It is clear bricks-and-mortar is evolving, not dying. The physical retail industry is realigning to meet changing shopper demands, to cater for new digital innovation, and to provide a seamless experience for customers across all trading channels.
This movement is no secret; it’s a trend we’ve seen gain pace over the last few years. But the specifics of what it all means for retailers, and how their future businesses will look, is gradually becoming clearer.
There is a drive within the sector to increase productivity, enhance store experiences, and to attract and retain the best staff for a new digitally-influenced shopping world. It’s an exciting process and one which presents huge opportunities for the sector.
ShopperTrak joined the who’s who of the retail industry at the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Retail2020 event in London on 16 May, where the subject of ‘the journey to better jobs’ was at the forefront of discussions.
BRC Director General, Helen Dickinson, warned retailers that they need to beware the seismic changes ahead. This evolution, she said, is being influenced by four key forces for change: finance, technology, people and social.
In the face of the UK’s National Living Wage, rising business rates and increased competition from online players, there is a growing feeling that retailers need to get the most out of their front-line staff and make the sector an attractive place to work. Get this right and they will have the foundation for greater customer satisfaction and general business improvement.
There is a growing need for multi-talented store associates, who are as comfortable using technology in the store to serve shoppers as they are at the fundamentals of good customer service. With the right approach, retail can provide rewarding careers and achieve positive commercial results in a tough environment.
ShopperTrak is at the heart of the retail evolution and, as such, we are featured in a new ITN Productions film that investigates how the industry is moving forward. The Changing Face of Retail premiered at the BRC event, providing an illuminating showcase for the challenges retail is facing.
Much of the film focuses on how digital transformation is fuelling the creation of new job titles and new customer experiences in retail, and it neatly demonstrates how a combination of technology and people can create a platform for successful business.
ShopperTrak customers feature prominently in the film, with Andy Collyer, General Manager of Hammerson shopping centre Westquay, Sophie Ross, Head of Multichannel at Hammerson, and John Crossick, Managing Director of Thomas Sabo, offering their insights in front of the camera.
Our very own International Accounts Manager, Murray Wright, also appears in the production, to emphasise the difficulties retailers face in tying together their customers’ online and in-store shopping journeys.
The ShopperTrak Analytics Suite, including our ability to track consumers’ mobile phones anonymously in a store environment, and provide business intelligence on how people engage with a retailer’s store, played a starring role in the film. This technology is already being used by Thomas Sabo, and Crossick explained how it helps the jeweller better understand its customers, as well as plan store rotas and create relevant marketing plans.
In the future, Crossick wants Thomas Sabo to further invest in technology that helps store associates know exactly who their customers are when they walk into a store, so his business can offer as personalised a service as possible. That’s the future of retail, and ShopperTrak is already helping Thomas Sabo and other retailers make this detailed level of shopper insight a reality.
View ShopperTrak’s appearance in The Changing Face of Retail, an ITN Productions film unveiled at the BRC’s Retail 2020 event on 16 May.
Sensormatic News Desk