The sun is still high in the sky, and the fun of summer is not over yet, but the start of the school year is just around the corner, and that means buying school supplies and new clothes and shoes for students of all ages, kindergarten through college. For retailers, this back-to-school mad rush offers an opportunity for abundant sales and repeat customers that carries through to Black Friday.
By all accounts, that opportunity is a strong one in 2017. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, back-to-college spending is expected to hit an all-time high and back-to-school spending is trending to see its second-highest spending level. According to the survey, shoppers for grades K-12, plan to spend $4.9 billion on school supplies, $8.8 billion on electronics, $10.2 billion on clothing, and $5.6 billion on shoes.
However, just as interesting as what parents are planning to buy is from where they are planning to buy. 57 percent plan to shop at department stores and 54 percent at discount stores, and not surprisingly 46 percent of back-to-school shoppers will conduct some or all of their shopping online. Those shopping online plan to take advantage of free shipping and over a half of respondents will buy online and pick up in-store.
As online shopping continues to attract more consumers, offering a way to compare prices, read online reviews and get items shipped quickly, it is even more critical to build customer loyalty. Be sure to deliver a superior experience with shoppers who come to your store even if it’s just to pick up an online purchase. How do you ensure that the customer has an all-around great experience from the moment they walk through your door? The answer is: communication. By equipping associates with discreet two-way radios, you provide instant communications between the sales and support team and management, allowing even the greenest employee to find the information they need and share it with the customer quickly. This instantaneous connectivity also ensures they can respond quickly in a case of emergency keeping both customers and staff safe.
Business radios from Motorola Solutions are small, lightweight and easy to use, providing clear, strong audio and seamless communications. By connecting the sales, inventory, and management teams, you can provide superior service to the customer and increase their likelihood to return to your store and experience it again.
So even though the forecast for back to school shopping is positive, are you prepared to take full advantage of that opportunity? Is your staff equipped to communicate instantly once the customer walks through your door? Are you providing an experience that will lure weary (and wary) consumers off the Internet and into your store? From the Back to School season to the final exams of Black Friday and the holidays, make sure your staff is ready to excel and keep bringing those customers back.
Click here to learn more about our Retail Communications Solutions.
Aleksandra Ikanowicz is a Vertical Marketing Lead for Commercial Markets at Motorola Solutions.
A hotel manager is looking for a communication solution for her housekeeping and security teams. A manufacturing plant is looking for PTT devices and accessories for their floor supervisors and workers on the manufacturing line. Depending on your role, communication needs, and industry, the right device, for the right user, and at the right time can completely change. The new MOTOTRBO Solution Finder radically simplifies the experience of researching and selecting the right solution for your needs.
With answers to only a few questions (industry; number of users; number of sites; number of departments; and communication needs), Solution Finder helps you understand the optimal MOTOTRBO solution for their needs and provides the appropriate device and accessory options to quickly build an equipment list that can be submitted for quotation. After requesting more information, Motorola Solutions will connect you with one of our Valued Resellers to validate the best solution for your organization.
Industry trends have shown, as well as our own personal habits, that most buyers prefer to do their own research before they ever walk into a store or speak with a sales representative. This new tool helps you explore our vast portfolio, while building a solution that fits your organization’s needs. Whether you are a school principal, a truck driver, or a maintenance technician, we have the perfect MOTOTRBO solution for you and your teams!
Liam King is Global Marketing Manager for Commercial Devices at Motorola Solutions
The National Retail Federation has good news and bad news for retailers in their NRF forecast for this holiday season. The good news: November and December 2016 sales are expected to increase a healthy 3.6% from 2015, to $655.8 billion. The bad news: non-store sales will increase between 7% and 10%, to as much as $117 billion, further reducing the amount of in-store traffic and sales for brick-and-mortar retailers.
In a world of Amazon Prime shoppers, it’s more important than ever to capitalize on those occasions when a customer physically visits your store. It’s impossible to offset the convenience, variety, and efficiency of virtual shopping, so retailers must lure users to their stores with the only advantage they have - the experience itself.
In this excellent consumer study on The Retail Customer Experience from Synchrony Financial, a poll of over 1,000 shoppers established that - in both the Apparel and Department Store spaces - the top contributing factor to a respondent’s best in-store experience was the same: the associate was helpful/ attentive.
If we consider that through our own personal lens for a moment, it makes sense. Think about a recent positive experience you had in the retail environment. There probably was a friendly, helpful, and super-capable store employee in that mix, assisting you with finding the right size, making the right choice, or getting the best deal for your money. A great in-store experience begins with the store associates. Staff must be well-informed and well-coordinated, armed with the right information and empowered with accurate answers.
This, then, becomes the challenge for retailers: How do you enable every associate in your store to deliver that optimal shopping experience and keep everyone safe? Especially when, as the NRF also informs us in their forecast, retailers will be hiring between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers in 2016. How do you turn someone you just hired last week into a seasonal superstar, assisting customers, locating inventory, and closing sales like they’ve been working there for years instead of hours?
The answeris: communication. By equipping associates with discreet two-way radios, you provide instant communications between the sales and support team and management, allowing even the greenest employee to find the information they need and share it with the customer quickly. This instantaneous connectivity also ensures they can respond quickly in a case of emergency keeping both customers and staff safe. Business radios from Motorola Solutions are small, lightweight and easy to use, providing clear, strong audio and seamless communications. By connecting the sales, inventory, and management teams, you can provide superior service to the customer from the minute they walk through your door.
With a positive holiday outlook, but harder times for brick-and-mortar retail operations, make sure you can provide your customers with the top-notch service they demand. Deliver an experience your customers cannot shop without, keep everyone safe during a very busy time, and build the loyalty your store will need to thrive in 2017 and beyond!
Click here to learn more about our Retail Communications Solutions.
The digital revolution is impacting every aspect of the retail experience. Gone are the days of manual cash registers, hand-counting inventory, and unreliable overhead pagers. Today’s tech savvy retailer has a digital experience for both their customers and core team. The digital radio is a subtle, yet significant development to hit the retail scene. It is impacting everything from employee efficiency to customer satisfaction, enabling everyone to work smarter. At the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual BIG Show in New York this month, digital radios will be a hot topic of conversation. Their features make it easy to see why:
Chatter from other stores over an analog frequency can interrupt or delay your communication. This problem becomes a worry of the past with DLR, which employs frequency hopping technology. It enables the radio to continually change frequencies, making it virtually impossible for others to listen to or interrupt your conversations.
Easily change your preconfigured top button and customize your radio to adapt to your specific organizational requirements. Place key features in intuitive areas of the radio, making your staff comfortable with the operating procedures and better able to communicate on the fly.
Extended Range and Coverage
Cover up to 300,000 sq. feet or 20 floors in a single network. Batteries are reliable for up to 14 hours of continuous coverage on a single charge. The entire unit is ruggedly durable for the hustle and bustle of the retail floor.
Multiple Call Options
Some messages are meant only for a subset of the team. Now, you can directly access just the people who need to be on the line:
Subtle Communication Cues
When customers are in the store, attention should be on them, not the radio. Small keys quietly alert staff when they are needed, and enable them to easily navigate the radio waves:
With the right technology, employees are well-informed and well-coordinated in the store, and armed with the right information to satisfy customers and keep them coming back.
Learn more about the DLR series for retail, and visit Motorola Solutions in booth #726 at NRF in New York, January 17-19.
Adriana Umarov is the Radio Devices Product Manager at Motorola Solutions.