Seven ways to use technology to improve your customer experience and transform your store.
Amidst the ongoing high street downturn, there are a number of retail brands in the UK who are fighting back, surprising economists and cynics by not just staying afloat but thriving, expanding and increasing sales year on year.
Stores like JD Sports, Dr Martens and Primark are opening stores rather than closing them and expanding globally. Even online-only Amazon have moved into bricks and mortar in recent years.
So what’s their secret? How are these brands tempting customers into their stores and selling vast amounts of product? While limited edition and exclusive product ranges help, in our experience the key to high street success lies with great customer service and an incomparable experience, enhanced with the latest in digital technology.
Before you ask, Primark makes the list because they invest in clever store design (forcing shoppers to navigate the length of the store to reach the next level of escalators and pass hundred more items? Frustrating but clever), plus their flagship stores have some of the most innovative video walls in Europe, including an enormous transparent screen in Madrid
Amazon’s foray onto the high street has attracted media attention through their groundbreaking use of tech and data to provide a unique experience tailored to the user. The tech is relatively new but not unheard of, it just hasn’t been used in a retail setting before, and not to the same degree.
What is it that makes in store technology great? We look at seven ways that the high street can fight back:
Innovation not imitation
JD Sports stores are popular with shoppers because they are the first to roll out new tech and experiences including social media walls, interactive mirrors and self-ordering. Retailers can’t get away with just installing screens and hoping it improves footfall.
Keep it Simple
Any technology should be easy to use and understand. It should simplify or enhance the customer journey not make it more complicated.
Make it Meaningful
There’s nothing to be gained by installing technology for the sake of it. Be clear about what problem you’re solving from the very beginning.
Align with Brand
If your store aesthetic is more rustic craft than futuristic, then a shiny metal box will feel off brand. Luckily, new design techniques mean you can add a wooden frame or branded panels to technology to create a seamless look.
Digital transformation and integration are a huge investment and not one that companies will make lightly. Any solutions that you invest in must stand the test of time, deliver ROI and have options to upgrade as technology moves on.
Seamless integration across all channels is the best way to make your instore technology feel like a key part of the brand. Solutions which integrate with websites, social media and are easy to update and report on present the shrewdest investment.
Supportable (training and implementation)
Working with a digital partner who can design supply, install and maintain your in store solutions makes sense to ensure your technology continues to perform at the highest level.