As Mark Neale, founder of Mountain Warehouse and a customer of Enactor, often is heard stating “The high street is not dead, it just needs to change.”Enactor’s mission has always been to help retailers be more flexible and ensure technology isn’t what’s holding them back.2020 has certainly delivered its fair share of challenges, all so familiar there’s no need to share them here, but what we’ve seen are retailers that flex quickly are the ones that suffer the least.
For example, Dune, another Enactor customer, used our technology to facilitate order anywhere and receive anywhere, leveraging their store network for customer deliveries and collection. Flexible inventory management means they can use online orders to drive footfall into stores.
The point here is that digital and physical assets should not be siloed, they should work as a cohesive part of a retail strategy. Some of you may remember the Mary Portas and Government initiative to breathe life back into the high street, which didn’t really deliver, primarily because it lacked an integrated digital strategy.
You can’t stop people buying online, it’s too convenient, but if you explore ways to integrate it into a holistic experience for the consumer, everyone wins.
Click and collect is the obvious choice, but it’s still surprisingly difficult because of legacy technologies that can’t flex and manage inventory appropriately, and OMS’s that can’t combine web and POS.
New technologies offer ways to do this quickly, but retailers need to be brave and leave the comfort of legacy technology behind them.
With 93% of consumers stating they still shop on the High Street (e-commerce foundation), there’s a lot of opportunity out there, you just have to make it attractive for consumers, and give them a reason to engage.
Convenience is also a significant factor, people shop online for exactly this reason so how can you replicate this in store? Making payments faster, easier and flexible is one way. Accepting more types of payments and enabling payments on staff-held mobile devices means the customer is never far away from a purchase.
The technology is there, modern systems focus on omnichannel at their core, as they’ve grown up with that as standard, and they are much faster to launch and change. Don’t let technology hold you back.