in-store is face-to-face customer service, but with the help of technology this personalised experience can now be matched online. In delivering a personalised online experience, retailers can understand customer needs and guide them accordingly, building positive customer sentiment and eventually all-important brand loyalty.

Recreating in-store service online

Guided selling is one way that ecommerce retailers can offer this service. With solutions like online surveys and problem solvers, retailers can deliver exceptional customer service, equal to an in-store shopping assistant able to offer tailored support and expert advice.

For long-term investment or big ticket items, it’s understandable that people might opt for a physical store to see the item in-person, and access help and advice from an expert. However, according to a recent Ve Global consumer survey, a quarter (25%) of UK consumers agree that being able to ask questions and get advice live on site would make them more likely to buy products that are traditionally more challenging to buy online. With the help of guided selling tools, ecommerce retailers can now compete for considered purchases like that new sofa, TV or skincare product.

As the distinction between physical and digital retail becomes less defined, adaptable retailers are taking the opportunity to take learnings where they can. Through guided selling technologies, retailers can emulate the in-store experience online, empowering their customers and subsequently converting them - true testament to embracing the best of both.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how technology can help your business bring in-store service online, get in touch with the Ve team today.

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