Oxford Street retailers invest in technology to boost Christmas sales

Virgin Media Business: retailers investing in technology in-store and online

Virgin Media Business: retailers investing in technology in-store and online

Retailers on London’s Oxford street are investing in technology to improve the in-store and online experience in the run up to Christmas, according to research conducted by Virgin Media Business.

It found Niketown has attendants taking payments on mobile devices and 23% of the flagship stores on Oxford Street are offering in-store order online touch screen terminals for store collection or delivery. 

Debenhams is offering a free coffee Friday via social networking site Four Square and John Lewis has announced plans to offer free Wi-Fi to shoppers in all its department stores nationwide by Christmas.

Online, the flagship stores are making huge strides to attract and retain shoppers, said Virgin Business Media.

Many are moving beyond traditional e-commerce solutions and are capitalising on the growing trend towards m-commerce – whereby shoppers can do their online transactions on a mobile device.  

Research showed 61% of the flagship stores in Oxford Street have a m-commerce offering and 46% have an app. With the BRC and Google saying mobile searches for retail offerings have grown 168% year-on-year, this is set to be a huge opportunity, said Virgin Business Media.

Phil Stewart, director, customer service, Virgin Media Business, said: “Christmas is one of the most profitable seasons for retailers. Last year’s online Christmas sales hit £2.8bn, up 44% from the year before. And, with £1.00 in every £10.00 now being spent online, it’s likely this year will be even more. But it’s a multi-channel approach that will hone and improve the customer experience and ultimately make a retailer successful.

“New high bandwidth connectivity options for UK retailers are enabling the use of more and more innovative technology solutions to improve the shoppers experience and provide that essential USP to attract customers in a highly competitive market. 

“By making the right technology decisions, both in store and online, both retailers and consumers stand to get the benefits from this new digital era. For me, I’ll be looking forward to browsing and ordering my friends presents from the comfort of my sofa, or maybe on the move on my smartphone – rather than facing the crowds this Christmas.”