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Industry News

Published on May 3rd, 2017 | by The GC Team

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Consumers demand a more digital high street experience

Technology in UK high street stores is failing to match the online shopping experience and customers are demanding better.

This is according to Fujitsu’s new research, The Forgotten Shop Floor, which found that four in ten consumers are frequently disappointed by in-store technology. And while the benefits of investing in better digital tools are clear (61% would choose one retailer over another based on the quality of in-store technology), doing nothing is simply not an option, maintains Fujitsu, as three quarters of shoppers would choose Amazon or eBay over traditional high street names if either had a physical store.

Shoppers are demanding a more digital high street experience: almost half say in-store tech today is slow (42%), over a third say it is unreliable (37%), while a quarter say there simply isn’t enough to handle demand. As a result, three quarters say they can access more information than retail employees and 73% say they can get it quicker, leaving two thirds (65%) of employees using their own devices to try to bridge the gap.

“Today the next wave of digital disruption is happening in-store,” said Rupal Karia, MD, Retail and Hospitality, Fujitsu UK & Ireland. “Ecommerce has altered our expectations of the high street and we now expect physical channels to reflect digital ones and be engaging, personalised and hassle-free.

“The digital pace of change is faster than ever. Consumers will embrace retailers who can give them the experience they want, before they know they want it. The message is clear: consumers are prepared to spend more with the retailers that deliver digital and leave those that don’t.”

Statistics of interest

  • The most popular technologies being used in-store by employees are smart checkout (56%), mobile stock monitoring (54%) and mobile point of sale (48%)
  • 89% of employees use technology 2-3 times a day or more
  • 56% of consumers use tech every time they go in-store or once a week
  • 41% of consumers experience poor in-store technology ‘quite often’, ‘very often’ or ‘every time they go in-store’
  • 70% of employees admit customers can sometimes access more information than them using their own devices, and 72% say consumers can access information more quickly
  • 65% of employees use their own device on the shop floor to do their job more effectively
  • Consumers see the main role of the high street as browsing for products (49%) and the in-store experience (30%)
  • 75% of consumers would trust Amazon or eBay to provide a better in-store tech experience than their usual high street stores
  • 75% believe that if Amazon or eBay had a physical store, they would quickly become their preferred place to shop
  • 79% of consumers say a more positive experience of in-store tech (such as personalised vouchers) would make them more likely to spend more money in-store
  • The most popular in-store technologies that consumers would like to see introduced are personalised offers sent in-store (45%), smart mirrors (33%) and stores delivering purchases direct to their car through IoT (24%). Many consumers would also like to see VR technology (22%) and advanced biometric payments (19%)

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