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Get in touch with shoppers

By bringing touch-screen catalogues in-store, retailers will be able to collect customer data and boost sales.

As retailers aim to complete the  multichannel journey, many are now choosing to bring the online experience in-store.

Two retailers implementing such a strategy this month are Marks & Spencer and Ted Baker. M&S is trialling an in-store touch-screen catalogue called Style Online, which allows shoppers to browse products and create outfits on screen before buying. Meanwhile, Ted Baker has announced it is to begin rolling out Wi-Fi across its stores, installing  touch-screen devices in key stores.

One merit of installing touch-screen devices is that they allow retailers to capture data on their customers. By asking customers to enter information into the system, retailers can keep track of their experience with the brand online and offline. It also allows retailers to see how customers use the technology and gives them a chance to showcase their online expertise, which encourages customers to feel secure shopping online.

Kalyna Stiles, store business consulting director at technology company NCR, says the installation of touch-screen technology is easy and can have a positive impact on sales.

“Online ordering touch screens typically boost in-store sales by 3%, rising to 5% in best-in-class implementations. By making it easier for shoppers to get hold of the sizes, colours and product variants they want, retailers can minimise end-of-season markdowns and improve margins without holding excessive stock in-store,” she said.

“An ad received at home is never going to be as effective as one when you are a few feet from the actual product in a store. If the retailer can connect with an interested shopper inside the zone of where the majority of shopping decisions are made, they can increase sales.” 

Lynne Murray, brand director at 3D digital solutions company Holition,  agrees but advises retailers to implement marketing strategies and team training to make these solutions work.

“Helpful and informed in-store staff and instructional graphics can also support the experience,” she says. 

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