Irish retailers see digital technology as essential to customer service and long-term success
- Almost 80 percent of Irish retail leaders believe that they must put customers first if their organisation is to succeed in the long-term
- Digital technology plays a vital role for many retailers (68 percent) in improving customer service
- Over half (53 percent) of retailers believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will transform the services and products they offer customers
- Over half (52 percent) also admit that customers mistrust businesses more today than just three years ago
- 73 percent believe their organisation is well-positioned to meet customer expectations over the next decade
Many retailers (66 percent) also believe that customers expect their business to be more innovative in the way they provide their services and products, and over half (56 percent) are looking to AI to help them address this desire for innovation. In general, technology is seen as a way to improve customer service by two-thirds (68 percent) of retail leaders.
“Consumer expectations in retail have been fundamentally transformed over the past decade or so, as Amazon and other ecommerce leaders have brought a whole new level of convenience to shopping. 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.
These results are hugely encouraging, particularly in the context of recent comments from politicians and media suggesting that many jobs would be lost in retail. Quite the opposite; it is adaption rather than loss. Competition is no longer between two shops on the same road, but between dozens of retailers physically and online around the world”, said Itziar García de Carellán, Head of Retail, Fujitsu Ireland.
An example of how digital technology could be used to improve customer service is automation, with over half (53 percent) of retail leaders saying that their organisation plans to automate some human tasks within the next three years.
Itziar García de Carellán concludes: “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.
The narrative has been somewhat twisted in this sense, suggesting that automation necessarily leads to job losses. This is not the case; in fact, it frees 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. The results of this survey are proof that retailers recognise the need for adaption in this highly competitive environment.
That customer service is the focus, and that technology is the way forward to ensure retailers are at the competitive forefront in their sector, is now overwhelmingly established by this survey – it just confirms what we have known anecdotally for a while”
To download the full report, please visit: www.fujitsu.com/success
Notes to editors
1This quantitative research was carried out in August 2018 by independent research company Censuswide, surveying 1,936 C-Suite decision makers within mid to large sized businesses across public sector and transport, financial services, retail and manufacturing in 16 countries worldwide.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 140,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.1 trillion yen (US $39 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com.
About Fujitsu UK & Ireland
Fujitsu UK & Ireland employs over 9,000 people. We promote a Human Centric Intelligent Society, in which innovation is driven by the integration of people, information and infrastructure. We are committed to Digital Co-creation, blending business expertise with digital technology and creating new value with ecosystem partners and customers. We enable our customers to digitally transform with connected technology services, focused on Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Cloud - all underpinned by Security. Our customers cover both the public and private sectors, including retail, financial services, transport, manufacturing, government and defence. For more information please see http://uk.fujitsu.com.
Catherine Dunne / Séafra Ó Faoláin Hume Brophy
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Date: 07 February, 2019