Enabling Fully Connected Shopping Experiences

For me, and for many of my fellow Millennials, technology and shopping are intertwined. We compare prices, look for deals, research products, make lists and find store locations using our smartphones and other personal devices.1  But that doesn’t mean we don’t like to go to the store -- in fact, 82% of us prefer shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.2 But what differentiates us from previous generations is that by the time we get to the store, we’ve done our homework. Our expectation—shaped by a lifetime of personal computing, mobile communication and social media—is for quick, personalized service. This is where things sometimes break down. A product we saw on an online channel – telling us it was available in a particular store -- might actually be out of stock when we arrive. Or, if we’ve want  additional information about a product, we may find that the store sales associates know less than we do. This gap between   online and in-store   can be frustrating, and Millennial shoppers, not surprisingly, respond by voting with their feet. Retailers know this—surveys show that more than two-thirds (68%) of Millennials want a mixed, seamless channel that integrates the in-store experience with their favorite technologies1—but to date, they have been hard pressed to bridge the gap.

Recently, in my work, I have been excited to see real progress toward solving this problem. NCR has introduced the first-of-its-kind, off-the-shelf solution designed to bridge online and in-store sales experiences: NCR Sales Advisor* for Windows* on Intel® devices. NCR Sales Advisor is a single service and sales platform that empowers sales associates with the information they need to create personal, seamless shopping experiences, starting from a customer’s first contact with the brand. It’s essentially an associate’s “little black book”—a modern-day tool for effective shoulder-to-shoulder selling that enhances the associate/shopper relationship by providing access to each shopper’s history and preferences, synched from all points of sale: online, mobile and in-store. By integrating securely with a retailer’s other channel assets, NCR Sales Advisor enables a fully connected shopping experience.

Personalized recommendations and promotions—based on detailed shopper profiles—show shoppers that the brand knows who they are and what they like. Real-time access to both customer and inventory information gives associates the ability to help customers find what they need quickly and complete transactions on the spot  (and provide the value-add the customers expect!). And powerful guided selling tools and virtual product views equip them with the tools to pursue revenue-boosting up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. By increasing associate-customer engagement, NCR Sales Advisor helps brands maintain consistent, high-value relationships across all channels to reinforce brand loyalty.

Winning the loyalty of tech-savvy Millennial shoppers, who have more buying power than any previous generation1, is crucial to modern retail success. Doing so requires closing the gap between the online and in-store realms and delivering superior, personalized shopping experiences. Sales associates are on the front lines in this effort. Equipping them with powerful mobile sales tools such as NCR Sales Advisor for Windows on Intel devices positions them to provide the satisfying, fully connected shopping experiences that today’s shoppers want.

1 Glenn Taylor, “Can Retailers Keep Pace With Millennial Consumers?,” Retail TouchPoints, February 2, 2016, http://www3.retailtouchpoints.com/a/millennial-consumer/

2 Christopher Donnelly and Renato Scaff, “Who are the Millennial shoppers? And what do they really want?,” Outlook: Accenture’s Journal of High-Performance Business, 2013, https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-outlook-who-are-millennial-shoppers-what-do-they-really-want-retail.

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Anne Van Hulle

About Anne Van Hulle

Anne Van Hulle is a U.S. retail campaign manager with 7 years of experience at Intel. In her current role, Van Hulle manages the North American retail vertical segment. During her career at Intel, she has led B2B media activities for North America including IT publisher partnerships, search engine marketing, social media, native advertising, and lead generation activities. Through her insight as an avid shopper, technology lover and as a millennial, Van Hulle has strengthened her experience in retail store technologies and shares her expertise and passion with retailers through her work at Intel. Van Hulle graduated from Willamette University with a Bachelor’s degree in economics, and from Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management with a MBA in marketing. Outside of work, Van Hulle’s curiosity and diversity in her activities has no boundaries, but some of her favorite pastimes include dragon boating, running, shopping and enjoying a microbrew while listening live to a local band. You can follow Anne on Twitter: @annecvh and continue the retail conversation by following @Retailerinsight and visiting our retail community page http://itpeernetwork.intel.com/retail/.