3 retailers harnessing digital technology to drive offline sales this Christmas

A new report published by Deloitte last week forecasts that consumer spending this Christmas will total £42.4 billion. Deloitte reports that 40% of sales in physical stores will be digitally influenced as consumers engage with technology and embrace retailers’ multi-channel efforts. To tap into this trend, many retailers are harnessing digital technology to drive sales offline. Here are 3 of our favourites:

1. Toys R Us

Over the Christmas period, Toys R Us customers in the US will be able to download a digital map to help them navigate their way around the store. The map, which will be available throughout the Christmas period, works in conjunction with a QR code on the physical store map, to direct shoppers to particular toys and promotions. The technology is part of a wider movement by Toys R Us to embrace digital to improve the customer experience this Christmas. The toy retailer has also introduced a live chat function on its website to answer customer queries, as well as a gift finder that uses information regarding a recipient’s interests and age to suggest the perfect present.

2. Harrods

To drive sales of Ralph Lauren products, Harrods has introduced shoppable window displays that enable shoppers to use their smartphones to access product information and discover exclusive content by scanning a QR code on the display. Like Toys R Us, Harrods is also using the technology to provide shoppers with digital maps to help them navigate the store but they have gone one step further: using the displays to enable consumers to purchase goods after hours through their website.

3. Argos

Argos has taken a different approach to using digital technology to drive sales, embracing click and collect to provide an omni-channel experience for the tech-savvy shopper. As part of this strategy, the retailer has opened its smallest shop to date in Cannon Street tube station in London, where commuters will be able to collect products ordered on line and buy from its comparatively limited offering of 20, 000 products. New research published by eBay and retail analysts Conlumino suggests that this is a wise strategy for increasing sales. According to their findings, the average click-and-collect high street visit will drive £27 in spontaneous spending back into bricks and mortar retail units this Christmas.