The retail technology week in quotes
Here are the comments that caught our eye this week
“The same pick ‘n’ mix approach people now take when it comes to music, television or the news is expanding into payments, as consumers take advantage of new technologies to pay in a way that suits them.
This rapid rate of technological change is set to continue over the coming decade, as people embrace the ever-widening number of ways to pay and manage their finances, depending on their needs and lifestyle. However, technology is not for everyone and cash remains a payment method that is valued and preferred by many, so maintaining access to cash will be vital to ensure no customer is left behind.” Stephen Jones, Chief Executive at UK Finance
“We are living in exceptional times, with an extraordinary burst of retail innovation, driven largely by digital developments...The digitisation of the food and CPG industry has already disrupted and transformed the industry, yet the story has only just begun.” Susan Barratt, CEO, IGD
“Voice payments is akin to what happened with mobile maybe 10 years ago or even with e-commerce 20 years ago. The potential is phenomenal.” Amazon Pay VP Patrick Gauthier
“The news that Matalan is defying the retail sector gloom reflects an intelligent and reactive strategy. Matalan, much like Primark, another low-price retailer, is one of the retailers thriving in an industry seeing a barrage of closures and bad results. Interestingly, both are succeeding for very different reasons. Matalan is focusing on its online presence and blending the online and offline experience to retain customers, while Primark is investing in the in-store customer experience.
At the end of the day, consumers will spend wherever they get the best combination of choice, convenience, price, and experience. Matalan’s advantage over Primark is its acknowledgement of the online shopping boom, investing in online to meet the needs of how consumers want to be engaged now, adapting to changing consumer behaviour and finding ways to create a stand-out experience by bringing together the benefits of online and offline.
While Primark has poured their energy into the in-store customer experience with bold attempts at experiential retailing – with add-ons like the Disney café and hair salons – Matalan has focussed on creating a strong online presence. On the one hand, Primark avoids the shipping and logistics infrastructure and additional financial overheads of handling a large amount of online sales. But Matalan’s recently reported 50% increase in profits goes to show that low-cost retailers can benefit from an online presence, while still keeping prices down and making a profit.” Manu Tyagi, Associate Partner, Retail and Consumer Goods, Infosys Consulting
“New technologies have unlocked a level of potential that would have been unimaginable just a generation ago. All regions agree that there is a need for digital transformation and that a change in leadership mindset is required to do this. However, how they go about tackling this, and which technologies they prioritise, differ – which is fascinating, and offers a chance for international peers to learn from eachother.” Poppie Mickleburgh, Director of Tech.
“With retail conditions the toughest they have been for a decade, politicians must act to support the successful reinvention of our High Streets and local communities. Business rates remain a barrier, preventing many retailers from investing in their physical space. We have a broken tax system, which sees retailers paying vast sums of money regardless of whether they make a penny at the till, and yet the Government is failing to act. The legislation is falling behind the technological revolution.” Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium
“The news that May retail sales took their biggest slump in 24 years serves as a stark reminder that bricks and mortar retailers urgently need to adapt in order to survive in today’s competitive retail landscape. These retailers are struggling to survive because they are falling behind the tech trend. Rather than competing against the online world of e-commerce, retailers should be adopting the right strategies to complement it and accommodate changing shopping habits.
There is a clear opportunity here for bricks and mortar retailers to innovate, harnessing all of the capabilities that technology now provides, such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things both through digital and physical channels, to enhance the customer journey. This will also provide real-time, data-driven insights that retailers can use to improve their interactions with customers and ensure their stores remain competitive in the digital transformation age.” Leigh Moody, UK Managing Director, SOTI
“There are clear disparities in attitudes towards drones between business and the wider public. It is also strikingly clear that the potential of drone technologies is not fully understood. The drone community across industry, government and civil society needs to change the public discourse from one of uncertainties and toys, to one of opportunity and accountability.” Elaine Whyte, UK Drones Leader, PwC