The Self-Service Innovation Summit got off to a good start as
Crowley, vice president of merchandise and branding strategy at
The main session, âThe Customer Journey, How Has It Changed and What the Future Holds,â set the stage for the two-and-a-half-day summit held this month at
Crowley has made no secret of the fact that consumers are more demanding and not yet satisfied with the options offered by retailers.
According to surveys, she said 80% of CEOs think they do a good job providing services to clients, compared to 18% of clients.
Hudson’s automated retail concept was installed at
How customers have changed
âYou have to keep changing and evolving because the world has changed and we cannot stand still,â she said. “One of the things that we have really seen is that the customer journey has changed.”
The proliferation of options, driven in large part by COVID, has driven this shift by familiarizing people with how to use technology. As a result, customers have become less patient.
As a company specializing in the travel industry, Hudson had no choice but to revise its offerings and develop new concepts when airport travel was completely paralyzed at some of its sites.
âNot innovation for innovation, but innovation for purpose,â she said.
One innovation was the Hudson Non-stop using
These technologies are expensive, she says, and their deployment has not been easy.
âThe key here is behind the scenes and the work that we need to do to integrate the effort and integrate the components so that the system works and operates continuously,â she said. “It’s not easy, it’s not for the faint of heart, but we’re absolutely delighted to be able to work with this.”
The need for smaller retail spaces has resulted in another concept called ‘Evolve’, which consists of specialist ‘shop-in-shop’ brand experiences, blending travel essentials and specialty brands, allowing both self-checkout and mobile POS payment. Local brands have become the focal point, in addition to national and global brands.
âThe customer can easily see around the store, and so they can quickly scan the store, make the selection andâ¦ leave. We have factored in their behavior and traffic patterns and preferences as we go along.â , she said.
Another concept was
âIn some of the smaller airports, the beauty of automated retailing was that we could offer brands that might not fit that model before, but we could bring something extra to the customer,â he said. she declared.
The company recently rolled out QR codes for virtual try-on in some of its makeup concepts.
âThey can attach the QR code and just try on makeup,â she said.
Crowley stressed the importance of involving the entire Hudson team in the process.
âWe will continue to provide enabling options not only for our clients, but also for our associates,â she said. “One of the beauties of this automated element is that our people can now go out into the field and interact more freely with customers.”
âInnovation is not prescriptive,â she said. âAnd the customer experience is not an initiative, it’s an imperative.
âContactless doesn’t mean you lose touch with your customer. Contactless means he has options. Your continued connectivity with the customer is essential to ensure long-term success. “
What is “innovation”?
The word âinnovationâ is used a lot, but what does it mean exactly?
âInnovation has to be practical for the customer,â she said, and it has to be transparent.
âThe systemic and technological elements must align with the human needs of the client,â she said. “If you do, you have a victory.”
Question from listeners
The public weighs
Asked during the question-and-answer period about what kind of team the company has to integrate various aspects of its new solutions, Crowley stressed that team collaboration is imperative to introduce new concepts. She said the company first tests new ideas, looks at the results, and then tests the concept with some of its operational partners to see if it’s viable.
When asked if the company’s ROI has changed for new technology, Crowley said it depends on the technology. She said the company’s nonstop location is very expensive, requiring more sales volume to cover the cost.
âI think the principles of ROI are the same, but the model is changing,â she said.
When asked which fundamentals of management need to be disrupted, she said the key to management is to listen to employees so that they can continue to be effective in their roles and able to collaborate.
Asked if stores using
âWe are working to make sure the technology applies to customer demographics,â she said. âOne size doesn’t fit all. But what we do is try to balance the mix so the customer has options.â
When asked why some kiosks don’t accept the latest payment capabilities, Crowley said this reflects the fact that technology is always evolving in retail. She said elements of the payment system need to synchronize, which is not always the case with existing kiosks.
âItâs coming, for sure,â she said.
She encouraged her listeners to spend time with the Summit exhibitors to see how their solutions can be applied.
Zebra sponsored the main session.
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