Which tech is being embraced most by UK retailers?

UK retailers are doing more and more to bridge the gap between their physical and online stores, new research from Hitachi Consulting reveals. In a study of UK retailers in the pre-Christmas period, click and collect and in-store wifi topped the list of most popular technologies, used by 77 percent and 74 percent of stores, respectively.

The study also revealed that almost two thirds of the stores surveyed offer e-receipts, and that retailers are experimenting more and more with new and innovative technologies. For example, 22 percent of retailers now offer the option to purchase items directly through social media, and 13 percent offer discounts based on customers’ prior purchase history.

UK retailers continue to bridge the gap between physical and online stores

Commenting on the research in a statement, Pierson Broome, Retail specialist at Hitachi Consulting, said: “One of the greatest challenges for retailers today is understanding that the person who just walked into your store is also the person who clicked on a winter coat online last night.

“Retailers are becoming smarter about offering technologies that can make life easier for consumers, but have cleverly adopted measures that also link a person in a shop to an online action, like e-receipts and click and collect. This helps stores to offer an ever-increasingly personal shopping experience without slowing down or annoying shoppers.”

The research also highlighted the technologies that are struggling to gain traction in the retail world, including MPOS - where retailers take payments anywhere in the store using a tablet device - and technologies which offer minimal benefits or are technically very complex to implement – like same-day or locker delivery.

“I believe that 2018 was the year where retailers put their ‘foundation’ technologies in place, and with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) firmly in place, 2019 will be the year of even greater transformation,” Broome added.

The study of retail outlets included fashion, lifestyle, recreation, food and drink, and health brands, collecting over 400 data points in the pre-Christmas period.

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