eStar CEO Andrew Buxton speaks to The Register on the year that was in retail tech
1. Who’s your pick for retail “personality” of the year? Who’s someone that made clever, calculated moves and excelled above their peers?
Rod Duke. Briscoes continues to grow and outperform its competitors.
2. Which retail company gave a stand out performance in 2016?
Amazon (with Prime) internationally, H&M into New Zealand. David Jones entering New Zealand in Wellington.
3. Which retailer made the best comeback in 2016?
Kathmandu. Back in the black and opened four new stores across Australasia.
4. Who are retailers on the rise to watch in 2017?
Steinhoff Group, in Asia Pacific. A massive international group with a focus on acquisitions.
5. Which retailer suffered the biggest fall from grace in 2016?
6. What was the best retail innovation that emerged in 2016?
7. What technology in retail do you think will have disappeared in five year’s time?
Traditional POS receipts and systems. New POS systems are becoming increasingly connected within overall business architecture, and POS solutions are going to find themselves increasingly struggling to adapt fast enough to customer purchasing journeys. Virtually all the functionality of traditional POS is included in eCommerce solutions, and as ecommerce become truly omnichannel with purchasing on customers devices, and on in-store team devices, ultimately there is little reason for a traditional stand-alone POS.
8. What should retailers be thinking about going into 2017.
Focus on the customer journey as the most important strategy. Making the customer journey simpler and more effective in-store and online. Virtually every customer journey now involves a digital element so retailers must focus on their flagship store, the Digital Flagship store, it is the most visited store in the network and the one “store” with the biggest impact on brand, sales, and success.
9. Are there any predictions you want to make about the future of retail?
The growth of ecommerce specialists (like eStar) in retailers technology stack will continue. The fallacy of the need for “fully integrated solutions” in digital commerce when integration continues to be easier and easier, and the rate of change with new ideas and solutions, means that the “all in one” technology sale is both expensive and ineffective.