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19 & 20 NOV 2019

ExCeL LONDON

Zapaygo

4 Things to Consider when Investing in Retail Technology

Trying to keep up with technology can be overwhelming. For the past fifty years, computing power has doubled every eighteen to twenty-four months. These technological leaps have allowed developers to fit more computing power in smaller and smaller spaces, leading to incredible advances in consumer technology. Right now, the average off-the-shelf cell phone has more computing power than a desktop PC did ten years ago [1].

As a business owner it has never been more important to stay current, but you probably don’t want to replace the technology your business depends on as frequently as you replace your cell phone.Business owners can sometimes rush to integrate flashy new technologies that may not be ready for market, or may not truly maximize the effectiveness of their operation. Don’t rush and make a foolish decision, take some time to research and get the best solution for your business.



 When investing in new technology for your business, here are four key factors to consider: 

Adaptability

It is vital to integrate products designed with the future in mind. Businesses already utilize an array of technologies within their operations and any new technology must function within this pre-existing ecosystem, as well as contribute to the system’s overall longevity. It’s also important the technology grow with your business through continued software support. 

Any new device not receiving software support is out-of-date, out-of-the-box. Retail businesses are often targets for hackers looking for credit card and customer information. If a new technology isn’t security minded, it’s probably not the right solution for your business. 

By investing in adaptable technology business owners can make the most of their investment as the industry evolves, ensuring their operation evolves with the market.



User Experience 

Many business owners struggle with employees incorrectly managing new workplace tech. In fact, a Wall Street Journal study found that employees sometimes intentionally damaged new devices at work so they wouldn’t have to use it. Adding user-friendly technologies improves employee satisfaction and streamlines training, which is especially valuable in retail scenarios, which often have seasonal or high employee turnover rates.

Consider the customer’s user experience also. When a business owner implements a new customer facing system, their customers should be able to use the system with minimal guidance. 

Business owners should implement technologies that people on both sides of the counter can understand, ensuring the technology adds to the retail experience, rather than hindering it. 



Durability

While it is important to review the interface of any new technology, it is also important to consider the hardware. The quality of the design and materials that comprise a piece of technology typically indicate the lifespan potential of any technological solution. 

It is important to ask: What is the production company’s reputation for quality? How long do their products typically last? Is there a service plan or warranty? Considering these factors and researching, these questions upfront can help you choose the right provider and avoid a risky investment. 

Customer Perception

When integrating technology into their businesses, business owners tend to focus on solely internal needs rather than those of the customer. Customer perception can play a significant role in the successful integration of a specific technology. 

For example, if an operator installs a kiosk in their store with an unpleasant appearance or poor user interface, customer frustration could result in a poor perception of the business. This is especially crucial in terms of brand perception, as consumers place significant value in the degree of technological integration a business demonstrates.  

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When it comes to purchasing new technology, the best course of action is to be patient and detail-oriented.  Consider the ways in which a potential investment manifests itself at every level of your operation, and ensure it makes sense for your long-term goals. Being current is fleeting, being prepared pays dividends. 

 

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