Technology in retail has for some time focused on having a "flashy front end" to build customer experiences. But what is more important - an all singing / all dancing app or website for customers, or using technology to improve the business processes and supply chain to deliver a more efficient and effective service? It is a "chicken and egg" debate - unless you can attract customers, there is no point in having a great supply chain. Conversely, customers won't come back if the behind the scenes process and delivery doesn't match the promise of your website / mobile app. In reality, retailers need a little bit from Column A and a little bit from Column B........... As always, knowing your customers, how they like to shop and what is important to them is key to getting the balance right.
Each day we are inundated by wishful hearsay of where retail is headed and woe betide the companies who don’t embrace the cyber ethos. Of course, technology is fundamental in furthering the retail experience, but shouldn’t the focus be on improving support services, such as logistics, to improve availability and value for money? Thus, freeing up resources for the sales floor and improved human communication.