Retailers need to focus on MultichannelTuesday, 03 May 2011
Technology is fast progressing and something retailers must face - We have had the rise of e-commerce, the birth of m-commerce (business conducted on mobile phones), and there has even been talk of F-commerce (selling through Facebook), but there is still room for yet more buzz terms in the sector.
Now the question is how can retailers afford not to invest in the latest technology?
Andy Tudor, formerly in system development at Aurora Fashions and now Head of Multi Channel at Retail Assist says, ‘Across the industry companies are looking to integrate with customers and enterprise through social media and technology. Consumers feel compelled to be part of the whole social electronic experience so retailers have to be cognisant of that and adopt the latest technology.’
One thing is certain the pace of the changing retail landscape has been incredible and that if companies don’t quickly get to grips with consumers’ new preferences they may never catch up at all.
US insiders have found a new catch phrase to sum up the consumer/retailer dyamic; ‘me-commerce,’ the idea that technological decisions need to be made considering both ecommerce and m-commerce. Furthermore it highlights the importance for retailers of putting consumers at the centre of all transactions.
Tudor adds, ‘It is essentially the retailer putting itself in the mind of the shopper, supported by the appropriate IT service provider or the internal IT function, to shape what tech means to the consumer,” he explains. “This is the most appropriate way of strategising how to interact with the customer now and in the future.”
Retailers striding ahead on technological investments include designer, Burberry, Asos.com and the Aurora fashion group who are all using multichannel opportunities to aid sales growth and international expansion.