Retail innovation group, HighStreet Collective, launched their first quarterly report that measures the top 12 technologies used in brick and mortar retail. This is not your run-of-the-mill, tech-speak-for-fellow-techies report, however.
"In-store tech should no longer be measured solely on up-time and functionality. It should be measured on shopper adoption of the technologies," says Ed King, co-founder and shopper behaviour expert at HighStreet. "What good is technology if shoppers don't use it, or if it doesn't help move the needle?" continues King.
The 19-page report, to be published quarterly, was designed to help guide retailers and brands in the right direction by showing living retail examples (good and bad), by identifying insights regarding evolving shopper behaviours and by rating shoppers' technology expectations inside the store using an easy-to-understand 1-10 scale.
Fellow contributor and HighStreet co-founder Laura Davis-Taylor who co-wrote Lighting Up the Aisle, widely recognised as the 'industry Bible' on the use of in-store technology a decade ago, thinks the time is right to raise the bar when it comes to retail.
"Retail has lagged behind the technology curve for years, and it's no wonder legacy retailers are losing ground to Amazon and other online-native retailers who are now opening brick and mortars," says Davis-Taylor. "Today's shopper has evolved, and they bring with them heightened expectations when they shop...they expect the in-store experience to be authentic, friction-free, and story-driven. These are all things that in-store technologies can help."
Sanjay Gidwani, the third contributor to the report, and HighStreet's global strategist was once the founder and CEO of a retail chain in Australia, and has worked for global powerhouses Harrod's of London and Prada.
"As a fellow retailer, I understand there's an allure to use 'cool tech' to modernise the store. But using tech for tech's sake is the biggest mistake retailers are making today," says Gidwani. "This report can really help directors, VPs and the C-suite in all sectors of retail become smart at in-store tech without learning the tech-speak that usually goes with it. We created it for retail minds, not the pocket protector group, and the 1-10 scale is easy to get your head around."