Smart retailers experimenting with omnichannel tech
In-store WiFi and Click and Collect have proven to be the most popular retail technologies in 2018.
Research from Hitachi Consulting shows that 77% of major London retail destinations have embraced the former, closely followed by the latter (74%).
Its study included fashion, lifestyle, recreation, food and drink and health brands, collecting over 400 data points in the pre-Christmas period. It also revealed growing experimentation in the industry with 22% now providing the option to purchase through social media, and 13% offering discounts based on prior purchase history.
“One of the greatest challenges for retailers today is understanding that the person who just walked into your store is also the person who clicked on a winter coat online last night,” says Pierson Broome, Retail specialist at Hitachi Consulting.
“Retailers are becoming smarter about offering technologies that can make life easier for consumers, but have cleverly adopted measures that also link a person in a shop to an online action, like e-receipts and Click and Collect. This helps stores to offer an ever-increasingly personal shopping experience without slowing down or annoying shoppers.”
Whilst some technologies are booming across the board, others are staying firmly in certain sectors. mPOS, for example, is generally practiced by a select few. Similarly, innovations that offer minimal benefits or are technically very complex to implement – like same-day or locker delivery – have also seen lower adoption than developments with a clearer ROI and a simpler path to implementation.
“I believe that 2018 was the year where retailers put their ‘foundation’ technologies in place, and with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) firmly in place, 2019 will be the year of even greater transformation,” Broome concludes.