Technology remains the primary driving force of business evolution. While these innovations are mostly seen in the digital realm, traditional brick-and-mortar companies also benefit from the latest in business technology. These technologies not only streamline business operations but also improve the customer experience and propel companies to the next stage of success.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at five tech upgrades for brick-and-mortar businesses to adapt going forward:
#1. Contactless payment options
The ability for customers to buy merchandise without physically swiping a card or handing over cash has taken new significance in the age of COVID-19. But once the pandemic ends, touchless forms of payment will remain a convenient way for customers to shop. From automated checkout to cloud-based point-of-sale systems, many options exist that go beyond the simple phone-based hovering we’ve gotten used to in recent years. However, small operations can start with NFC technology, such as Apple Pay.
#2. EV charging stations
More and more consumers are driving electric vehicles (EVs) every year. Similar to an electric vehicle charging station installed in someone’s garage, brick-and-mortar businesses ought to consider having one or two EV charging stations in their parking lots. These charging stations are not only a nice amenity to offer customers, they’re also potential magnets for more foot traffic.
#3. Smart security system
The days of blurry video footage and flawed door alarms are a thing of the past. Today’s state-of-the-art business security systems offer brick-and-mortar companies an array of innovative protection, ranging from smart locks to remote camera monitoring. Surveillance footage is recorded in high definition, meaning no more fuzzy-faced boogymen and washed-out license plate numbers. Hopefully, there’s never any funny business happening in the first place, but it pays to be prepared!
#4. App-augmented shopping experience
We live in a world of Android, iPhones, and mobile apps. The sooner brick-and-mortar business owners get on board, the better. For many, this could mean commissioning the development of an app that shoppers can use in-store. It could include GPS-enabled navigation to specific aisles (great for department stores and supermarkets), or trigger coupon offers as customers approach certain products.
#5. Virtual shopping at home
Given the continued reluctance of many consumers to venture into stores due to the pandemic, brick-and-mortar businesses are encouraged to provide an e-commerce alternative for stay-at-home customers to utilize. Those with a stubborn desire to maintain a quaint shopping experience ought to consider implementing a virtual shopping option.
It’s basically like Google Streetview for your store. Shoppers maneuver through a 3D version of your store online, complete with updated inventory and pricing. Combined with an online payment solution and shopping option, a one-time investment in a virtual shopper experience can lead to a significant boost in sales, even after the pandemic ends.
#6. Latest business software
Just because a business is brick-and-mortar doesn’t mean it should run on pen-and-paper. Whether it’s a laundromat, restaurant, or souvenir shop, the backbone of any brick-and-mortar business needs to be state-of-the-art technology. In addition to those mentioned above, this includes the latest business software. Accounting, customer relations, marketing, payroll, and project management are all everyday tasks and responsibilities made easier with corresponding software.
Take a drive around any city or town, and you’ll see the brick-and-mortar business model is alive and well. From mom-and-pop shops to big-box department stores and everything in between, brick-and-mortar companies operate in a world run on digital services and driven by technological advancement. In order to succeed to their fullest potential, they must harness the very best tech solutions. Doing so ensures success today, tomorrow, and for years to come.
Just make sure to keep updating!