3 things Retailers want from technology


Retailers want customers, not technology

I love retail. I love the energy, the innovation and the relentless focus on the customer. Of course, not all retailers are like that, but the good ones are. And there are plenty of those about.

I’ve worked in Retail, in Supply Chain and in Technology, and it still makes me crazy when I see some technology companies churning out the same old content to the retail sector.


I know you’re passionate about your technology, I know you know that it can make a big difference to the challenges the retailer faces. During the sales cycle, the detail of how it does this critical.

During the marketing cycle, it’s crucial that you:

  • Get their attention
    Keep their attention


That’s it. Simple 🙂

Except no, we know it’s not that easy.

But it can be.

If you remember three things that retailers relentlessly focus on, then you’ll know your content is going to make an impression:

1. Retailers will pay (almost) anything to reach their target audience

This statement is more simplistic than it first appears, but it makes the point. Not only is it harder for you to reach your target audience, it’s harder for them too. In the new economy, as a retailer you need to reach niche, target audiences and be relevant. You need to have their permission, you need to predict what they’re about to do so you can get to them right before they buy, you need to give them a great experience so they come back.

They need to be creative and innovative to stay ahead of the competition. If your technology enables things like personalisation, predicting customer behaviour, enabling mobile and social experiences – then you’re onto a winner. BUT only if you talk about it in retailers terms, and not your own.

2. Retailers now respond to wants, not needs

Retailers used to sell space to the highest bidder, then that’s what they sold the customer.

Now, the customer tells the retailer what they want to buy. This makes life infinitely more complicated for retailers, as not only does this require changes in how they market and sell, but it also requires a far more dynamic supply chain.

They need to first facilitate the process for customers to tell them what they want, and then ensure they can deliver it (literally and figuratively!). If your technology enables social and interactive behaviour, supports the call centre or web technology then go for it, but on their terms.

3. Retailers have huge international growth opportunities

Emerging markets are providing big opportunities to retailers, and international growth brings all sorts of headaches to all sorts of operational areas.

So if you can make this process easier, more profitable and less painful…

Of course retailers need technology, but they WANT the above things, and as we all know, we’ll all put far more effort into wants than needs.

Charlotte Graham-Cumming is a Director of Ice Blue Sky, a Creative Agency that works with Technology companies to help them connect more effectively with their audiences.

About the Author

Charlotte Graham-Cumming

Director, Ice Blue Sky Ltd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *