Dispelling Technology Myths
Many retailers know technology can help their businesses prosper, yet tech myths continue to hold them back. These misunderstandings can relate to many types of technology, from retail software to an e-commerce website.
Retailers who empower themselves with tech knowledge can propel their businesses forward. Let’s dispel a few of the most common technology myths.
• Using outdated technology won’t negatively affect my business. This myth goes along with the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Maybe you’ll be lucky, and the implications won’t be significant. However, if retailers know that their technology is not allowing an area of their operations to thrive, they should evaluate the potential losses. For example, one of our retailers knew their previous technology was outdated, yet put off the project for years. After their conversion, they realized they had been losing $2M a year due to faulty accounting processes. And that was only one of the ROIs they achieved. It is always a good idea to take a close look at how sticking with old technology can impact you.
• Implementing new technology will be too difficult to undertake. This is one we hear all of the time. We’re the first to admit that a technology implementation is not necessarily fun, but you can handle it successfully. We have more than 400 retailer clients to prove it! The keys to success are clearly defining project goals, understanding how you expect your new system to provide an ROI, allocating resources, setting realistic time frames and keeping communication open.
• Technology is something only young people understand, and my target customers are not Millennials. For some retailers, it may not seem like Millennials (ages 25-34) are their target customers, but that’s the wrong way to think, as this generation is coming into its purchasing power in a big way. Millennials grew up with a completely different mentality about what defines a shopping experience, and technology is a critical component. A big part of this is having a strong online presence. It’s also important to carry a seamless technology experience in your showrooms. In fact, according to Accenture, “Eighty-nine percent of Millennials said having access to real-time product availability information would influence their shopping choices in terms of which stores they would frequent.” Examples of this are up-to-date e-commerce websites, mobile point-of-sale tools and merchandise kiosks.
• As a locally driven brick-and-mortar business, a website is not needed to support my business. Entrepreneur Magazine states that whether “you’re a one-man show or a 10,000-employee corporate giant, if you don’t have a website, you’re losing business to other companies that do.” Research across multiple sources indicates that browsing online is often the first step in a customer’s purchasing journey, and most consumers choose what two-to-three retailers they will visit from this research. Even if you aren’t ready to take on e-commerce, having a well-designed, mobile responsive website that showcases your brand’s value and product offering is essential in today’s market.
Technology is an undeniable force in retail, and the significance of it in your store is growing every day. Dispelling technology myths helps retailers take a closer look at how technology can help their businesses grow to the next level and position themselves for the future.