The future of retail: Keep It Simple, Stupid

keep it simple retail

Keep it simple, stupid, or K.I.S.S., is one of the oldest rules in the book, but one that is becoming more rather than less important to retailers as the industry gets more competitive and technology encroaches on every aspect of the consumer experience.

Even before the pandemic, the growing popularity of e-commerce was already putting extra pressure on bricks and mortar retailers. But studies conducted by McKinsey & Company shows e-commerce sales are at an all-time high with lockdowns accelerating years of growth.

On a positive note for bricks and mortar retailers, during the short spells in 2020 when restrictions were loosened, footfall arrived in great number proving that consumers miss the shopping experience and the joys of walking around a physical store.

Footfall will return, but it’s now up to retailers to explore new ideas and make extra efforts to satisfy customers’ needs when the opportunity arrives. The key to that is technology. Retail technology gives you the platform to better satisfy your customers by helping you concentrate on their needs. And happier customers mean more business.  

Those who can see the potential of tech without getting lost in its complexities have been able to grow faster and bigger, and how can you avoid getting lost in the complexities? Please keep it simple. In simple terms, the KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated

This exactly what Péarlaí provides for bricks and mortar retailers technology and simplicity gelled into one small V.I.P. fob. First of all, we insert readers into your shopping centre and stores, then allocate the V.I.P. fobs to shoppers.  

After that, the system runs automatically. Senior staff can review analytics including footfall, shopper demographics and dwell time. Automated SMS notifications are sent out to shoppers when they’re close by to inform shoppers about deals and discounts to help lure them in-store and customers can get discounts by showing the fob when paying at the counter.

The Failure of the Apps

 If new technologies aren’t easy to use and retail staff struggle to use them correctly, they don’t work, they are almost as useless as not adopting new technologies at all.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that staff will get frustrated when things get overcomplicated, and consumers will give up, resulting in an unsuccessful investment. This proved to have been the case with many retail apps in the past.

A recent study carried out by L2 Inc found that 44% of luxury retail brands have removed their apps from the app store since 2015. Meanwhile, 56% of brands with an app currently in the store have not updated it in the past year. 

It appears consumers might not be too fussed on retail applications on their mobile. Another study carried out by McKinsey revealed that just 4% of the shoppers surveyed had ever downloaded a luxury retail app, with many citing that they’d only be interested if it has something exclusive to offer.

Place simplicity at the core of your innovative ideas

In any leading business, there must be at least one eye on innovation. The world is a fast-paced and ever-changing place now and no longer can any company simply rely on the successes of the last ten or even 100 years to guarantee future success.

In its truest sense, innovation is the development of new ideas and the application of those ideas to the progress of your company. But as the retail app statistics highlight, you can’t just introduce new ideas without considering the customer experience, particularly within the retail industry.

Retail technology will gradually become essential, but you must ensure that your company’s technology is easy to use for your staff and customers and adds simplicity to the consumer experience rather than confusion or frustration.

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