Out-dated tech ‘holding back retail staff’
Written by Peter Walker
New research has revealed that 44 per cent of UK retail staff think the biggest frustration in the industry is using outdated technology and a lack of training.
A survey of more than 500 retail workers by retail IT consultancy and technology firm REPL Group also found that job insecurity due to High Street closures was a major concern for 22 per cent of retail workers, while 15 per cent said that customers coming into store for advice, only to then buy the item online, is their biggest frustration.
“We are finding that a large number of retailers are being held back by their existing digital set-up,” commented Mike Callender, executive chairman at the REPL Group. “These retailers must invest in new technology to address the concerns expressed by retail workers and avoid being left behind.”
He argued that by deploying up-to-date instore technology, including point of sale upgrades, retailers will be able to overcome customer service frustrations by allowing its employees to easily place orders and check stock from the shop floor.
The research also showed that 70 per cent felt more flexibility on pricing to match online competitors and more accurate forecasting would result in higher levels of in-store engagement.
According to 18 per cent of respondents, their job satisfaction would be enhanced by having access to a customer’s purchase history when they walk into the store.
The study also found that 76 per cent of retail workers reckon their store has been left unprepared for spikes in demand of certain products, particularly in the lead up to major games during this summer’s World Cup and periods of extremely hot weather.
“From the poll, we can also see that the majority of retail workers believe the high street is currently too rigid and lacks the flexibility in pricing offered by online shopping,” commented Callender.
“Sadly, this could be the High Street’s downfall, unless store owners act on the observations of those working on the shop floor and provide them with the correct tools to overcome these issues, perform their roles effectively and offer a better level of customer service.”