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Retail Innovation: What the future holds for brick and mortar stores

Online shopping continues to disrupt the retail sector. While in-store sales still make up the majority of revenue for retailers, traditional brick and mortar stores have been struggling to keep up with the pace of change as more shoppers turn to the internet for their shopping trips. However, new-technologies are beginning to now disrupt the […]

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IT challenges grow for established retailers

Life is not getting any easier for store-based retailers as the online specialists continue to outspend them with their larger IT budgets, which will likely put greater power in the hands of these smaller operators as they continue to commit more capital to new technologies. According to the new Martec International report (IT in Retail […]

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Airport retailers on different digital plane

Distinguishing between retailers successfully navigating the digital world and those failing to acclimatise to the revolutionary change now taking place around them can be quite tough when you are on the outside. What might make this task easier is if we took it as a given that retailers who successfully operate airport stores are much […]

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Not yet a cashless society

Through the evolution of payment options from paper and coins to electronic methods, many have been quick to speculate the rise of a cashless society. The Cooperative supermarket’s recent report on consumer behaviour and spending predicted that by 2025 mobile payments will take over cash and card payments. Stalwart, the Royal Mint responded, defending cash […]

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Revolution in retail employment

Online sales continue to grow at a fair clip – from a present base of 10-15% of total sales across the whole retail industry – and with this, the landscape for employment in the sector is at the early stages of a revolution. Until this point retailers have used rubber bands and sticky tape to […]

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Small independent retailers need to embrace digital

Everybody likes Independent shops. Even those people who never cross the threshold of such businesses would undoubtedly say they are great fans of them if ever questioned in a survey about their shopping habits. What this says about surveys is that they have to be treated with a little dose of scepticism – some more […]

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Time to think about artificial intelligence

Retail’s Big Show (organised by the National Retail Federation), aka NRF, in New York City each January is the big opportunity for IT suppliers from around the world to showcase their latest retail technologies. Most are simply the latest iterations of existing solutions and as such there are never many genuinely radical things on show […]

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Critical evolution of Point-of-Sale

Not that long ago retail technology was predominantly about Point-of-Sale (PoS) but things changed dramatically following the earthquake known as the internet, which disrupted things dramatically and in its wake myriad new IT solutions hit the industry. But PoS solutions still remain at the heart of in-store activities. They just happen to have developed into […]

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Retailers must up their game online or lose out to rivals

There’s a bloodthirsty battle going on for shoppers online and making the situation even more cut-throat is the fact that 77% of shoppers would be likely to switch to shopping with an alternative retailer next Christmas as a result of a poor online festive shopping experience. These are the findings from the second annual JDA/Centiro […]

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The delicate task of handling technology

Let’s face it technology can be a real pain. It costs a fortune to implement and then it never really does what you want it to do. Retailers have had their fair share of pain over the years from being over-sold the next big thing that’s been hyped to the hilt – only for it […]

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Retail’s disastrous use of social media

Arguably the most important customers to retailers are those whose spending power will increase over time and who therefore represent the future revenue streams of merchants.   These are the younger generation and it is they who are, not surprisingly most courted by retailers, advertisers, and brand owners. Everybody wants their custom. What connects these […]

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Unwanted self-service checkouts in the shopping area

For years shoppers have been told that they really do like to use self-service checkouts. But do they? Well, judging by the findings of a recent bit of research by Morrisons, consumers don’t actually like self-service checkouts. In fact, it found a whopping 96% of its customers prefer to use a staffed checkout. Not surprisingly […]

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Delivering the Holy Grail in the land of hype?

The Americans have a reputation for selling well and have managed to become world renowned for their ability to convince us of the worth of their products and services – with hype playing its part in this. There are few areas where things are as over-sold and over-hyped as technology – especially in Silicon Valley. […]

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Changing world but consumer demands remain consistent

Retailers might well be adapting at a rapid rate in order to keep up with digital trends but they can at least console themselves with the fact consumers the world over all seem to have the same requirements. The over-arching demand is for convenience. From Australia to China via Russia they all want shopping to […]

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Multi-channel and omni-channel – you’ve had your day

Retail Insider has waded into the debate about the term omni-channel before – siding with the camp that think it’s a redundant term. Our belief has been that it was merely invented by consultants and other ‘knowledge providers’ as the next solution to sell because they’d wrung all they could out of multi-channel. In reality […]

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Shop Direct – hero of UK e-commerce?

Is Shop Direct the real hero of UK e-commerce? Lots of retailers selling online have been held up as the next big thing in the sector – particularly in Shop Direct’s fashion category – I’m thinking of Asos, Boohoo, and even Burberry off the top of my head. But not really Shop Direct. These others […]

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Waitrose tackling increasingly complex customer journeys

Today’s myriad customer journeys have made things so complicated for retailers. Where once it was simply a case of customers walking into a shop and buying the product, we now have numerous channels that have created a complex web of touch-points for retailers to manage. Speaking at Retail’s Big Show, organised by NRF, in New […]

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The future of retail is technology and it is here now

Do you think about technology? Probably not I suspect because it is all around us and so ingrained in our everyday lives that it has drifted into the background and we are not conscious of it per se. In its various forms – from smart-Phones and tablets to SAT NAVs – it is ubiquitous. Consider […]

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Can we please ban the word omni-channel

All industries are full of their acronyms and useless words and none more so than the IT sector. One of the most annoying to have appeared is omni-channel, which the software industry has helped foist upon the retail industry. Where once there was multi-channel now there is omni-channel. Supposedly it is the step-on from multi-channel […]

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New era of apps

When you think of apps your mind is undoubtedly filled with consumer-facing applications that make life easier and more entertaining. But what we’ve yet to see, certainly in anger, is the use of apps for business-focused activities. But it is starting to happen and the potential for it to impact greatly on the retail sector […]

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Technology divides pure-plays and old-school retailers

The departure of Kate Bostock from Asos this week undoubtedly highlighted the gulf between the go-getting online fashion operators and the established clothing retailers. Kate Bostock: sign of the great divide It has shown how there remains a great divide between the mind-sets and skill-sets of individuals from large organisations – with their rigidity and […]

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