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Now is the time for brands to take charge of their digital transformation through new technology!

Posted 15 September Allan Gallop

There is no doubt that technology is embedded into every part of our daily lives. From smart homes telling you to take an umbrella due to a risk of rain, to discounts being sent directly to your phone when you walk past a retailer. The biggest drive for this is creating a seamless customer experience that is better than your competitors.

The look, feel and ease of use is the biggest driver for a lot of new technology hitting the market. However, we find ourselves in a saturated market with retailers, pubs and restaurants following the trend rather than setting it and investing into new technology.

This paradox is not uncommon to notice. When EPoS first hit the market, it revolutionised how brands could manage their stock and allow easier and more efficient payments. Now we see self-service kiosks being installed into QSR brands across the UK and guest Wi-Fi access is now an expectation of added value. Customers now expect a certain level of service that has been enhanced by technology.

Brands that have not recognised that technology adds value may be slow adopters, however, the time is now to invest and exceed expectations with customer experience across the board. This proactive approach towards technology is what will set brands apart.

Taking a broad look at brands in Retail and Hospitality, you’ll notice a lot of tablets, TVs and smart phones, it is also the technology that you don’t notice that has an impact on customer experience.

Marks and Spencer have an RFID stock management system implemented in store to ensure that they can track the movement of their items. If there is too little stock on the shop floor, this will be flagged on their system and subsequently replenished. This ensures that customers will always have access to the size, colour and variety of items that they expect.

Alternatively, more restaurants are using kitchen management systems to manage cooking times and to communicate between front and back of house waiting times. This adds transparency and allows staff to communicate this back to the customer. This communication allows a customer to feel cared for. Ultimately, all enhancing the customer experience.

There is a serious digital transformation in the marketplace. From understanding each individual customer through data capture to behaviour mapping and understanding those behaviours. Retailers, restaurants and pubs are looking to integrate technology to boost customer engagement and thus grow customer trust and loyalty and then enable the more traditional element of cross-selling and up-selling.

In the next few years, you may find yourself sitting in a restaurant, making your choice of meal from an interactive table. Alternatively you could find yourself shopping for a pair of jeans you found on social media, you’ll be able to scan and pay for it using the brand’s app.

The next step of customer experience is giving the customer complete control of the experience and journey they wish to take. Now is the time for brands to take charge and dictate the technology they want to enable them to achieve their proactive technology strategy towards customer experience.

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