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Is playing Big Brother the key to knowing your customer?

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Panasonic has launched its new range of POS systems gadgets this week, providing companies with new designs that hope to address the challenges retailers face. The new specialist retail Countertop POS cradle can be integrated with a retailer’s existing POS system, and is one of many ways retailers are trying to technologically stay ahead of the game:

“Panasonic Retail Solutions are designed to help retail staff take customers through the entire buying process in an easy and efficient process, whatever their preferred buying channel” said Francesc Castro, European Manager of Retail at Panasonic.

Data expert Mark Weston, Partner at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP believes that retailers need to keep on top of new technology, in order to ward of rising competition on the high street, allowing retailers to play ‘Big Brother’.

Weston highlights how devices such as a personal iPad allow consumers to shop with ease, while also collating information on what items have been looked at and ignored. Weston stated, “For retailers, it’s as vital to find out why their customers didn’t buy something as why they did”.

With changing buying behaviour, it is more important for retailers to track customer trends and purchases, while keeping up with an omni-channel age. Weston highlights that even CCTV can be used to keep track of customer spending, not just as security. Facial recognition is particularly popular with luxury brands, which allows them to check the database to see if a valued customer or celebrity has entered the store.

Ted Baker’s Westfield White City store has followed House of Fraser and Jaeger and installed beacons in its mannequins. Mobile technology then allows users to communicate in-store, finding out more information on selected items by downloading a Ted Baker app.

Weston suggests that automated software is also key to retailers, with companies tracking logos from social media sites and targeting individuals with personalised advertising and offers. “Through these methods, companies can gain insight on the interest and concerns of their customers allowing them to tailor their product and services accordingly” he said. Businesses can also track keywords in users’ personal emails, targeting potential customers with ‘specific advertising’. Big Brother appears as a norm in today’s society and key for retailers wanting to target current and potential customers.

Published on Wednesday 25 February by Rachel Gee

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