Arcadia Group’s seven brands — Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis – are all getting their own online ordering in store service.
Developed to improve in-store sales, efficiencies and customer service, the dedicated assisted sales application connects online with offline to bring all the benefits of the website to the physical store. Recently other retailers have seen the advantages of in-store online tech, with Pets At Home rolling out customer service iPads and then a dedicated in-store customer help app.
Designed by Arcadia’s connected retail technology partner Red Ant as a fully branded customer-facing application, the system allows sales colleagues to provide a speedy, well-informed service for customers, reflecting each brand’s existing high-quality online shopping experience.
The iPad application, above, fully integrates with existing retail web services, systems and data from across the business to empower colleagues to provide excellent customer service:
- Fully transactional checkout, full stock visibility, and the ability to click and collect from other stores
- Allows sales colleagues to order items for customers from central stock that are not available in store
- Fully integrated for real-time product information, gift card transactions and promotions
- Single-screen checkout designed specifically for assisted selling with iPad tightly integrated with wireless Bluetooth Chip & PIN device to process transactions in seconds
Additionally, because the application was built on existing integration work and the award-winning interface developed for the Arcadia brands’ consumer mobile applications, Red Ant was able to deliver the service with unprecedented efficiency and a faster speed to market, giving colleagues an intuitive, easy-to-use experience that also minimises training.
A multi-brand limited-store pilot demonstrated the commercial potential of the solution and generated invaluable staff and customer feedback and rich performance data. Online ordering in store has since been rolled out to some 1400 UK stores, and continues to receive very positive feedback from customers and colleagues alike as the service is enhanced in response to feedback. Commercially, the service has proved to be an important addition to Arcadia’s multichannel offering, and now accounts for more than 5% of online sales.
Simon Pritchard, Group Digital Director of Arcadia Group, says of the project: “Arcadia Group is always looking for exciting ways to develop our business and encourage new ideas and innovation that will resonate with our customers and improve their shopping experience, both in store and online. With online ordering in store, combining Red Ant’s technology and wider industry experience with a highly customer-focused, evidence-based development process has delivered a major advance against our ambitions to provide a richer and more connected experience in store.”
Dan Mortimer, CEO at Red Ant, adds: “We’ve been working closely with the Arcadia Group for several years now and we know that Arcadia’s customers expect a well-informed, personalised service. Our technology empowers sales colleagues to deliver a truly connected store experience, bringing the convenience and simplicity of shopping online into the store and contributing to the Group’s overall innovation and connected retail ambitions.”
The move comes amid warnings that bricks and mortar retailers are losing custom because of poor in-store tech. According to the data collected for the Fujitsu research, The Forgotten Shop Floor the gap between online and in-store technology means that customers can access more information than staff, according to 7 in 10 UK retail employees. Nearly three quarters also say shoppers can access information more quickly,
Retailers are at risk of not only missing out on potential revenue, but even losing customers as a result of poor in-store technology; 61% of consumers say the quality of in-store technology impacts their loyalty, while 79% say a positive experience would make them likely to spend more in-store, warns Fujitsu.