Jeweler personalizes in-store experiences with mobility
Helzberg Diamonds is launching a new concierge service — with a twist.
The jeweler is driving more personalization at store-level through a concierge solution. The mobile app, called Concierge, from Mad Mobile, is available to all store associates chainwide. The solution is designed to support clienteling, assisted selling, customer engagement and mobile point-of-sale.
Armed with Concierge, associates have access to information needed to improve productivity, efficiency and quality of service. With integration to the chain’s customer contact information, as well as preferences, attributes, purchase history, wish lists and loyalty information, the app will position Helzberg to deliver a personalized shopping experience in-store.
In addition to real-time access to product and customer data, it also gives associates access to product catalogs and inventory availability. With immediate insight to this data, the retailer is positioned to drive additional store traffic and sales, according to the company.
“After reviewing multiple technology solutions, we picked Mad Mobile because of their proven track record with large scale implementations, as well as the results of their clients, such as Talbots, is seeing with Concierge,” said Helzberg CIO Jeff Rohr.
Study: In-store mobile projects could generate huge sales growth
Retailers that harness mobility in-store are not only rejuvenating their in-store experience — they are primed to boost sales.
Retailers deploying in-store mobile initiatives effectively are projected to have an increase of 146% in sales growth in 2018, according to new data from Stratix and IHL Group.
According to data, retailers that successfully deployed mobile POS had a 24% average increase in sales in 2017, compared to retailers who don’t implement mobility in-store. Additionally, retailers that are underperforming with flat or declining growth – but reported deploying in-store mobile POS – saw a 100% increase in sales for 2017. These companies also predict another 47% growth.
These sales increases may be attributed to the personalized experience shoppers receive when interacting with an in-store associate using a mobile device. Moreover, sales associates can complete the purchase during the point of conversation as customers shop, offering the opportunity for associates to upsell and cross-sell merchandise, the study said.
While using mobile solutions in-store resulted in monumental opportunities for some retailers, data also reveals that other retailers still face significant challenges when implementing this technology. The five common setbacks repeatedly mentioned include:
• not having the proper applications in place (75%);
• lack of adequately trained staff in-store (60%);
• the scarcity of internal help desk support (59%);
• a shortage of acceptable payment options (47%); and
• difficulty managing mobile security because it is complicated and demanding (45%).
“At Stratix, we’re not surprised by these findings,” said Gina Gallo, Stratix president and CEO. “As the use cases and complexities for mobile has grown exponentially over the last 10 years, we see that most retail customers are seeking help with staff and support challenges.”
The survey confirms the deployment of mobile POS has hit some roadblocks. However, mobile POS will remain “an integral part of the planned enhancement of the customer experience at the store level in 2018 and 2019,” said IHL group principal analyst Greg Buzek.
“Despite the strong potential financial improvements that have been experienced by retailers enjoying the technology, there have been many reasons why other retailers have delayed the deployment of mobile devices,” he said. “These are often due to the many challenges being able to do deployments effectively and achieving ROI targets.”
Despite these concerns, the opportunities provided by mobile are significant, and with retailers embracing a third-party service to manage, support, and deploy these devices, the investment will be greatly beneficial.
“Choosing to focus on app development and support of the customer experience is the best use of retailer’s internal resources,” Buzek added. “Selecting a trusted partner for the other key challenges revealed in this research is the best approach for most retail companies.”
IHL: The fastest growing IT spend areas are…
As they compete in an increasingly digitally-influenced marketplace, retailers are stepping up their IT investments.
Retailers are expected to spend over $183 billion on IT solutions in 2018, according to “Retail IT Market Leaders – Competitive Profiles.” The study, from IHL Group, analyzes opportunities for IT services in the retail and hospitality markets.
Systems integration remains the single largest category of spend in services, garnering more than $27 million in investments. But the fastest growing areas over the next five years will be digital transformation (+224%), strategic IT consulting (+184%) and IT outsourcing (108%).
The services that are gaining the most attention include application development, systems integration, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
“The rapid retail transformation being forced by Amazon and Walmart, combined with scarcely available IT talent, is forcing retailers to increasingly look to outside partners for IT services,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. “This is specifically true in the areas of digital transformation, strategic IT consulting and general IT outsourcing, all of which we will see triple digit growth rates over the next five years.”
The data from the report coincides with ongoing growth in the retail IT services market, which is on pace to grow between $31.4 billion and $117 billion annually by 2021, according to “ At Your Service: Retail IT Services Market Study,” also from IHL Group.