The Strategy for Not Wasting Money on Retail Technology
by Jeanne Roué-Taylor
Getting the basics right in retail means transparent pricing, understandable offers, and good service and product availability. Most retailers have these down by now and are consistent across the web or the store. But competition never lets us rest on our laurels for very long. In retail, the new battle is over the use of technology to take the game to the next level.
The Path Behind Us
Technology, however, can be a roll of the dice. The path behind us is littered with so-called game changers that never met their promises to revolutionize an industry. Companies have invested significant money in applications that took too long to roll out and recoup their costs.
No one doubts that retail requires significant investment in technology, but how does a brand choose wisely and avoid wasting precious time and money?
Brands need a strategy flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions and changing technologies. The best approach is to run short trials of ideas where an idea is killed quickly if it doesn’t work or is rolled out quickly if it does. Technology needs to support this by being flexible to sources of data and to have baked-in capabilities to analyze data, create a hypothesis, and then run continuous cycles of testing and learning. Technology that falls short of this capability will join history’s trash heap.