Insights

Retail Automation is Transforming the Shopping Experience this Holiday Season

By Aila Staff

September 23, 2022

The holiday season is right around the corner. With 2022 being the first holiday season since the pandemic where consumers feel comfortable gathering in person, meeting shoppers where and when they want to shop is only the beginning. Retail automation can help with that, relieving the stress that comes with the holiday season for both retailers and shoppers.

Hiring seasonal associates is hard this year, self-service helps

The start of holiday shopping each year starts earlier and earlier, making the process of hiring seasonal associates difficult and less predictable. Additionally, labor shortages are another challenge retailers continue to face. During the holiday season, 86% of retailers fail to hire enough seasonal staff

Retailers have struggled in previous years finding and retaining employees for the holiday season. These are the challenges retailers faced when hiring seasonal workers just last year: 

  • Lack of qualified candidates 
  • Seasonal workers quit 
  • Interview no-shows 
  • Not enough applications 
  • New hire no-shows 

In the modern brick-and-mortar environment, retail automation can really take some weight off stores and tackle the challenges of labor shortages. Self-service kiosks offer everything from self-checkout, returns, pickups, and drop-offs to product discovery, price checking, and more! Offering an intuitive self-service experience not only can help with labor shortages but all also keep retailers up to date on today’s retail trends.

Retail automation frees up associates to stock merchandise

Freeing up staff gives associates the opportunity to take care of other high-value tasks like stocking merchandise. As shoppers come in and out of stores, replenishing is crucial to keep shoppers from leaving the store without making a purchase and buying from a competitor. Unstocked shelves can lead to losing customers, and a drop in sales. Having staff available for stocking merchandise can lead to increased sales, minimizing unnecessary inventory, and reducing waste, allowing retailers to have a good inventory management system when it is most needed during the holiday season.

Handle returns with retail automation

Handling returns can become overwhelming during the holiday season especially with the rise of returns from people returning and exchanging gifts they received. According to one study, 27% to 33% of adult Americans are expected to make a return before the end of January. Automating the return process, can allow customers to make a return in just seconds with a self-service option.

Having a seamless and smooth return process can win retailers repeat business, help with the overall customer experience, and increase customer loyalty. If the return process consists of long lines, customers are less likely to return.

Digital signage for promotions

Sales and promotions are retailers’ bread and butter. It is the tactic used to draw shoppers into the store. Kiosks with large, bright digital displays can be leveraged for eye-catching ads promoting sales and special offers. Leaning away from physical banners, signs, and posters and converting to digital signage is a modern, dynamic, and less wasteful way to keep your customer informed and yet still get the message across.

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Do you want to get ahead of this year’s holiday season? Retailers can reduce lines, free up staff, and improve the customer experience with Aila’s iPad-based interactive kiosk. Aila’s Interactive Kiosk is modern, flexible and ready to serve retailers.

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