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Samsung Says Technology Can Save The High Street

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Samsung report finds that young shoppers are driving a change in retail habits

UK retailers need to implement a major shift in their tactics to attract young customers and prevent the nation’s high-streets from dying out, a Samsung report has recommended.

The South Korean electronics giant surveyed over a thousand British 16-24 year olds and found that many of them are accomplished ‘showroomers’ – meaning they will go and look at a product in a physical store, but actually purchase it online.

This is often due to the ability to compare prices more easily, with 44 percent even saying that they search for a better price online through their mobile device while they are in-store.

shoppingSophistication

A lack of innovation in the retail environment was identified as one of the main reasons for the apathy towards high-street stores, with more than two-thirds of the respondents saying that retailers need to do more to attract and keep their interest.

“Young adults may be socialising in retail environments, but, by and large, when it comes to spending on products they are shopping alone and seeking the most convenient way to complete their purchase,” commented Graham Long, vice president of Samsung’s Enterprise Business.

“We’re seeing the emergence of a generation of sophisticated shoppers, with considerable disposable income, who have high expectations of what they expect from the high-street and other retail environments.”

This change needs to happen soon, Long added, as 65 percent of those surveyed said that they expected to do all their shopping online within the next five years.

Futuristicsamsung westfield futurescape retail

In an attempt to show off the benefits technology can bring to the retail space, Samsung has opened a Futurescape pop-up store in London’s Westfield Shepherd’s Bush shopping centre, featuring several innovative companies it is partnering with to help transform the shopping experience.

This includes such tools as responsive advertising, which changes depending on the consumer or is triggered by interactions with a product, and a ‘magic mirror’ placed inside a changing room to let shoppers view how items would look. Most eye-catching was the use of Augmented Reality apps and Virtual Reality headsets, which would let customers visualise how an item such as a carpet or large appliance would look in their home or office.

There was also a big focus on the use of beacons, which should prove invaluable to companies looking to target their customers’ needs and habits, whether in-store or outside, as well as for marketing and advertising purposes.

“We see Samsung’s position in the market as not just being a maker of great technology, but also bringing solutions to the industry verticals,” Long added.

“We see that there are a number of challenges for retailers today, but these are actually being driven by us as consumers.”

A research report earlier this week from EMC found that the retail sector was very much leading the way when it comes to using big data and analytics. The space remains very attractive to both customers and shoppers, with Amazon announcing plans for its first real-world store earlier this month.

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