In store technologies in 2015 (Part 1)

shutterstock_126762266Richard Cottrell, sales and marketing director, Vista Retail Support tells Talk Retail about how 2015 will be the year of integration technology.

2015 promises to be another exciting year for the retail world – but there are two technology trends that will really stand out from the crowd.

Firstly, the use of smartphones and tablets by customers will only rise in prominence. Secondly, certain technologies that have been around for a few years will move closer to the mainstream, thanks to new developments or enhanced integration with established systems.

When it comes to the use of smartphones, retailers may be a little jaded with all the talk about their potential as an in store marketing channel. But it is clear that it is an under-exploited channel.

A remarkable 91% of respondents in a recent Vista survey had never received a retailer’s offer on their smartphones when they were in a store, yet 81% said they would react positively and take up such offers. The poll showed that 40% would also welcome being sent price comparisons while in-store.

The likelihood is that in 2015, the more savvy retailers are going to wake up to this potential and start installing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology that connects retailers to customers, with information about offers and products travelling one way and data about customer demographics going the other.

Another smartphone-related technology set for uptake involves beacons which map the movements of shoppers by tracking their mobile devices. This is not brand new, but it is growing in sophistication. Not only does it provide analytics about customers, but the newer versions also act as a kind of in store Sat Nav and customer service agent, guiding shoppers in large premises to the products they are searching for.

Among all this in store mobile technology, perhaps the giant that will awake for UK retailers in 2015 is Apple Pay, Apple’s payment system which links to the iPhone 6 and its finger-print recognition technology. Apple already has hundreds of millions of subscribers to iTunes and once Apple Pay goes live in the UK, it may well give a big boost to biometric payment methods, which use unique physical characteristics as secure identifiers, doing away with the need for PIN numbers.

Hear more from Richard Cottrell about payment technology, wearable technology and what RFID is, in part two.

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