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Tapping into Technology to Ease Pressure During Peak Shopping Periods

In this piece for RetailTechNews, WWT's Kelly White explores the technologies available to cater to customer demand.

Posted by RetailTechNews on March 6, 2018:

In this piece for RetailTechNews, WWT's Kelly White explores the range of technologies available to ensure retailers can cater to customer demand.

Digital disruptor Amazon has decided to take on the high street. A few weeks ago, the online giant unveiled a brick-and-mortar store, Amazon Go, which eradicated long queues and the checkout process. Installed throughout the store were a number of infrared cameras and scanners to detect what shoppers are picking off the shelf, and then charging it to their account as they leave the store, leading to a far more seamless process.

This shift to eradicate queues is transforming the retail sector, and we are seeing a number of other established stores embracing similar technologies, for example Walmart and Sainsbury’s have launched ‘shop-and-go’ smartphone apps that allow customers to complete their entire shopping trip using just their mobile phones as point of sale devices.

With Amazon Go, and other similar innovations, pushing the boundaries of brick-and-mortar retailing and changing customer expectations, it is essential that other retailers ask themselves what can be done to improve their customer experience and ease any pressure they might face.

Luckily, there are a variety of technology options available to help more traditional retailers succeed.

Internet of things (IoT) technologies have been used in the back office to track and replenish stock for a while now. However, retailers are now beginning to reap the benefits of a front-end IoT experience, using IoT-technology directly to improve the customer experience, bringing connected technologies to the shop floor. For example, sales processes are becoming more fluid as portable Point of Sale (PoS) devices are being placed in the hands of both customers and employees, enabling orders to be made before checkout and in some cases even before the customer has entered the store.

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