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How retailers can embrace the latest technologies

In the April issue of the magazine we spoke about the digital revolution and how important it is for retailers to embrace technology. Take a look on page 45.

There are plenty of examples of retailers working with the latest technologies to propel their businesses forward, become more efficient and reach new people. James Frost, the CMO of Worldpay explains why retailers need to get on board sooner rather than later.

Why do you think it’s so important for retailers to embrace digital?

Technology has become such a pervasive influence on our daily lives that our judgement on whether a business is professional, reputable and reliable is increasingly driven by their use of modern technology. Research conducted by Worldpay last year found that three quarters of shoppers claim to trust retailers more if they can see modern technology being used in store.

Technology is driving fundamental changes to the way consumers expect to engage with high street boutiques. According to our research, 80 per cent of shoppers want retailers to use technology to make the in-store retail experience more compelling, including offering services that help reduce queues, and make the check-out experience smoother.

What software would you recommend to fashion retailers?

Independent fashion retailers should look for systems that help them multi-task, from analysing sales, to managing stock, taking payment, responding to emails, and issuing invoices, all in one fell swoop. Retailers’ business cannot be limited by their payment system in this fast changing market.  They should not have to source other systems later and attempt to try to technically “stitch” them together.

Great technology need not be beyond the means of small businesses. Our own all-in-one tablet based till My Business Hub has been designed to put the very best in payments technology into the hands of small and independent businesses, at a price they can afford. 

What benefits can retailers expect from implementation of this kind of technology?

Operated with a detachable Android tablet, My Business Hub offers the flexibility to serve customers anywhere in-store. Taking sales away from the till and to the customer is a great way to reduce congestion and offer a personalised service to customers.

One of the biggest headaches many boutique owners face is the need to juggle a number of different tasks at once, not only attending to customers, but also managing the day-to-day administration of their business, from finance to marketing.

Research we conducted last year found boutique owners typically spend around a fifth of their time on paperwork and admin. Having technology at your fingertips to help you manage your business without having to abandon the shop-floor can save you a lot of late nights. Smart till systems like My Business Hub, enable you to access a single view of cash and card transactions at the touch of a button, helping track performance, view sales trends and gain valuable insights about your business. And automated reconciliation of cash and card payments will drastically reduce that daily admin burden, helping you focus on what you do best: growing the business, and delivering great customer service.

What other ways can retailers embrace digital technology?

Consumers still have a strong connection to the high street, but technology has transformed their expectations. Today’s digitally driven shoppers want to be able to research their purchases online, seek advice from staff in-store, pay in any way that they choose, and return items at the click of a button.

Technology is available to help retailers connect their digital and physical store environments to offer consumers the seamless experience they want. The most successful retailers will be those capable of anticipating consumer demands, engaging with them in ways which are meaningful, and ultimately make their lives easier by removing the hassle from making a purchase.

In-store mobile point of sale devices are increasingly popular among boutique owners because they help cut queues by allowing sales staff to take payments directly on the shop floor from a tablet device. These internet-enabled devices are also put your full retail inventory in the palm of your hand, ensuring you never miss out on a sale, even if an item happens to be out of stock in-store.

Services like click and collect, and the ability for consumers to check online whether items are in-stock before heading to a store, are also increasingly popular, and by no means beyond the reach of small and independent retailers.