Failure to fully embrace digital technology has seen the demise of many retail giants. The collapse of Woolworths, Jessops and BHS would have been unthinkable a decade before they went under. They followed a tried and tested business model, but it didn’t acknowledge a large shift in consumer shopping habits.
Even now, other major retailers are ignoring the signs. They haven’t recognised the value in adopting digital technology to deliver an engaging customer experience. Toys R Us is the latest casualty, with Maplin in administration and both Mothercare and New Look amongst those reporting major concerns.
Before the rise of online shopping, long established brands ruled the High Street. The business plan for the majority of these retailers focused on investing in more stores; bigger premises in which to offer the customer ‘everything under one roof’. Shoppers were happy to browse the packed shelves and rails. Competition was limited and sales were strong.
The internet switched power to the buyer. With a wealth of options at their fingertips, the consumer could demand quicker service, better prices and the convenience of shopping from home. Smaller retailers jumped at the chance to set up an online store, but larger retailers were slow to adapt; online shopping wasn’t seen as a real threat to their established business.
The downfall of many leading brands can be blamed on unfavourable economic conditions and spiralling overheads. In truth, the business model no longer delivered what customers desired; a personalised shopping experience.
It’s clear that the only way to survive on the High Street is to completely rethink retail, from a customer orientated perspective. How are potential buyers encouraged in and engaged during the shopping experience?
Digital technology is proving fundamental in delivering personal customer service. This stretches beyond a few minor changes to tick the technology box, it’s rethinking the store design and how it can be enhanced with technology.
Mobile PoS devices allow employees to move out from behind the cash desk. They are free to engage with shoppers, check stock and process orders on the shop floor.
Arbor’s Mobile PoS technology allows the sales team to directly approach and serve the customer. Mobile, hand held PoS devices, including Arbor’s G0830, provide staff with valuable information, including special offers, inventory updates and buying behaviour, at their fingertips.
With a hand held device, everyone can generate sales. The changing room assistants, the security offices, the person manning the in-store sampling table; they can all deliver comprehensive and informed customer service that boosts sales.
The appeal of online shopping includes convenience, so how can this be delivered in store?
With digital signage it’s possible to provide self-service kiosks and information portals, with cross or up-selling opportunities. Connection with audio technology enables voice activated searches to ensure that customers are served efficiently. There’s no need to wait for a sales assistant to become available; technology delivers what’s needed.
Arbor’s Digital Signage solutions are widely adopted by the retail industry as a means of delivering engaging window displays and instore advertising. Our ELIT Series including the ELIT-1900 offer a reliable, multi-channel marketing solution to fulfil many retail applications.
Multichannel digital signage can provide relevant entertainment, information, recommendations, product reviews and style tips as you shop. Seasonal offers are out; instead the shop becomes responsive to daily trends and individual shopper’s actions.
At the core of customer satisfaction is choice. Some shoppers want to linger, interact and browse, whilst others want a quick and efficient service. Success comes when a store is able to effectively blend technology and in-person service, to offer choice.
The benefits of digital technology aren’t limited to customer service. Technology can track every action and gather data. This provides real time insights into shopper behaviours and sales. It supports efficient stock rotation, supply chain management and even in store security. In summary, digital technology streamlines retail operations and this makes it a valuable tool.
Arbor’s UK based team are happy to discuss your requirements and make recommendations based on your application and budget. Our digital technology is specifically designed to support long term reliability, low power consumption and ease of use.
Whether you are interested in Digital Signage or Mobile PoS devices, get in touch with Arbor UK on 01908 310100 for further information.