Retailers slow to adopt technologies that 'improve customer service,' claims survey

Retailers slow to adopt technologies that 'improve customer service,' claims survey
Click and collect and video screens are the most popular in-store technologies. image(c)iStockphoto.com/franckreporter

By Michael Somerville - 12:01PM - Mon 21st October 2013

Retailers in London’s West End are proving slow to adopt to new technologies that can improve customer service, new research has claimed.

Only 14 per cent of stores on Oxford Street and Regent Street offer free Wi-Fi and just 8 per cent offer assistance through tablet computers in store, a survey by Omnico said.

90 retailers for 17 different technologies uses were surveyed and found self service checkouts and mobile point of sale are used by less than 3 per cent of retailers on the two shopping streets.

“We’re a little surprised that technologies that improve customer service aren’t particularly prevalent in a prime shopping area of the West End,” said Steve Thomas, chief technology officer, Omnico. “Even the most popular technology – click and collect– which provides high street retailers with a simple way of joining together their online presence with the store is used in less than half of retailers.

The survey found that the most popular technologies in use by West End retailers are click and collect (44 per cent of stores) and video screens (35 per cent).

“Areas such as click and collect are just the beginning – savvy retailers have a ‘single view of the customer’ and are able to ensure that marketing campaigns are highly targeted and the experience in store is seamless with their app or e-commerce offering,” Mr Thomas said.

Almost half of consumers (44 per cent) say they are more likely to shop with a retailer that embraces technology to improve customer service, rising to 63 per cent amongst 16-24 year olds, according to a separate Omnico poll of 1,344.

In terms of the number of technologies deployed, the best performing retailers in the Oxford Street and Regent Street area are: EE, Apple, Carphone Warehouse, John Lewis and Nike, all utilising six of more customer-facing technologies.

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