Halfords has unveiled a retail first as its Leamington Spa store trials a new smartwatch service which will help staff pick items ready for customer collection
Working with retail technology specialist Red Ant and Samsung, Halfords is launching a trial with a range of in-store tablets for customer use as well as phones and smartwatches to help colleagues pick click-and-collect orders.
Currently more than 90 per cent of Halfords online orders are click and collect, and the new technology from Red Ant, in partnership with Samsung, promises a smooth customer experience which will offer a fully connected service, based on tablets, phones, fixed displays and smartwatches:
- Members of staff will be automatically notified of incoming customers and their orders on the screens and watches;
- Staff can use their phone or smartwatch to generate a pick list, allowing them to put new orders together while they walk around the store;
- Customers check in on a touchscreen kiosk at the front of the store and confirm their order, are shown any relevant up-sell products and are told where to go to collect their order;
- Customers can also use the kiosk to ask for help, which pages a staff member on their phone or smartwatch.
What’s more, the use of Red Ant’s unique development platform RedConnect allows for zero-touch integration, which means that pilots such as this can be up and running in a matter of months.
The click-and-collect pilot in our Leamington Spa store is a world first and an innovative step towards providing a fully connected retail experience for our customers
Katrina Jamieson, digital director at Halfords, says: “We’re always looking for new ways to enhance the shopping experience for our customers, whether it is in store or online. Our store innovation programme has been set up to allow us to trial innovative ideas and test them in a real-world environment, so that we can see in a very practical way how they could benefit both customers and colleagues.
“The click-and-collect pilot in our Leamington Spa store is a world first and an innovative step towards providing a fully connected retail experience for our customers.”
Dan Mortimer, chief executive at Red Ant, adds: “Halfords is dedicated to providing the best possible customer service, and they’re really taking the lead in connecting mobile devices and wearables to provide a smooth, swift journey from online order to in-store collection. Staff will be able to deliver a more efficient, personalised service to customers, who will receive a truly seamless shopping experience.”
Here’s how a smartwatch-enabled service works for the customer, staff and retailer
- When a customer asks for assistance with their click-and-collect order, the sales assistant receives a personalised alert on their Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch. Business logic determines who is the best assistant to serve the customer, based on a number of factors including: Which colleague served them during their last visit; Whether they need a product specialist for the products they have in their wish-list; If they are a high-value customer, whether a more senior sales assistant is appropriate; If they are in a hurry, the closest assistant to the customer in the store for the fastest response time.
- The sales assistant is able to use the information to provide a seamless service: By finding the item and delivering it to the customer quickly and efficiently; By sharing the product spec from their mobile device on to a digital display so the sales assistant can easily see additional information and up-sell as appropriate; By processing all of the customer’s information in real time so they will receive a more personalised service next time they visit the store.
- At the end of the customer’s interaction with the sales assistant, business rules calculate and display various different metrics via smartwatch, such as: Progress to daily or weekly sales target; Comparison to historical performance for the same period; To-do tasks or process reminders.
- This type of glanceable information is also useful to store managers as it offers: High-value sale alerts; Footfall change calculations; VIP customer alerts; Target completions; News from head office.
Judith Swan, head of retail enterprise at Samsung Electronics UK, says: “Samsung are driven to create and innovate by the way people use mobile devices to facilitate every part of their lives. A key part of this is connecting customers and sales assistants in a very real and practical way. It’s central to the future of retail; our Samsung tablets, mobiles and smartwatches work effortlessly together and with Red Ant’s platform to bring a whole new level of efficiency and personalised care to the customer journey.”
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