IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 19 Sep 2011

Retail Systems Multichannel Summit Roundup

Alex IevinsLast week Ellie and I attended the Retail Systems Multichannel Summit, not only to see our Head of Multichannel, Andy Tudor on the Mobile Discussion Panel, but to pick up some insight from those in the retail sector.

The day was really useful, with a great line up of speakers and presentations. The top retail insights for me were as follows:

  1. Use of personalised offers – Retailers need to take advantage of multichannel data to gain a single and well informed view of the customer and subsequently generate specialised communications, relevant to them based on previous shopping habits / channels used. Consumers are becoming more and more turned off to generic emails and marketing activity.
  2. Existing Legacy Systems in the Multichannel World – Retailers are currently struggling with existing separate legacy systems, which are not necessarily efficient for the Multichannel world. Many retailers are allocating budget to overcome these issues.
  3. The ‘Digital Native’ generation – A key area for retailers to take note of. The next generations’ habits are very different to ours.  Connected 24/7, preferring instant messaging to emails or texts. Searching via You Tube as opposed to Google. They want information now, and are much keener to take the opinions of friends or seek reviews via social networks or forums to determine a purchase. They are no longer loyal, and instead on the hunt for a bargain, whilst at the same time liking high end items.
  4. Mobile shopping – the majority of retailers are investing in mobile optimisation, with growing levels of smartphone ownership. Statistics suggest Android is currently taking the lead in the UK. Mobile shopping is also not just for small items, but also for big ticket items. For example John Lewis recently had a £3,000 sofa purchased via a smartphone, probably after in-store viewing.
  5. The movement of PC to Tablet device – whilst much of the focus is on mobile right now, the tablet device is making waves. It was suggested that we will see fewer and fewer PCs, and instead people will be purchasing via tablet devices much more frequently. We have also recently seen the likes of Aurora Fashions using tablets in store.
  6. Interactive Appliances – the future will see us interacting with home appliances which will remain connected and can order on behalf of the consumer. For example, there may be devices on fridges which monitor food quantities, and when levels are running low order for the customer. It was suggested that consumers may change from once a week delivery to once per day!

Who knows where future generations will lead retailers, but here is the thinking for now.

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