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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

West End retailers shy of store tech

West End retailers shy of store tech
Thursday October 24 2013

Study of Oxford Street and Regent Street retailers finds lukewarm use of technologies that can improve customer service and save potentially lost sales

A new report has found retailers on the two busiest shopping streets in the UK’s capital are slow to adopt new instore technologies. That’s the finding of a report by retail technology provider Omnico, which has completed a street survey of Oxford Street and Regent Street in London.
Despite the growth of internet shopping and more than half of consumers owning smartphones, the study only 14% of stores in the area offer free Wi-Fi and just 8% offer assistance through tablet computers instore. 

Even though 200 million people visit the West End each year, queue-busting technologies such as self-service checkouts and mobile point of sale (MPoS) are used by less than 3% of retailers surveyed on Oxford Street and Regent Street.

High Street store tech audit 
Omnico audited over 90 retailers for uses of 17 different technologies, such as click & collect, self-service checkouts and interactive kiosks. Retailers use an average of two technologies, while 30% of retailers don’t offer any of the technologies at all. The most popular technologies in use by West End retailers were click & collect (44% of stores) and video screens (35%).

In terms of the number of technologies deployed, the best performing retailers in the Oxford Street and Regent Street area were: EE, Apple, Carphone Warehouse, John Lewis and Nike, all of which had deployed six or more of these customer-facing store technology enabled services.

Mind the retail technology gap
“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, Omnico chief technology officer. “Even the most popular technology, click & 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.
“Our study also revealed that there is a large gap between those retailers adopting technology and those that aren’t. Only a handful of retailers on Oxford Street and Regent Street are using technology to enhance customer experience, leaving the majority of retailers behind the curve.”

According to a separate poll conducted by Omnico and released earlier this year, almost half of consumers (44%) suggested they would be more likely to shop with a retailer that embraces technology to improve customer service, rising to 63% among 16-24 year olds.

Tagged as: West End | Regent Street | Oxford Street | customer-facing | click & collect | Wi-Fi | MPoS | queue busting | tablets | kiosks | self-service | Omnico