Red Ant & Halfords win Retail Systems 2016 award

Red Ant, 20th December 2016

We are pleased to announce that we have won this year's Retail Systems award for In-store Innovation of the Year, for our work with Halfords. Here's how we delivered a cutting-edge innovation project from concept to deployment in just weeks:

Halfords trials smartwatch click-and-collect service

Halfords has unveiled a retail first as colleagues at its Leamington Spa store trial a new smartwatch service which will help them pick items ready for customer collection.

Working with retail technology specialist Red Ant and Samsung, Halfords is launching the trial with a range of in-store tablets for customer use as well as phones and smartwatches to help colleagues pick click-and-collect orders.

Currently, over 90% of Halfords online orders are click-and-collect and the new technology from Red Ant in partnership with Samsung promises a smooth customer experience which will offer a fully connected service, based on tablets, phones, fixed displays and smartwatches:

  • Colleagues will be automatically notified of incoming customers and their orders on the screens and watches
  • Colleagues can use their phone or smartwatch to generate a pick list, allowing them to put new orders together while they walk around the store
  • Customers check in on a touchscreen kiosk at the front of the store and confirm their order, are shown any relevant upsell products and are told where to go to collect their order
  • Customers can also use the kiosk to ask for help, which pages a staff member on their phone or smartwatch

What's more, the use of Red Ant's retail application platform allows for zero-touch integration, which means that pilots like this can be up and running in a matter of months.

The click-and-collect pilot in our Leamington Spa store is a world first, and an innovative step towards providing a fully-connected retail experience for our customers.

Katrina Jamieson, Digital Director at Halfords, said: 'We're always looking for new ways to enhance the shopping experience for our customers, whether it is in store or online. Our Store innovation programme has been set up to allow us to trial innovative ideas and test them in a real-world environment, so that we can see in a very practical way how they could benefit both customers and colleagues.

Dan Mortimer, CEO at Red Ant, said: 'Halfords is dedicated to providing the best possible customer service, and they're really taking the lead in connecting mobile devices and wearables to provide a smooth, swift journey from online order to in-store collection. Colleagues will be able to deliver a more efficient, personalised service to customers, who will receive a truly seamless shopping experience.'

Here's how a smartwatch-enabled service works for customer, staff and retailer:

When a customer asks for assistance with their click-and-collect order, the sales colleague receives a personalised alert on their Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch

Business logic determines who is the 'best' colleague to serve the customer, based on a number of factors including:

  • Which colleague served them during their last visit
  • Whether they need a product specialist for the products they have in their wishlist
  • If they are a high value customer, whether a more senior sales colleague is appropriate
  • If they are in a hurry, the closest colleague to the customer in the store for the fastest response time

The sales colleague is able to use the information to provide a seamless service:

  • By finding the item and delivering it to the customer quickly and efficiently
  • By sharing the product spec from their mobile device onto a digital display so that the sales colleague can easily see additional information and upsell as appropriate
  • By processing all of the customer's information in real time so that they will receive a more personalised service next time they visit the store

At the end of the customer's interaction with the sales colleague, business rules calculate and display various different metrics via smartwatch, such as:

  • Progress to daily or weekly sales target
  • Comparison to historical performance for the same period
  • To-do tasks or process reminders

This type of 'glanceable' information is also useful to store managers as it offers:

  • High value sale alerts
  • Footfall change calculations
  • VIP customer alerts
  • Target completions
  • News from head office

Judith Swan, Head of Retail Enterprise at Samsung Electronics UK, said: 'Samsung are driven to create and innovate by the way people use mobile devices to facilitate every part of their lives. A key part of this is connecting customers and sales assistants in a very real and practical way. It's central to the future of retail – our Samsung tablets, mobiles and smartwatches work effortlessly together and with Red Ant's platform to bring a whole new level of efficiency and personalised care to the customer journey.'

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about transforming your business with connected retail experiences, you can book a consultation or demo with one of our team of experts.

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