Contrary the doom and gloom that we so often read about in the media, Freshminds Talent has had a busy start to the year. One of the recruitment drives we’ve noticed throughout our Graduate, Select and Interim teams is that many firms are investing a great deal in their multichannel offering. In recent retail news, I wasn’t surprised to hear that more and more brands that know and love all seem to be in agreement that investment in technological innovation is well worth it.
Be it 3D images, touch-screen technology, click-and-collect, facial recognition (yes, really; Citroen use this to gauge the average demographic of potential customers making for more targeted marketing techniques), QR codes or connected TV, the technology world is moving fast and it is vital that retailers keep on top of these developments. Whilst many of the above technologies have been around for a little while, it has only been very recently that they are truly starting to shape the way consumers shop, and there now seems to be something of a sense of urgency around this amongst many retailers. As Waitrose sum up; “[t]here’s a perception that you’re falling behind if you don’t have the latest technology”.
Whilst each retailer has a different agenda, it is agreed that investment in new technologies is key to building consumer loyalty and increasing spend. All very exciting stuff, but with this comes inevitable challenges, especially for more ‘traditional’ retailers. Surely one of the most immediate challenges is that whilst many consumers have embraced “e-tailing” and all that comes with it, others still need a bricks-and-mortar experience, and retailers are forced to strike a balance in catering for both customer profiles whilst keeping control of the company image and offering. There’s no easy answer, as whilst it seems to me that the future of retail does depend on technology, it will be interesting to see how retailers cater for all consumer needs amongst increasing pressure to out-tech each other in a space that is still relatively new for them.
Facial recognition photo by Andrew Grill on flickr.