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IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

Collaborate to Innovate! How Retail Collaborations Can Grow Your Business

  • 28 May 2019
Collaborate to Innovate! How Retail Collaborations Can Grow Your Business
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Executive Kate Moss and Topshop. Alexa Chung and M&S. Fearne Cotton and Cath Kidston. For years, celebrities have been teaming up with retailers to design their own, often limited edition, collections. Whilst the celebrity in question gets to add another string to their bow, retailers benefit from tapping into new audiences and engaging customers in a new and exciting way – often with a lot of hype. However, it’s not just celebrities that are getting in on the action. Increasingly we are seeing more and more collaborations between retailers, as brands are turning to other people with a different market share to work together to conquer the high street. How do retail collaborations encourage growth? The ultimate aim of any successful collaboration is that both parties benefit and take advantage of the market the other brings. This might come in the form of filling a gap in the market that previously existed, offering easier access to consumers or providing something strong and definitive that places both retailers far ahead of anything the competition can offer. An immediate PR boost can be felt by a retail collaboration as attention is drawn to the venture, which can also help with marketing. New contacts can be introduced, fresh and different expertise utilised, and ideas shared or implemented that were previously not possible. Doing things as part of a retail collaboration speeds up processes that may have taken a considerable amount of time. Potential new customers can be found and reached instantly, with all retailers involved in the collaboration being able to bring to the table the information they have collected over their separate trading experiences. What makes a successful retail collaboration? Like any successful collaboration, the best retail collaborations are based around shared agendas and aims. Retailers should offer goods that complement each other, but not be competitors, as well as targeting the same – or similar – audience. This means that joint audiences can be targeted and products offered together in a way that satisfies the customer and brings benefits to both retailers. In order for the collaborative process to be smooth, agreement on desired outcomes should be reached, and help brought in with the more practical and technical aspects of the collaboration, on a trading level.  Great retail collaboration examples include our customer, Oasis, collaborating with supermarket giant, Sainsbury’s, to have a store footprint within the supermarket estate. With Oasis’ fashion-forward designs, Oasis concessions have been carefully selected to be in Selly Oak and Sydenham supermarkets where Tu clothing performs particularly well. In the case of Selly Oak, its new flagship store, ‘complementary ranges (are) helping to make Sainsbury’s a fashion destination’ with Sainsbury’s clothing now accounting for £1bn of the retailer’s sales. Their partnerships allows Sainsbury’s to expand their fashion retail offering, whilst Oasis benefits from customers being able to pick up one of their dresses with the same convenience as a pint of milk. Other retail collaborations have been seen in Topshop Oxford Circus,…
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IT Managed Services - Retail Assist
  • 13 May 2019
Perk Up Your Productivity! Let our IT Managed Services increase your business’ efficiency
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Executive A lot has changed in the last twenty years. Fears of the Millennium Bug, dial-up connection and memorising phone numbers were the status quo and the concept of being on the phone AND on the internet at the same time would have been mind-boggling! However, 20 years ago, employing staff once meant a body of workers confined to one location, yet recent years have seen increasing amounts of businesses in all sectors adopt new working methods. The rise of secure Wi-Fi connection and laptop technology has meant that remote and flexible options are now commonplace and have widened talent pools to provide benefits to employers and employees alike. One working method being eagerly embraced by many retailers is that of IT Managed Services: outsourcing IT support to experts that support your company at extended reach. Retail Assist provides a number of Managed IT Services to leading retailers and hospitality operators across the globe, including the following: Help Desk Services, IT Outsourcing, Retail Systems Support, Project Management, Technical Services, Operations Support and IT Due Diligence. Here’s what your business can gain from outsourcing to our service provision. Specialist Knowledge and Expertise The biggest attraction of IT Managed Services is the ability to tap into specialised expertise and knowledge which is sector specific and may not be available within your own company. Whilst many IT experts may have a broad knowledge that covers many areas, finding those that have very specific skills and awareness of exactly what is needed in terms of the IT used in each individual industry can sometimes be challenging. Using IT Managed Services ensures that such expertise is easily accessible when required, without the time, effort or cost of recruitment, whilst also safeguarding against the threat of in-house experts leaving their current positions to go elsewhere. Cost Savings Costs are crucial to every business, no matter what the sector. IT Managed Services can help make significant cost savings, primarily by removing the associated staffing costs that hiring additional staff brings; office space may also be saved or utilised more effectively. Direct employees are able to focus on more value-adding activity, whist your outsourced teams take care of the day-to-day running of the business. Naturally, fluctuations in workload often occur in IT, so having a dedicated IT Managed Services team allows you to utilise the resource capabilities of the external team to your advantage to increase or decrease with market demands and your own teams can still focus on other important matters. Long-term and Proactive Approaches As IT lies at the centre of many businesses, having a system that operates reliably and without interruption is incredibly important. By using IT Managed Services, a proactive approach can be taken, which can allow problems to be foreseen and reacted to before they occur. Long-term strategies can be implemented, with the option for IT services to feature increased activity when needed, such as if a new project is due to launch. Expanded workloads can be reacted…
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Retail IT Outsourcing
  • 4 Jun 2018
Retail’s need for speed: beyond digital
Accelerating tech investment? Keep the customer in mind. Tech releases: the ASOS effect A few months ago, ASOS’ Nick Beighton commented that the fashion etail giant released 1,200 tech (code) updates in the last 6 months, double the number in the previous year. Visual search, try-before-you-buy, accelerating the use of AI: you name it, ASOS has pioneered it. Due to the increasing demands of customers for innovative technology within their shopping journey, some retailers have even released new software updates twice per hour, as they push to keep up with the likes of Amazon, ASOS, and soaring consumer expectations. Furthermore, 91% claim they will need to release updates even faster in the future. Excellent news for the customer experience – or is it? IT, can you support it? 74% of retail businesses have acknowledged that the “need for speed” in technology innovation could actually be detrimental to the customer experience (Dynatrace survey of over 200 CIOs in the retail sector). “Shoppers expect the steady flow of new e-commerce features and updates to work perfectly, without compromise. The challenge for retail IT teams is to deliver fast, while moving to a cloud native architecture and maintaining user experience” – Dynatrace. Putting the customer at the heart of your technology roadmap, and getting closer to them through technologies such as AI, is a common driver for IT focus this year. IT teams today spend a third of their time resolving issues, rather than focussing on business-as-usual, which can be detrimental to pursing an innovation-based strategy. 78% also commented that their business has experienced IT project delays that could have been prevented if IT teams could collaborate more easily and resolve problems more quickly. Check out how our IT Outsourcing model could support you to deliver faster projects with greater efficiency, and fewer technical errors. What’s more, we are supporting retailers with proactive incident reduction to ensure that technology issues do not impact on the customer experience.…
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