Over half (52%) of retail leaders in Ireland believe customers trust businesses less than they did three years ago.
This is according to a global study commissioned by Fujitsu, which also found that 73% believe that their organisation is well-positioned to meet customer expectations over the next decade.
Almost 80% of Irish retail leaders believe that putting customers first will determine their long-term success, while 84% cite ‘trust’ as an important factor for maintaining strong customer relationships.
“Irish retailers are working in an unpredictable and competitive market, and with customers increasingly inclined to not trust businesses, they need to meet consumers on their own terms and find new ways to delight them and to earn their confidence,” said Itziar García de Carellán, Head of Retail, Fujitsu Ireland.
“Consumer expectations in retail have been fundamentally transformed over the past decade or so, as Amazon and other e-commerce leaders have brought a whole new level of convenience to shopping.”
Opportunities For Technology
In terms of technology, two-thirds of Irish retail leaders (68%) believe that it can play a vital role in improving customer service.
According to the study, 66% of retailers believe that customers expect their business to be more innovative in how they provide products and services.
In response to this desire, 56% of retail leaders revealed that they are looking to AI, while 53% said that they plan to automate some human tasks within the next three years.
“This split between physical and online is no longer entirely accurate, as many retailers occupy a certain space on a spectrum of innovation. Omni-channel shopping services, digital fitting rooms, IoT solutions and digital store managed services all add to this blurring of lines,” Itziar García de Carellán concluded.
Fujitsu highlighted the ‘twisted’ narrative that suggests automation would lead to job losses, claiming that it would simply free up time from repetitive and process-orientated tasks to focus on the human side of customer service and allows retailers to be even more responsive to changing customer needs.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.