How To Fix “Narrow Assortment” In Retail

In today’s retail world consumers want to be flexible when, where, and how they shop. It is hard for small and medium-sized businesses to keep up with fast-paced change. While big box retail and e-commerce giants generally have full war chests to build out next-level experiences, independent retailers have a bootstrap approach and need to carefully select the right tools.

Today’s consumer has grown accustomed to the concept of an omnichannel shopping experience. To them it doesn’t matter where their journey starts – and most journeys nowadays starts online on consumer’s smart phones (Check out Monetate’s quarterly report [PDF] revealing that the mobile phone is the key device throughout the multi-device purchase journey). There is the always-present expectation for immediacy, driven by an essentially unlimited selection at one’s fingertips when browsing online. How do you, as a retailer with brick & mortar stores, provide this expected cross-channel experience in an affordable and effective way?


The Rise Of The “Endless Aisle”

To a lot of retailers, the term “Endless Aisle” simply means fulfilling orders via their e-commerce platform. And while this might technically be the case, guests in your store don’t visit to see your website. They can do that at home much better. People come to brick & mortar stores to experience a product first-hand, to talk with an associate, to learn more about a product or service, or they are seeking an experience a website cannot provide.

Image of apparel on ecommerce website shown on laptop computer

So, even if retailers are fulfilling special orders via their website, they still need a consumer-facing experience in the store. This is where Catalog Kiosk comes in. It’s an endless aisle application for brick & mortar retailers, solving one of their biggest challenges: Selection. Limited floor space means limited assortment. Catalog Kiosk allows retailers to create a true omnichannel experience with an almost limitless product selection. This is proven to close more business on the spot as consumers can browse a full digital catalog instead of leaving the store, looking to cross-shop online. In addition, Catalog Kiosk collects valuable shopper analytics that can be used for re-marketing by the retailer to get these consumers back in the store or onto their website.


Purposely Built For Retail Environments And Their Challenges

One of the core features of Catalog Kiosk is its offline capability. It’s a native application, specifically built for weak or flakey Internet connections, it’s quick and responsive – unlike kiosks that just put a website on a touch screen. Today’s consumer has no patience for loading screens, error messages, or blank pages. Consumers have come to expect the responsive nature of a native application versus a website as there are a bunch of advantages apps have over websites. Users prefer apps on their personal devices. Here is a great comparison of the two from a user experience (UX) standpoint.

With that in mind, why would retailers offer their guests an experience that is easily surpassed by the consumers’ own mobile phones? The experience in the store should be unique and at least up to par with what consumers can do on their own. Otherwise they don’t need the store on their path to purchase.


People sitting in a coffee shop, looking at their smart phones.


Manufacturer (or Retailer) Catalogs As Managed Solution

Wondersign’s Catalog Kiosk application works directly with manufacturers to create and curate their product catalogs and make them available to their dealer networks. Individualized product line-ups, pricing, and other specifics are fully built-in, allowing the retailer to only show what’s available to them. Alternatively, a retailer’s own product data can be used from various sources, such as their PIM or their POS software, to instantly create their in-store catalog.

Its open architecture allows Catalog Kiosk to connect with existing POS and ERP systems and eCommerce websites to further streamline the path to purchase in the store. “We pride ourselves on creating sales tools that are far more than just a shiny new object. We are thrilled to offer retailers a powerful endless aisle solution that helps them sell more, boost their average ticket size, and overall makes them more dollars per square foot”, says Andy Reinhard, CEO of Wondersign.

Would you like to increase your dollars per square foot? Drop us a note and we’ll tell you how.

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