Inside the Retail Technology Landscape with CUE and Big Red Group

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 07 May 2019

Listen in as Power Retail, CUE and Big Red Group discuss integrating AR and VR into retail, facilitating the best CX and leveraging IoT to make shopping easier for customers.

Power Retail sat down with CUE’s CIO, Shane Lenton and Big Red Group’s CIO, Brett Raven to discuss three major disruptions in the tech industry for 2019 and its effect on the future of online retailers.

Here are some of the highlights from the valuable and insightful discussion. Click here to listen to the full webinar.

Making AR and AI a tech native for retailers:

“Tech natives were a challenge as the entered the workforce. We now have the Gen Z, who are born with a lot of this tech,” Lenton explained. “We need to understand where the opportunities are, and how we can potentially capitalise on the opportunity.”

The use of AR, AI and VR is expected to expand rapidly over the next few years, with an increase in retailers implementing the technology to engage in higher customer satisfaction and conversion rates.

CUE is one of the brands that integrated AI software to its business with an in-app search tool. This allows customers to screenshot a piece of clothing or accessory that they like, upload it onto the CUE app and find something similar.

“Things are changing if you look at AR as an example, and the way a lot of mobile devices are facilitating these solutions,” says Lenton. “It’s becoming easier for retailers to introduce this tech as a native within their devices – it’s a real game changer.”

Deciding what’s worth the hype:

Big Red Group started out two years ago and comprises of Adrenaline and RedBalloon. Adrenaline offers buy-it-now adrenaline experiences, whereas RedBalloon specialises in adventure gifts. “There are two different demographic groups there and they’ll respond differently to the technology as we put it in front of them,” Raven said.

Lenton and Raven told us why it’s important to know what forms of technology are worth the hype, which fits your business and which trends to steer clear from. “Just because it’s AR, VR or AI, have a look. If it looks clunky or off-brand; if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it for the sake of it,” Lenton said. “Over the years, we’ve seen bad examples and we’ve seen some really good examples.”

For many retailers, this technology can often be seen as disruptive and innovative, but research is essential before implementation. “Have a look, research the market … it’s finding the right tech and partners,” Lenton continued.

In the webinar, both Lenton and Raven discussed examples of implementing the technology, and how they did and didn’t fit the brand and the customer. “A lot of items were niche and gimmicky. We need to not implement something for the sake of it,” explained Raven. “What can the user gain from it? We’re not just throwing something out to the market for the sake of it.”

The importance of testing, customer personalisation and the Internet of Things:

Some advice from Raven: “It’s not cheap to get involved in this space. Look at the market for those who did something similar. Find a way to test it, do a soft launch. Feel it out in the market. Test it on younger kids. Is it interesting? Is it engaging? Learn from other people’s mistakes.”

During the webinar we also discussed the importance of customer personalisation, thriving on disruption, working in a cashless society, overhyped tech, automation and The Internet of Things. For an in-depth conversation about the tech and its effect on the retail industry, check out the full webinar here.

Click here to listen to the full webinar co-hosted by Online Retailer Conference & Expo to be held from 24-25 July at ICC Sydney.

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