Bridging the gap between online and instore

If you’re reading this then you’re most likely an independent furniture or bed retailer that either has one or multiple stores, as well as an online presence. In previous blogs you may remember such topics of the importance of a website refresh and also why enhancing the instore experience are both key when securing the all-important sale. Online must reflect instore and vice versa. This brings cohesion, a form of identity and most importantly, an element of trust to the consumer.

So, this month takes a look at another way of bridging the gap between online and instore, whilst levelling up your business a digital dimension in the process. The focus is all about an Interactive Kiosk.

Designed to deliver a seamless self-service experience, interactive kiosks provide a touch screen device that allows customers to perform a number of tasks. Whether that is general browsing, changing colourway options on particular products of interest or to even submit their order on the spot. All without the need of a salesperson. Now, this is not to replace a salesperson, but rather to enhance the experience of a shopper if a salesperson’s attention is elsewhere. There’s nothing worse than seeing a customer in the peripheral, only to walk out after a long wait.

While a customer is kept browsing the store, testing out a sofa or mattress for example, they can then turn their attention to the kiosk for further exploration. If a salesperson becomes available, they can check in and go from there, using the interactive device as an intentionally selling tool.

There are many plus points to an interactive kiosk and you want your customers to using them, along with the experience of the salesperson. Some tech-savvy shoppers may even prefer this more modern approach of selling, as it allows them to browse at their pace, and have fun with the technology in the process.

What’s worth noting is that the big retailers are taking this concept seriously too. For example, IKEA has recently announced a wave of “Upptäcka” kiosks to enhance the shopping experience by providing customers with more options to choose from, as well as the ability to shop independently. These self-service kiosks are readily available to assist customers whenever they encounter an issue. Each kiosk is designed to be contextually relevant, integrating digital and physical instore experiences to deliver the most pertinent information to customers when they need it.

In general, shoppers can use kiosks to locate desired items and, once ready to purchase, can continue their transaction, offering flexibility and convenience, significantly reducing waiting times and improving overall customer satisfaction. After all, happy customers equal more sales.

Did you know the answer is much closer to home than you may think? Being a RetailSystem customer, FurnitureKiosk is another arm of the business that can provide such a solution, making sure your company stays ahead of the big chains. A 6ft totem screen, not only grabs the attention, but has many functions, allowing customers and sales teams to find products, add complex options and place the order in your store, there and then. And better still – everything is up to date and in real time.

With FurnitureKiosk, they upload your entire catalogue for you, free of charge, meaning all you do is plug it in and play. How it works is really simple too. Customers can browse what they like, find products, experiment with different product options, like fabric for example, then place an order using the smart trade secure ordering system.

If the customer is ‘just looking’, that’s fine too. That usually tells a salesperson they don’t want to be sold to initially, so why not direct them to FurnitureKiosk with a coffee, tea or water and let them browse and shop in their own time, undisturbed. They will be receptive to silent salesperson approach and when they have a question, you’ll be there waiting – just don’t wait behind the kiosk!

If you’re looking to bridge the gap between online and instore, while simultaneously enhancing your retail floor experience, then considering an interactive kiosk is a good start. FurnitureKiosk is the ideal solution.


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