IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

Blog Archive

  • 13 Jan 2020
Retail Assist’s Marketing Team Are Finalists for the CIM’s ‘Marketing Team of the Year’!
We are delighted to announce that we are finalists for the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards in the category of ‘Marketing Team of The Year’! The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the world’s leading professional body for marketing, with over 30,000 members worldwide. This award recognises the marketing team that has been instrumental to the success of their organisation through measurable results and a collaborative and strategic approach to marketing. Chris Daly, chief executive of CIM, said: “We have seen many outstanding entries this year, and the breadth of entries clearly demonstrates our profession’s hard work over the past 12 months. For over a decade, our Marketing Excellence Awards have recognised the industry’s achievements and high achievers, but, this year, picking a shortlist has proved harder than ever. “I would like to offer my congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted; they represent the very best in the UK’s marketing talent.” It’s a huge honour to get to this stage and, as ever, a reflection not just of our immediate marketing team but of the wider Retail Assist team as a whole. Alex Broxson, Head of Marketing, said: “We’re up against companies such as Hello Fresh and Birdseye, so we’re already delighted to be on the list! I’m so lucky to work with such a brilliant team, and I’m very proud of the results we have achieved. Go Marketeam!” The winners will be announced at the award ceremony in London on 2nd April. Fingers crossed!…
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How Digital Technology Has Shifted Retail Experiences
  • 13 Jan 2020
Tech-ing On the Future: How Digital Technology Has Shifted Retail Experiences
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead What comes first? No, we’re not talking about a chicken here. Instead, which comes first in this instance: does a good retailer follow the shifting demands of a customer or, instead, lead them to develop new expectations? Whether you think in-store retail experiences have been altered by forward-thinking retailers, leading their competitors to play ‘catch-up’, or whether you believe it’s more driven by consumer wants and needs, at the centre of every side of the argument lies one thing: digital technology. NRF 2020: Retail’s Big Show takes place in New York City today and tomorrow; with the angle of ‘2020 Vision’, the show promises to showcase the technology that retailers can adopt to have a ‘visionary’ digital strategy of the future. But the future doesn’t need to be a far away concept: so what can retailers do to future-proof their store estates now in order to provide a positive customer experience? The obvious place to start: online sales The headlines reporting online sales are certainly nothing new and although the media depiction of the “war” between online sales against the high street is obsessively tracked, there’s not been a substantial change for some time. In fact, the latest report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that online retail sales (as a proportion of all retailing) stands at 18.7%, with online sales accounting for 18.2% of sales from clothing, textile and footwear stores. So, why shop online? Whilst there are certainly many benefits of trying on clothing in-store and walking away with your new purchase within minutes, not everyone has access to the stores they want to shop at on their local high street and consumers increasingly have access to quicker, more convenient technology that allows for speedy delivery, all from the comfort of – well, from wherever and whenever you want to shop! Its importance within our society cannot be underestimated. But it’s not just how we work or shop or even socialise that technology has had an impact on; it’s also encouraged customer expectations to evolve and now retailers must swiftly react. Wider product exposure As technology has made it easier for a customer to browse through multiple items and styles, via many different channels, so have retailers had to embrace technology to provide the wide range of products to satisfy this. Getting as many items seen as possible has become vital for modern retailers to survive; if a customer can’t see what they want in a retailer’s selection, they will quickly find it elsewhere. The 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) insight report ‘Shaping the Future of Retail for Consumer Industries’ states that retailers need to “build a greater understanding of and a stronger connection to increasingly empowered consumers”, later adding “the traditional measures of cost, choice and convenience are still relevant, but now control and experience are also important”. Putting the power of choice into the hands of the consumer can also be harnessed by store staff utilising technology such…
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Mint Velvet Customer Testimonial
  • 6 Jan 2020
“We’ve Had Retail Assist with Us All the Way”: How Retail Assist has underpinned the growth of Mint Velvet
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead We’re kicking off this new decade with a celebration of our own decade-long partnership: in the latest in our client testimonial video series, we spoke to Laura Boyd, Trading Director at Mint Velvet. Since we started supporting Mint Velvet in 2009, their business has grown from one shop to well over one hundred high street locations, a growing international presence, with Drapers reporting that turnover at Mint Velvet’s holding company, Sabre Retail Fashion, has risen to £101m. Laura said: “Retail Assist has been our partner since the birth of Mint Velvet. We partnered with Retail Assist right on day one to get the business up and running so, from that very first store that we opened in Chichester, to now, where we have over 150 locations on the UK high street and a very big digital ecommerce business which actually accounts for 50% of the brand’s sales, we’ve had Retail Assist with us all the way.” Click here to watch the video on YouTube. How do we support Mint Velvet? We provide complete IT support services for Mint Velvet, including our first-line Help Desk support, technical services, 2nd-line store systems support (including store openings), IT project management, business and network comms support, data centre (including support of machines, back-ups and operational support) and our supply chain software solution, Merret, and data exchange solution, Ra-X. Mint Velvet have been using our omnichannel supply chain, Merret, since 2009. “The reason the solution’s so valuable is that it really is an end-to-end solution for us,” Laura explained. “It provides everything the team needs in head office, so they have the back-office system for raising purchase orders, which is the very beginning of the process, and has the WSSI, which allows the teams to manage the stock, sales and intake through the business. “We also have an international presence now: we trade internationally in bricks-and-mortar stores and digitally. Again, Retail Assist has been the partner that has allowed us to do that and has supported that journey.” This has been through our software solutions and Help Desk support to their stores. How has our partnership evolved? Reflecting on the partnership, Laura said: “The high street and the way in which people have shopped has changed and, as it changes, we’ve needed to evolve the way in which we operate. Along the journey, there’s been many times we’ve requested enhancements or changes to the product and every time this has been required, together, as a team, we’ve been able to deliver what we wanted. “Retail Assist has been very open and supportive to changing that product to support our needs.” We’re here to support your expansion plans for this decade – and beyond! Click here to get in touch or email info@retail-assist.co.uk.…
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