Retailers could win back £9bn with in-app stock tech
Written by Hannah McGrath
High Street retailers could stand to gain up to £9 billion in sales by exploring new technologies that enable customers to check whether a product is in-store locally, according to a new study.
A report by retail technology firm NearSt and trends forecasters The Future Laboratory suggested that three quarters of shoppers would rather buy from local retailers than online if they know the items they want are available in-store.
The report stated that deploying Real-Time Local Inventory (RTLI), an emerging type of data that shows where products are stocked in shops, could enable customers to use their smartphone to check whether an item is in store nearby.
The report also found that using RLTI and other retail technology to drive footfall back into shops could provide a £534 million to London’s retailers, by generating an average of seven extra shop visits per UK adult.
Nick Brackenbury, co-founder of NearSt, said it’s a case of going back to the future for retail.
“Our parents would shop locally for a lack of other options, but benefited from the convenience, service, and community of buying nearby,” he explained, adding: “We’re close to a future where the best elements from that past will be unlocked once again, where your phone will know that the shop down the road has what you want, rather than an online shop shipping products from hundreds of miles away.”