High street retailers run the risk of losing revenue if they fall behind on the latest in-store technology. Retailers who fail to upgrade out-dated legacy tech face losing customers, according to Fujitsu’s Forgotten Shop Floor study. A total of 61 per cent of consumers surveyed said that the quality of in-store technology impacts on their loyalty to the store, while 79 per cent agreed that a positive in-store technology experience would lead them to forking out more cash.
And it is not just the consumers who want to see the latest tech on the shop floor. Some seven out of ten employees said that customers are able to access more data via their personal devices than a shop assistant can provide with the technology available in store. To bridge that gap two-thirds of employees said that they are being forced to use their own personal devices while at work, because of inadequate in-store equipment. The same number also said that there simply isn’t enough technology to go around, even if it was good enough to use.
Rupal Karia, managing director of Retail and Hospitality at Fujitsu, said that the findings reveal a ‘sharp division’ online and in-store focus. “Over the past decade, retailers have invested in ecommerce platforms ahead of in-store technology,” Karia said. “Now employees lack access to the same level of information as the customers they serve, leaving them trailing behind and customers disenfranchised. Technology can enable staff to make transactions faster and slicker, as well as advising the customer – ultimately, delivering the exceptional, personalised in-store experience consumers demand.”
Karia added: “The high street absolutely still holds a place in consumers’ hearts, but it’s up to retailers to meet shoppers’ expectations. Shoppers want physical channels that are engaging, personalised and hassle-free, and employees are absolutely able and willing to deliver that – if they are equipped with the right digital tools.”
The main stumbling block appears to be the speed of the technology with half complaining that it runs too slow. Meanwhile 37 per cent claim that they can actually do their job quicker by ignoring the technology in-store. That said, 98 per cent of staff said that the introduction of new systems would have a positive impact on their role, with 88 per cent wanting their employer to pour more money into upgrading systems.