IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 1 Feb 2016

What does 2016 have in store for customer experience?

As part of our post-NRF blog focus, we wanted to bring you another one of our takeaways for the future of retail technology in 2016.

Me-centricity is one of the “buzzword” terms being used to describe the refined focus on the customer, as their desires and demands for a personalised experience have increased. If retailers have been successful in provoking the ‘desire to acquire’ in the consumer, the next step is the drive to provide them with as much information as they require – product info, live reviews, suitability for weather conditions, etc. This personalised information gathering must work with the same success across all channels.

Our video footage of IBM’s Watson with North Face at 1 min 15 secs, an artificially intelligent shopping assistant, works online for shoppers the same way as real store assistants in the bricks and mortar environment, mimicking the processes and decisions that a human would make to give personal recommendations based on real scenarios.

IBM Watson

IBM Watson 2

When shoppers go online, these types of conversation help to promote real brand engagement. This is already an easy experience to have with a store assistant in the shop, when they know their product, and are efficient at carrying out retail processes for the customer, for example, if the customer wants the item ordering and delivering to their home.

As well as improving the store environment, the store needs to play a key role in supply chain processes. See our blog on the role of ship-from-store in facilitating greater profitability through maximising full-price selling, using the store as a virtual DC.

As always, it’s about joining up your retail offering across channels, ensuring that your stock is visible in real time, inventory is flexible ready to fulfil orders across any channel. As Retail Week’s latest industry snapshot revealed (LCP Consulting Report), retailers with omnichannel capabilities are twice as likely to report double digit growth.

We can help. If you’re planning to transition to an omnichannel model of retailing, get in touch with us to discuss Merret, our omnichannel supply chain solution, and the retailers we’re working with that are using it. Just contact us via this quick form, or call Head Office on +44 115 853 3910 to speak with one of our team.

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