What is… High-speed retail?
Nope, we’re not confusing ourselves with the rail industry. High speed retail really is a thing and it’s worth knowing about. As customer buying habits are evolving, we know that a quick, seamless transaction is increasingly important. High speed retail taps into this desire to get things done much quicker – here’s our quick guide
What is high speed retail?
It’s a catch all term to describe things that make a customer’s shopping experience go by much quicker. It’s basically a time management technique that entails prompt and fast delivery of goods and services to customers.
So you mean it’s things like same day delivery? Well yes, it includes that but it’s actually much broader. From drive-thru shopping collection to food trucks in retail parks and even pop-up stores, there are now lots of ways to speed things up from traditional ways of shopping.
Sounds pretty simple then… it’s not a complicated concept to be fair, but it is underpinned by some quite complex technology that helps enable the shopping experience to be quicker. Mobile POS solutions linked to the cloud can update every aspect of the business (inventory, CRM, payments, etc) in real-time, helping retailers stay up-to-date at all times. Most mPOS systems also come with convenient capabilities such as emailing receipts and processing mobile payments, making it easy for High Speed Retailers to conduct business much faster.
Why does everything need to be quicker though? It actually provides a lot of benefits to the customers and even to retailers. It creates an opportunity to sell more because customers recognise that they’ll have a quick and fuss-free shopping experience with that particular brand or retailer. For time-poor customers keen to move on to their next task, they know that the time to shop will be greatly reduced in particular stores, creating appeal and reducing concern about the amount of time that will need to be spent in a store.
Does it only apply to offline shopping? Mostly, although online and technology has its place in supporting high speed retailers. In McDonald’s, you can now go in and make your order directly using a self-service kiosk and then pay for it in the same process, reducing the time it takes to a) place your order and b) get your food ready to take away. It’s the same principle in somewhere like Argos where you can reserve an item before you even leave the house. Many clothing retailers like M&S and Next have POS tablets dotted throughout the store so you can check stock, browse items or order online whilst you’re in store.
What else do I need to know about high speed retailing?
It’s a growing focus area with lots of innovation coming through to save precious time for shoppers. We already expect home delivery, even within day, and to be able to browse what’s available in a store online, but retailers are taking this further. Many have a customer-facing device showing what products are available in store and where they are located, possibly even with direction agents/technology who can aide you finding a specific product. The increasing use of cashless payments is another intervention that is adding to the considerable amount of time high-speed retailers are now able to save their customers.
It’s fair to reflect that high-speed retailing is just a giving a name to the things retailers should be doing anyway as part of their evolution of customer buying journeys. And that’s probably fair, however it’s a bit of a moot point. The key take-away is that customers want to do things quicker and there are lots of techniques, technology and process changes you can put in place to help them do this. And if you want to be fancy about it, you can call it high speed retailing!
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