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RETAIL INSIGHTS
5 Inspiring Digital Solutions to Increase Retail Sales
by Thorbjørn Schmidt-Jacobsen
Read about innovative digital solutions that have helped leading brands increase retail sales, upgrade customer experience, and improve efficiency in their stores.
The retail space is rapidly evolving, and customers are attracted to shopping experiences that allow them to shop in ways that are most convenient for them. To increase retail sales, companies need to come up with innovative ways to create a digitally connected shopping experience.

Digital solutions provide a better understanding of customer needs, real-time personalisation, targeted loyalty rewards, and hybrid shopping journeys. They help retailers delight their customers, increase sales and maximise efficiency.

What makes us qualified to write this post? Working on retail sales growth solutions for some of Denmark’s most successful retailers, we at Sprinting Software have seen and built our own large share of successful digital solutions in retail.

Here are some innovative digital solutions on our radar that have helped retail brands from all around the globe increase sales, upgrade the customer experience and improve efficiency in brick-and-mortar and online stores.

1. Shoe pre-ordering and physical pickup

1. Shoe pre-ordering and physical pickup

Even though an increasing number of shoppers prefer to purchase items online, shoes are one of the items that can be more convenient to first try on, and then purchase. In addition to that, 67% of shoppers leave stores without buying because they could not find the product they needed.

Nike has a great understanding of these retail issues. They wanted to enable their customers to find shoes that suit them online, but still be able to pick them up or try them on in the store without waiting for staff. As part of their House of Innovation stores, Nike created an interesting pre-ordering solution.

The solution is simple: customers can browse and pre-order the shoes they like online. The customer gets a QR code that they can scan and simply take the shoes out of a digital locker in dedicated pick-up zones.

To make the experience even more convenient, Nike located the pick-up lockers on the ground floor, in a space with a separate entrance.

Here are some benefits of this solution:

  • Increase sales. In addition to the convenience of buying shoes this way, a lot of customers coming to pick up an order also purchase other items at the store.
  • Remove friction. Self-service solutions like this one allow the customers to learn about different options, order, and even pick up shoes without needing assistance.
  • Reduce costs. A combination of a digital and a physical shopping experience means fewer returns, and easier order management.

Heidi O’Neill, President of Nike Direct and the person overseeing the future of selling shoes at Nike, said that 70% of Nike’s purchases involve a physical touchpoint, and that people who visit their House of Innovation stores spend 30% more over the next several months.

2. Increase food sales through pre-ordering

2. Increase food sales through pre-ordering

Shoes are not the only commodity that is convenient to pre-order and pick up. Customers that pick up food in stores and restaurants also want to save time. Digital solutions can help them save the time they would spend waiting for their order to be prepared.

To save more of both their customer’s and employee’s valuable time, Bilka, a Danish supermarket chain, created a digital solution for online meal pre-ordering, built by our development team at Sprinting Software.

They created a specialised food e-commerce platform to allow their customers to pre-order meals, and their stores to improve efficiency and increase retail sales.

The solution combines a web shop and mobile app shops available to the customers, and an advanced back-end interface that allows their employees to add new products, manage orders and have a clear overview of capacity needed.

Here are some benefits of this digital solution:

  • Increase sales. The right food ordering system drives sales by attracting new customers, streamlining product launches, and allowing for improved online campaigns.
  • Improve efficiency. Digitalising orders optimises internal processes for managing orders and production capacity. This saves employee time and reduces food waste.
  • Empower customers. Customers save the time they would spend making the order at the store, and have a better overview of your offers.

One year after the launch of their solution and increasing marketing spending, Bilka has seen a 50% overall growth in its catering business.

If you want to give this solution a try, you can get our standard pre-ordering catering solution with the same functionalities, customised with your branding and needs in mind.

3. Gamified sports retail sales growth

3. Gamified sports retail sales growth

When creating digital solutions, it is important to have the preferences of your customers in mind. Young people who are more likely to buy sneakers, are also more likely to download and play games.

JD Sports, an English sports and sneakers store, showed that they understand their customer preferences well. They created a mobile game that rewards players with physical rewards and exclusive gift vouchers.

This allowed JD Sports to interact with their customers, and bring more customers to their stores.

The game was also expanded into an in-store immersive experience allowing shoppers to play the game on large screens and interact with photo walls.

Here are some benefits of this solution:

  • Engage customers. Get your brand right on your customer’s phones, engage them in a fun way, and bring them to your physical stores.
  • Increase sales. Digital experiences that bring customers to the store have been proven to increase customer spend by 30% percent in the months after the visit.
  • Boost brand. If you choose the right channel and the right format to engage with your customers, you can build a strong brand that will expand and grow.

That staying relevant with innovative digital solutions like this one is crucial to retail is highlighted by the fact that the value of JD Sports shares has risen 3,200% over the past decade.

4. Retail customer insight solution

4. Retail customer insight solution

Understanding customers well can open a retailer’s eyes to new revenue growth sources with great potential. Collecting data, turning that data into insights, and then turning those insights into increased sales is a perfect task for modern digital solutions.

Almax, an Italy-based mannequin producer created a mannequin that allows retailers to profile their buyers. The mannequin has an in-built camera and software that turns videos into depersonalised insights about the buyers passing by the mannequin.

The technology can determine things such as a person’s age range and gender. It can also keep track of the number of people to pass through a certain area within a given amount of time, and how much time each person spends there.

This technology has the following benefits:

  • Targeted stocking. Having a clear overview of the age and gender of the customers who visit your stores can help retailers stock up on items interesting to them.
  • Improved experience. A better understanding of the people visiting stores can also help retailers create a personalised experience that suits them best.
  • Increased sales. Making the stock and staff better targeted helps increase sales and enable more upsells.

This solution allows retailers to unobtrusively collect data that helps increase sales. In terms of the types of insights, one Almax client launched a new children’s clothing line after learning that children comprised the majority of its afternoon clientele, and another one hired Chinese-speaking staff after gauging the size of its Asian customer base, improving customer experience.

5. Digital guide through the store

5. Digital guide through the store

Saving customer’s time can be done in various ways. One of them is also helping customers find their way through large stores with ease.

Home Depot took this challenge seriously and came up with an “In-Store Locate” tool that enables customers to get aisle directions based on a specific product or category.

The solution provides turn-by-turn instructions on reaching desired product. If the customer is looking for multiple products, the app calculates the optimal route through the store.

To remove friction, customers don’t even have to download the app: they can simply send an SMS with the product they want to find to a number shown on posters throughout the stores.

The benefits of this type of solution are as follows:

  • Customer retention. Customers are more likely to return to stores which offer them ways to save time and shop with more ease.
  • Icreased sales. Innovative solutions have been proven to attract more customers. Customers are also able to find products in less time, which can also increase sales.
  • Improved experience. Fewer employees are required to guide customers through the store, so they can focus on further improving the shopping experience.

Judging by the 280 000 ratings the Home Depot app has received, it is now one of the most popular retail apps. Creating simple experiences that save customer time is something every retailer should focus on, and Home Depot does really well.

Conclusion

Conclusion

The future of retail is here, now, and it is moving fast.

The best way to engage with your customers is to engage in a place and a way that they prefer. Innovative digital solutions help retailers to attract customers, increase sales and boost efficiency, all in one swoop.

What is the most innovative retail solution you have heard of or worked on? Let me know on LinkedIn or email me below, and we might cover it in one of our future posts.

Want to read about more innovative digital solutions that help retail growth? Subscribe to our retail insights email list, and you will receive our retail insights email updates.
Read next:
Read next:

Thorbjørn Schmidt-Jacobsen

Director of Sales
Sprinting Software
Partner and Sales Director at Sprinting Software. Leads sales with the aim of growing the company together with many skilled colleagues. Highly experienced in digital transformation, business processes, cloud solutions, business strategy, global sales, marketing and customer relationship management.

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