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Sunday 19 May 2019


Tech innovation is biggest challenge for retailers

Written by Peter Walker

Keeping up with technological innovations remains the greatest challenge faced by retailers, according to Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE).

Research of over 7,500 retail professionals by the trade show revealed that keeping up with technology advancements was the number one challenge identified by 35 per cent.

Issues around meeting customer experience was cited by a quarter of retailers as the greatest barrier facing their organisations, while driving and retaining customer loyalty (6 per cent) and delivering personalised services for shoppers (6 per cent) also featured in the top five retail challenges.

This was mirrored by customer frustrations around the shopping experience, with a lack of omnichannel integration between online and in-store leaving 71 per cent of UK consumers disappointed, according to recent shopper research from Vodat. While another poll by PCMS found 84 per cent of shoppers put their decision to shop with a retailer down to the levels of personalised customer service.

Concerns around competition and saturation of the retail market were also cited by 10 per cent of the retailers polled by RBTE, which also reflected uncertainty around the changing role of retail stores and retailers’ operations – a theme highlighted in the second Grimsey Review that suggested the current high street crisis could leave 100,000 shops empty within a decade.

Matt Bradley, show director at RBTE, said business leaders must now, more than ever, define and prioritise driving digital transformation into their own strategies, whether through omnichannel customer service, payment options, product access and clever shipping opportunities.

“The evolution of technology within the retail and is shaping how consumers behave and interact with brands,” he added.

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