Retailers invest in-store to compete with growth of online, Samsung study finds

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Retailers believe investment in the in-store customer experience is vital to compete with the growth of online retail, according to research from Samsung Electronics (UK).

It found 72% of retailers agreed with this statement and almost all of those surveyed (94%) state the future of the in-store experience will depend on developments in technology.

A further 41% claim to be technology ‘pioneers’, striving to be the among the first to adopt the latest retail technology. However, only 35% have adopted relatively established technologies such as tablets in store and even fewer have embraced emerging technologies such as video walls (22%).

Graham Long, vice president, Samsung Electronics (UK), said: “Through this research, we wanted to get under the skin of the industry to really understand the needs of retailers. It’s clear technology is at the forefront of retailers’ minds, particularly when it comes to increasing footfall in a hyper-competitive market in which bricks-and-mortar retailer are losing out to online retail. In order to stay competitive, in-store retailers must make the customer experience a good as it can possibly be. By keeping up to date with developments in technology, being aware of the range of solutions available and investing wisely, retailers of all sizes can maintain their competitive edge.”

Moreover, 53% of those interviewed claim that failure to address the changing technology needs of customers is likely to result in a significant competitive disadvantage, while only 6% say they will experience little or no competitive disadvantage. This suggests there is not only competition with online but also with fellow bricks-and-mortar retailers as 69% claim the use of technology is crucial in differentiating themselves from the competition.

Furthermore, over half (54%) believe developments in interactive and connected technologies will better assist with selling opportunities, singling out display screens as the most likely technology to increase spend in store. In fact, 59% of small and independent retailers said they are likely to increase spend on display screens and digital signage in the future.

The research was revealed at Samsung’s inaugural Retail Hospitality Summit last night in which senior industry decision makers from the UK’s top retailers, analysts and opinion formers came together to discuss the future of technology in the sector. Guests were given the opportunity to see Samsung’s latest technology for the retail sector first hand through a series of specially designed and themed experience zones. Incorporating third party solutions including Media Zest, NCR, Verifone and Total Immersion, Samsung said it delivered a compelling proposition for the future.