modern technology

Technology In Retail: The ‘Get Them In The Door’ Edition

We all like to wax nostalgic about the days when life was simpler when we weren’t all tethered neurotically to multiple flashing, blinking devices all competing for our attention, dodging from screen to screen every waking minute. It can sometimes seem as if modern technology has a lot to answer for, not least because it was all sold to us as making our lives better.

World of Choice

But despite the moaning and groaning, we can’t honestly argue that modern technology hasn’t improved our lives in just about every way imaginable. That goes twice for the retail world. Those of us who are long-time retail managers- veterans, if you will- have seen incredible advances in the technology available to us. It is now smaller, slicker, and cheaper than it has ever been, and there is a world of choice, allowing savvy shoppers to dodge the super brands to build an agnostic, independent system that will last. If you’re not quite there yet, perhaps these tips on retail display technology will set you on your way.

Common misconceptions

It’s tempting to think that there’s a disconnect between bricks-and-mortar retail and digital technology, or that high-end display technology doesn’t belong in a store that sells more basic, less glitzy products. While we can all see why a computer store would need high-end digital displays, or why the super brands invest, does every shop and retail premises really need to go digital? The best answer to this is probably, ‘Why not?’ Don’t allow mistrust of technology to make you or your staff overestimate the expense and logistical concerns involved in harnessing the digital revolution to make sales. There are little ways in which every retail premise, however modest and every day, can win new customers and get more out of their existing customers using technology.

Back to basics

First, consider what you want your new technology to achieve, and what customer problems it can solve. Perhaps you can make it easy for customers to check stock levels while the desk is busy, compare prices online, or cement your presence in their minds by encouraging them to visit your website and ‘like’ your social media presence. Or maybe you would prefer to use it like a digital photo frame, displaying promotions, offers, and seasonal signage as well as positive brand content, such as product, staff, and customer photos. What resources do you already have which are available online, or which you can easily make available? What value can you add to your customer’s shopping experience using online or digital resources? It may be that you’ll want to ask a software developer to build a program to do a job that is invaluable to your customers, such as allowing them to see your products in their own homes, put together their own bespoke items from your stock, or order online.


The easiest way to start is to mount a small tablet computer on a standing post, on the wall, or on a tabletop. Buy one from a retailer who understands the unique challenges of business use by the general public. It should come with a serious warranty, branding, and an industrial-quality screen protector as well as a repair and maintenance and technical support contract.

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