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retail sphere. Consumers can now run a
price comparison very quickly. Many of
them now operate with the ‘mobile
mindset’. Gone are the days when they
will just settle for what’s available.
More and more businesses are now
harnessing Big Data and mobile to offer
a tailored and personalised experience.
Consumers are increasingly accustomed
to the convenience of online. All of this
means that customer expectations are
rising. There’s pressure on retailers to
deliver an in-store experience that meets
this demand for higher standards.
From a security perspective, due to
this ever-more complex and competitive
environment, there’s also less margin for
error for retailers themselves. Perennial
problems in the sector such as employee
and customer theft, damage to goods
and high administrative costs make an
even more significant impact on slim
margins and profitability.
To remain successful, today’s retailers
are rethinking how they approach
everything from distribution to
technology as well as recruitment,
marketing and supply. It’s a challenge
that requires collaboration across
specialisms, among them security and
Of course, much of the focus for retail
has been at the front end of the
customer experience. Of increasing
concern, and even more so recently, is
the ‘behind the scenes’ aspect, with
issues in the supply chain affecting
retailers’ ability to provide a consistent
service for their customer base.
Fashion retailers have reported that
they’re being forced to close shops and
delay openings and deliveries as the so-called
‘pingdemic’ impacts supply while
members of staff have to isolate. All at a
time when retailers need to be seen to
be ‘returning to normal’.
Given the overriding imperative to
deliver an outstanding customer
experience, when linking goods with
consumers – preferably in-store – the
focus has to be on customer care.
Intelligent security technology holds the
key to helping retailers tackle the
challenges of raising standards and
protecting assets. Systems can be put in
place to create improved processes.
Understanding the solutions available
– and, necessarily, the impact they will
have on retail operations – is critical for
harnessing the opportunity to help
retailers prevent loss and enhance profit.
Customers can be kept waiting while
members of staff hunt for a charged-up
mobile device to respond to requests on
stock levels or product information. The
installation of an automated
management solution would mean such
essential equipment is immediately to
hand and ready to use.
When it comes to eliminating losses,
the same intelligent technology can
render staff more accountable for
maintaining and protecting company
assets. Integration capabilities allow a
full audit trail that can reveal exactly
who has removed which device, when it
was taken and when it was returned,
resulting in equipment being used more
effectively without the need for arduous
and costly manual administration.
An effective key management system
minimises downtime and cuts
unnecessary costs for the host business.
KPMG has explored the critical signals
of change currently influencing the
global retail environment and why the
market is evolving, suggesting that “the
entire definition of what it means to be a
retailer is changing”.
The retail sector is at a critical
juncture in its recovery. While we’re not
out of the woods with the ongoing
debates around face masks and the
‘pingdemic’, retailers do have an
opportunity to embrace data-savvy
consumer expectations and thrive.
Here, it may perhaps seem
paradoxical that technology can be a
driver of disruption in the retail
industry, as well as an important part of
the solution. Yet we’ve seen that experts
are encouraging retailers to invest in in-store
infrastructure to meet the
challenges of the new retail landscape.
By making administration processes
feel ‘invisible’ to the consumer, asset
management technologies can render
the in-store experience feel every bit as
seamless as online. Collaborative
working means that retailers can still
keep logistics moving from the port to
the factory and on to the High Street.
Critically, they can focus on
delivering the premium in-store
experience consumers have come to
expect and, ultimately, succeed in the
new retail landscape. •
Matt Gregg is Business Development
Manager for Retail at Traka