Online Tech Could Aid Retailers
Monday May 24 2:15 PM ET
ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - The rise of the Internet may be
widely seen as a threat to traditional retailers that draws
customers away from stores, but a new study released Monday
suggests some Internet technologies could help lure customers
into stores, particularly discounters.
In-store technologies such as touchscreen kiosks,
self-scanning, electronic point-of-sale signs, hand-held
shopping assistants and even body scanning, which allows
shoppers to custom fit clothing, could be a big boon to
consumers, according to seventy percent of respondents in a
survey by Indiana University and consultants KPMG.
``While everyone is focusing on the Internet, in-store
technologies and the integration of online and in-store
activities may have an even greater impact on the futures of
retailing,'' said Raymond Burke, a professor at the Kelley
School of Business at Indiana University, in a statement.
The survey covered 2,413 U.S. consumers around the country,
who said discount stores scored high marks on value, product
selection and product quality, they fell down on service, speed
and amount of product information available.
``It's easy to say that conventional retailers need to
respond to the competitive pressures of the online channel,''
Mark Larson, head of KPMG's retail practice, said in the
``Our survey finds that in-store technologies can have
tremendous impact on a retailer's ability to build customer
relationships, maintain customer loyalty and bolster areas like
service,'' he said. ``Those players that set strategic plans in
motion now will be well situated to secure marketshare in an
industry that is undergoing rapid transformation.''
The study was released at the annual convention of the
International Mass Retailers Association annual meeting in
The survey tested eleven different technologies -- three
online, eight in-store -- that are all available and directly
affect how retailers interact with customers.
Electronic point-of-sale (POS) liquid crystal displays that
show the names and prices of merchandise were cited most by
respondents as something they would use. Fifty percent said such
signs would be a big advantage when shopping.
Seventy-seven percent said a product information kiosk using
a computer and video display would be an advantage, with 31
percent saying they were much more likely to shop in a store
with such a system.
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