RetailDive – The retail store brands of U.K.-based Arcadia Group, including Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis, are equipping stores with mobile devices that can be used to order products online while customers are in stores, according to Retail Week.
This broad deployment came after a more limited pilot program, and since expanding the in-store ordering service has accounted for more than 5% of online sales, according to published reports. It’s the latest evidence of a building trend among retailers to put technology in stores that would allow items that are out of stock or otherwise unavailable in a specific store to be ordered online on the spot.
It’s an important capability that can keep the possibility of a sale alive even if a desired product is not immediately on hand. There are a lot of ways to accomplish this, too. Tablets could be operated by associates, which appears to be the case with Arcadia Group, or devices could be presented in a kiosk format or provided to customers in some other self-service format. Regardless of the method, retailers seem increasingly willing to try this tactic.
A study from Boston Retail Partners three months ago suggested that as much as 89% of retailers plan to arm their store associates with mobile technology in the coming years.
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