With omni-channel technology becoming an increasingly important and almost critical strategy for retailers, many companies are making new and innovative strides to close the gap between the online and in-store experience.
Among these companies is women’s retailer Chico’s, who recently added in-store “tech tables” and a digital style magazine. The touchscreen tables, which were first installed at the company’s Boston Proper and White House Black Market stores and are quickly making their way into all stores of the company’s other brands, are producing “steady incremental sales”, according to Chico’s chief information officer Eric Singleton.
The tables, which attempt to “embrace the new psychology of how people shop,” are convenient and helpful, allowing customers to browse products, colors or sizes that may not be in stock in the stores, as well as purchase complementary items for delivery. On top of the implementation of tech tables, Chico’s created StyleEdit, a digital magazine available on its tech tables, computers and tablets, that lets customers browse fashion articles and merchandise.
“It’s a social point of the store as well as an opportunity for a really relaxed interaction between the customer and the sales associate,” Singleton, says. “They can go to the screens and have a good time.”
Tech tables are a major upgrade for Chico’s from its 30-year Microsoft Outlook and Exchange email system that Singleton says “created a lot of issues.” After extensive changes, the new and more reliable technology system is in full swing, stirring nothing but positive reactions from customers.
The company’s efforts to make their stores more digital friendly goes further, though – the deployment of mobile tablets for sales people will soon be in action, so that customers can be better assisted in order to drive the chain’s financial bottom line.
By the end of 2014, Chico’s technology innovations will be complete, and the company expects to have all four of its brands more united as a result.
“Technology waits for no one and consumers don’t wait either,” Singleton says. “It’s crucial that when you’re doing a multi-platform shift that the faster it happens, the better.” (Image credit: Chico’s)