SalesTech Star

Exploring the UK Retail Tech Market

The phenomenon called ‘Industry 4.0’ has already hit the UK retail industry, and the ensuing digital revolution has taken businesses across the spectrum by storm. This new era is seeing the introduction of various technologies powered by rapid digitalization, and that too at a time when traditional retail is seeing a resurgence of sorts after seemingly losing out to eCommerce. In the UK, now traditional multi-channel retailers and online businesses are leveraging the latest technology to optimize their core business processes like customer service, supply chain management, and in-store experiences.

To boost customer experiences, leading retailers in the UK are using technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies have become the latest benchmarks for the industry standards defining customer experiences. An increasing number of retailers understand the requirements for immediate digital transformation across the retail spectrum in the UK. As a result, there is a trend wherein start-ups offering retail technology solutions are securing up to 22% more funding than other verticals.

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Growth of UK Retail Tech Market

The UK Retail Tech market has grown impressively over the last few years. The major driving forces behind this growth trend can be identified as follows:

1. Changing Customer Preferences

The growth of the UK retail tech market has been quite impressive, and the sector is still registering impressive growth. Experts argue that the revenues from B2C eCommerce in the UK will top £115 billion as of 2022. The reason behind this growth has been cited as the consumer preference to opt for online purchases for their requirements.

2. New Digital Touchpoints

The traditional retail industry has also been witnessing the impact of the latest technology on their established business models. Most of the retail sales in present times involve multiple digital touchpoints, including digital impact on in-store sales.

3. Digital retail Ruling the Roost

Digital retail is now the name of the game, and traditional retailers are looking to find new strategies to retain and engage customers who might otherwise shift to online retail.

4. AI-Driven retail

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized various traditional retail functions like warehousing and customer service. It has already replaced many traditional jobs in the UK retail sector and is expected to continue the trend beyond the 2030s.

5. AR and VR

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are two technologies that are making a profound impact on UK tech retail. These technologies are making customer experiences more interesting, wherein almost 40% of customers are preferring AR and VR while shopping.

Top Brands in UK Retail Tech Market

There are various brands from different sectors that are making a direct impact on the UK retail tech market. Some of the noteworthy brands are: –

1. Missguided

It is the leading retail brand in the UK and is regarded as a leader in the incorporation of technology in its operations. It offers intuitive site structure guides for ease of navigation, turns the fans into intro influencers, and boasts of a strong social media presence. Its mobile product pages are equipped with vertical video and an app that promotes daily shoppable content, much like Insta stories.

2. New Look

It is another prominent UK retail brand that made news by offering a premium shipping subscription for £20 a year. The brand also associates with leading influencers to leverage the potential of Instagram interactions and uses various shoppable tags on Instagram and Facebook to drive its social commerce efforts.

3. Next

It uses a well-defined segmented email strategy with a focus on retargeting and loyalty to improve the open rates. There are various cross-selling tools that are leveraged by the brand to offer different suggestions on the purchase history of the consumers.

4. Tesco

It is the prominent multi-brand retail outlet in the UK leveraging the latest technology to make the customer experience more interesting. The brand is leveraging digital customer service and digital marketing strategy to drive its online growth.

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Future of UK Retail Tech Market

In the UK, technology will usher in considerable changes for workers as it is expected to affect almost one-third of all the retail tasks in the country. Future workers will have to handle roles with larger, complex, and varied work requirements that will need regular interaction with new technologies. Employers will have to offer training to the workers to acquire these skills and also need to put a premium on adaptability.

In the UK, new labor models will be seen that will offer workers more control over their schedules. Many office workers will start working through different online platforms several times a week. Employers will have to strike a better balance between the benefits and flexibility offered by online working opportunities. The impact of these changes will vary according to the retail employment scene in different regions. Areas with individuals having lower education levels will be susceptible to workforce displacement. The responsibility in the UK will lie on retail employers who must offer support to transitioning workers to drive the growth of the retail tech market.