3 Types of Technologies Found in Canadian Omnichannel Retail Stores

According to the PwC Global Consumer Insights Survey, 44% of Canadian consumers shop in brick-and-mortar stores daily or weekly (for items other than groceries). The survey also indicates that e-commerce is heavily supplementing the shopping experience ($57 Billion in sales) with in-store digital shopping guides, augmented reality (AR) applications, social media marketplaces, and online storefronts. In addition to multi-channel options for shopping, Canadian consumers are looking for a high level of customer service support before, during, and after making a purchase, no matter what shopping method they choose.

The Canadian retailers meeting the needs of today’s consumers are utilizing omnichannel solutions. This approach to selling provides customers with a seamless shopping experience and support whether they are shopping online or in-store. These retailers empower Canadian consumers to make purchases wherever they are while communicating in a way that is in tune with why they use a given channel and showing awareness of their stage in the customer lifecycle.

As Canadian retailers continue to deliver consumers with fully-integrated omnichannel shopping experiences, they are adopting interoperable technologies that connect every level of customer service and order fulfillment online and in-store.

These are the top 3 types of technologies that Canadian retail stores are using for profitable omnichannel operations:

Mobile Computers

  • Handheld and tablet available
  • Offer a variety of voice and data capabilities
  • Helps instantly connect staff to the right information
  • Wearable portable devices
  • Wireless communications between a range of devices
  • Consists of integrated Bluetooth, wi-fi, cellular, and push-to-talk
  • Capture data automatically from any kind of barcode, photograph, video footage, signatures, GPS location, and RFID tags.

For customers, in-store tablet kiosks allow them to look up product information, check prices, make purchases, or receive personalized coupons. For staff, hands-free RFID scanning and Android OS applications make it easy to locate click-and-collect orders, automatically update and share inventory details in real-time, pull up customer accounts and take payments from anywhere.

Handheld RFID Imagers and Scanners

Reducing human error throughout inventory and point-of-sale operations by 39%.

  • Customers use the wallet feature on their phone
  • Customers use mobile apps
  • Tracks purchases
  • Rewards customer with personalized coupons and gift-card
  • Handheld and pocket-sized imagers
  • Staff can read mobile payments from anywhere: Retail floor or out on delivery

Beyond capturing 1D, 2D, and multiple UPC barcodes at once, retailers can record images, signatures and OCR fonts on supplier invoices that automatically decode the information and send it to an inventory application. The ability to scan barcodes on the back of drivers’ licenses has improved accuracy when processing customer information for returns and loyalty programs by auto-populating the information.

Data Capture and Sensors

Canadian retailers are using a combination of smart sensors and data analytics software to connect their entire network of devices, people, and machines for a true omnichannel operation.

  • Sensors automatically record location and movement of merchandise, associates, shoppers, and assets in real-time
  • Data analytics processes raw RFID, micro-locationing, and video data
  • Converts the data into meaningful events
  • Delivers real-time actionable insights for better-informed decisions
  • Generates more efficient customer service

This interoperable network has helped retailers eliminate out-of-stocks and overstocks, prevent lost sales, quickly fulfill online orders and in-store pickups, spot and stop potential theft before items leave the store, and much more.

Nova Communications, a division of Rock Networks, has leveraged Zebra Technologies’ portfolio of enterprise asset intelligence hardware and software to deliver omnichannel solutions to retailers. As one of Canada’s premier wireless voice and data solutions company, our team can help you find the right omnichannel technologies to fit your operation and budget.

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