This past year has seen a plethora of new in-store innovations. In this new age where ‘too big to fail’ no longer applies, retailers have been eager to adapt their stores to meet the changing demands of today’s retail consumer. Some of the in-store innovations we’ve seen this year include in-store apps, drone delivery and frictionless checkout, while on the strategic partnership side there has been a growing number of ‘store within a store’ concepts, all designed to increase footfall. All these innovations demonstrate a willingness to adapt, however the barometer of success will be gauged over the coming months as we move into peak seasonal trading periods.
Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and the January sales, we know that this is the busiest time of the year for retailers. For the IT teams within retail, now is a time to cease implementing new systems, hunker down, and prepare for the barrage of consumers in every store, on every website, and on every app. This is the ultimate test for store infrastructure and omnichannel integration, any kind of downtime could result in significant lost revenue, not to mention the potential damage to a brand. The name of the game now is support and maintenance, ensuring that any issues are speedily resolved with minimal disturbance to store sales.
While the support and maintenance teams are on alert, it’s a good time for other IT team members to review how the store systems have performed during such a critical sales period and make recommendations for the year ahead. Many leading retailers are making it a priority to review their existing store technology and if necessary, plan ahead to deploy new in-store applications and services that can maximize the revenue opportunities provided by seasonal peak periods.
Here are a few factors that should be considered when gauging in-store effectiveness: