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IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

  • 25 Aug

Technology Brings Shopping in Store and in Hand

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Technology is transforming the in-store shopping experience and giving retailers extra efficiencies that help deliver increased operational effectiveness and better customer service.

With shoppers relying more on smartphones, tablets and with advances in online shopping, the traditional high street is sometimes considered to be on its way out, but canny retailers are using technology to breathe new life in to their stores. Technology cuts both ways and connectivity has provided retailers and brand owners with new and exciting opportunities to re-engage customers.

Retailing giants like John Lewis and Marks and Spencer’s through to fashion retailers like Coast and Oasis have switched onto the idea that using tablet devices on the shop floor can improve communication and collaboration between staff and customers – quickly becoming an integral part of retailers operating strategies.

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The developments in supply chain technology are also enabling brands, such as our customer, East to enable their stores to become retailing ‘hubs’, providing them with the ability to take orders from the web and dispatch them to the customer, or provide ‘click and collect’ functionality, meaning that the warehouse is no longer the central point for stock management. The advances in technology are enabling each location to provide a stock pool to offer the most convenience to the customer. Read more about how we helped our latest customer East.

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With technology driving demands to provide real time information, ensuring you have a central stock pool in place, such as Retail Assist’s Merret supply chain solution becomes vital.

From a consumer point of view, tablets on the shop floor enable retail staff to carry out multi-functional tasks. Tablet based applications are providing retailers with the means to check store inventory and manage stock control, whilst also having the ability to provide a more personalised service – taking the point of sale to the customer.

This change in technology has meant that consumers increasingly expect convenience, speed and choice as standard. With employees having access to real time product information across multiple channels, they can improve sales by sourcing out of stock items, generating increased interaction with their customer base, helping to establish brand loyalty and future sales.

Embracing omnichannel, joining up the customer experience across all channels, not separating it across individual ones has to be seamless. Smart brands are looking to re-engineer the experience in a way that puts the shopper at the centre of the equation. Argos for example is ditching its laminated catalogues in new stores for iPads, easy navigation, fast-track collection and free Wi-Fi. But stores remain important, in particular making it easier for shoppers to collect purchases within a few hours of buying online.

The warning, however, is that technology is only a great experience when it works, but when it does the opportunities are abound. The winners in the future will be those who can build an experience that takes the best from both digital and physical retailing.

If you would like any further information about our Merret supply chain solution then you can visit our website: http://www.merret.com/home or call us on: +44 (0) 115 853 3910. We are also on Twitter and Instagram, just search Retail Assist to see all the latest news and updates.

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