One morning in central London, inside Fortnum & Mason, a group of high-level retail influencers came together to address a single question. How can retailers better harness technology in order to improve the customer experience?
Marcel Borlin, Chief Technology Officer for Carpetright, spoke first to explain the issue that led to the retailer deciding to upgrade its 450 UK and Ireland stores.
“We had a moment of realisation about six months ago, when we saw that our old store infrastructure and networks were not enabling us to provide a good customer experience. The first thing we did was to renew the networks, to reduce the amount of time it takes for a customer’s details to be loaded. Now we are taking out our old ERP & CRM, and putting in a new one, which will give us ability to do Point of Sale (POS) on mobile. Customers could then walk around with their measurements, scan barcodes, pay and walk out 10 minutes later.”
Whereas the process of buying previously took several store visits and up to six weeks, Carpetright is now harnessing technology to improve and shorten the sales experience, thus providing a viable opportunity to increase sales. Like the famed Amazon stores in America, the retailer of the future is seamlessly combining digital and experiential shopping for the customer. Putting the customer at the centre of the retail experience is vital, but technology is enabling retailers to improve and facilitate the buying cycle in store.
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