Supporting Your Retail Technology Goals In 2024

11 January 2024

The turn of the new year offers a fresh start. A chance to leave what doesn’t serve you behind and commit to something new. This is often true in business too with the arrival of January a line in the sand that marks a ‘before’ and ‘after’ point in time.

Following a busy golden quarter, now is an ideal time for retailers to take stock of what’s working and what’s not. Leadership teams will be spending time reviewing business performance and setting out goals for the year ahead. But, as the saying goes, a goal without a plan is simply a wish, so what will it take to make those aspirations a reality?

We’re certain that technology innovation will play a significant role in achieving just that, and the challenge is how to successfully progress from where you are now to where you want to be. This is where the expertise of a retail technology specialist like TPP Retail comes in.

Getting you from A to B

The starting point is different for each retailer. Sometimes there is a tightly defined goal and a clear internal view of what you want to do based on significant time spent exploring the here and now and gathering valuable feedback from store colleagues and customers. For others, there’s a vision of what the future will look like, but they may be lacking the depth of insight into their current position, or they are faced with a particular problem and recognise the importance of overcoming it but are unsure as to how technology can help.

As a retail technology expert, we specialise in helping businesses like yours innovate their operations with the right technology. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and at what point we’re engaged and by whom varies from project to project. There are, however, commonalities in the way we work with you to ensure that the solutions we put forward will deliver real impact aligned with your business goals. This includes getting answers to some important questions, such as:

What is the driving force behind your technology innovation?

We like to get under the skin of the “why” to ensure that the solutions we create truly answer your goals. What is the catalyst for your investment in technology and why is it so important to your business? Perhaps you’re suffering from inefficiencies in your operations. Maybe a once-loyal customer base is waning and reinvigorating customer engagement is top of your priority list. It could even be driven by competitor innovation.

This is important as it allows us to understand the mindset that has got you this far and ensure that the solution we ultimately create truly answers the challenge. It’s also a chance early in the process to check that this is the right technology innovation to solve your challenge.

What else is going on in your business?

How does technology sit within your wider strategy? You may also be investing in other technologies within the business that sit outside of your stores such as a new POS solution or wireless infrastructure, if we’re in tune with the relevant change that is happening we’re better positioned to ensure that any recommendations we make will work within this wider context and help your business make strides towards its overarching goals.

What’s really happening in stores?

It’s common to find a disconnect between leadership and the in-store reality which is natural given the difficulty of forming a full picture working in such different environments. This is why we make it a top priority to spend time in-store with your colleagues.

Having the freedom to experience your operations is arguably the most important exercise of all, allowing us the opportunity to ask questions, identify areas of inefficiency that you otherwise may not recognise, and hear feedback from store colleagues first-hand. As a fly on the wall, we get to see how your customers interact with your store colleagues, products and existing technology – all of which provide valuable learnings and new opportunities for innovation.

We’re here to get you closer to your goals and build business success and it’s therefore our job to give you honest input. Enabling an independent technology partner such as us to explore in-store views and operations garners unbiased feedback.

Building your technology solution

We do the hard work to save you valuable time. With a well-defined brief and clear goal in mind, we evaluate your technology options. Through extensive exploration of the market, we discount anything that isn’t fit for purpose to create a shortlist of suitable technology options ready to be presented to you.

Walking you through our process, you’re assured of the thorough evaluation that has been undertaken. It’s our aim that you understand not only why we’re recommending a particular solution, but also why we’re not recommending others. As we’re manufacturer agnostic you can trust that no stone is left unturned and that our recommendations are solely based on what we believe to be right for your business.

Recognising the importance of detailed, accurate and complete information to decision-making, it’s at this stage we’ll clearly outline pricing that includes the various components such as accessories, software and services that would form your complete solution. After all, you don’t want to come across an unexpected cost later down the line that you hadn’t been made aware of.

Proving the technology concept

Testing that the solution will work for your business, we pride ourselves on being able to deliver a proof of concept, fast. A vital learning stage, this is the chance to evaluate the solution in situ and prove its value to your business.

A chance to test and tweak as needed, running a proof-of-concept builds all-around greater confidence, making the solution tangible and highlighting the benefits for both store colleagues and senior stakeholders. We also find POC to be fundamental in supporting future adoption as store colleagues are onboard and enthused by the final solution when it is deployed – this is key to success in the long run.

Ensuring a smooth deployment

Finally, the time to implement your new solution is here and everyone in your business is excited about it. No matter how well you’ve prepared, the final stages are typically quite stressful with a lot riding on the implementation phase going to plan. Thankfully, we’ve had a lot of practice, and our robust processes are designed to support a smooth deployment.

Communication is King, as is the setting of clear expectations across all involved stakeholders. This is why agreeing on everything from roles and responsibilities to communication frequency and preferred channels is high on our agenda when it comes to deployment plans.

Technology is notoriously challenging to roll out in a retail environment. With so many moving parts and many store locations to consider, getting it right takes military-style coordination. We’ll work with you to plan the best route, discussing the order in which you want to roll out across your stores taking everything into account from the size of each store, time required per store, and available access times.

Trust in our experience

A trusted partner to leading retailers including Pets at Home, Clarks and B&M, our role has evolved beyond simply deploying technology. We’re now a go-to resource which they trust to support their ongoing technology needs, involving us early to get the right solution. You don’t have to have it all figured out to work with us we thrive when allowed to bring a solution to the table.

If you have big goals to reach this year and need the support of an experienced retail technology specialist, look no further than the TPP Retail team. Get in touch to start the conversation.

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