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December 8, 2009

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A Review of the Aberdeen Group Report: “The Automated and Connected Store”

by Marge Laney

by Marge Laney

“The Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), surveyed 138 retailers (between October and November 2009) to reveal that the foremost business pressures prompting a renewed focus on in-store experience include dynamic nature of customer buying preferences due to current market uncertainties (40%), and growth in sales channel preferences (40%).” – Alpha Trade Marketing, Dec 8, 2009 http://bit.ly/8MDTQ5

The report, “The Automated and Connected Store: Next Generation Shopping Experience,” clearly states the case for Retail 3.0.  I think the current recession has accelerated the need, but it is the internet that created it. The 3.0 internet experience gives the customer full control of their access to the product and information available at a given retailers website. The retailer, on the other side, has full visibility of their customers as they navigate through products, payment, and fulfillment. They can warehouse this data and use it to build meaningful “after the sale” programs that build repeat visits and brand loyalty.

Brick-and-mortar is stuck on Retail 1.0. Customer facing technology that supports the in-store experience is practically non-existent in apparel retail, which is my focus.  Self-service kiosks that support an in-store internet experience miss the point.  Consumers choose brick-and-mortar experiences for many reasons not the least of which is personal interaction.  If they wanted an internet experience, they would have stayed home.

Technology platforms that give customers access to “during the sale” personal service, give the sales associates visibility and control of conversion areas, and provide management with meaningful BI from which they can measure, analyze, and control the in-store experience in real-time are what is needed to improve not only the in-store experience but the KPI’s as well.

Full Disclosure: My company sells a tech platform that enables the 3.0 experience in the fitting room which is the highest conversion area for the brick-and-mortar apparel retailer.

© Alert Technologies, Inc. 2009

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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Feb 8 2010

    The technologies at Alert are excellent examples of improving the customer experience, but are even more important as a contribution to the value added service the sticks and bricks retailer provides whihc online resources do not. As customers are increasingly required to decide whether to go to a physical store versus making an onliine purchase, more and more the retailer has to provide a value added service that will draw the customer. Just as online stores use data analysis to improve their success, sticks and bricks retailers have to use smart technologies to improve what it is in a global sense that they provide in their comprehensive service to the customer.

    Reply

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