What's In Store? The Latest Retail News
Data, EX, bricks and mortar – three key takeaways from NRF 2020
We take a look at some of the major themes that emerged from Retail’s BIG show this year, what they mean for the future of the industry, and how retailers can tackle the challenges they present.
16th January 2020
It's beginning to look a lot like CXmas...
As the year draws to a close, CTO Dan Hartveld shares his own kind of Christmas list. Find out which retailers were ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ when it came to customer experience in 2019.
17th December 2019
Cosmetics customer experience - building beautiful relationships
Successful cosmetics brands are overhauling their in-store experiences to ensure beauty advisors are equipped to offer personalised consultations. CTO Dan Hartveld looks at how to achieve the perfect blend of technology and the human touch in his latest article for MyCustomer.
27th November 2019
Stand and deliver - fulfilment is a customer experience challenge
An Instagram-worthy retail experience may get shoppers through the door – but if your operations don't meet more practical customer needs, they won’t be coming back. CTO Dan Hartveld explores the fulfilment challenges faced by retailers.
11th November 2019
Progressive web apps - the future for retail CX?
Google says they deliver a 68% increase in traffic and an average 52% increase in conversions - CTO Dan Hartveld looks at PWAs and what they can do for retailers
16th October 2019
Celebrating 20 years of Red Ant with sun, sea, sand and speedboats
Last week, we went on an amazing journey to the Croatian island of Hvar to celebrate 20 years of progress and success at Red Ant.
26th September 2019
Xintiandi Plaza, the new shopping centre tailor-made for Gen Zers
They've grown up online, live through WeChat and get their cultural references from KOLs. In her latest article for Jing Daily, Red Ant Asia CEO and co-founder Elisa Harca takes a look at Gen Z and how retailers are meeting their desire for experiences, quality and social enrichment.
13th August 2019
Toys R Us comeback – playing for keeps?
After its very public failure in 2018, Toys R Us has returned with a newfound focus on experiential retail. But is this the in-store experience its customers were craving?
6th August 2019
Why we must start talking about suicide
As part of a demanding, fast-moving industry, we know that sometimes the pressure can seem too hard to handle, and knowing that you’re not alone can make all the difference. Through our volunteering programme, PhilANThropy, we've taken steps in helping to support PAPYRUS and the vital work they do to prevent young suicide.
23rd July 2019
Health and beauty customer experience – more than skin-deep
There's something of a revolution happening in the in-store health and beauty business. In his latest article for MyCustomer, CTO Daniel Hartveld looks at what retailers need to do to provide a flawless service.
26th June 2019
Can virtual influencers make luxury brands’ dreams come true?
Meet the new Chinese influencers - a virtually perfect solution for luxury brand promotion? Red Ant Asia CEO Elisa Harca takes a trip into the world of virtual KOLs in her latest article for Jing Daily.
24th June 2019
Luxury brands lead the way for in-store experience
In his latest article for MyCustomer, CTO Dan Hartveld explores how luxury retailers have always been ahead of the game in personalised customer experience, and what others can learn from them when it comes to clienteling and VIP service
7th June 2019
Red Ant wins National Technology Award for Retailing Tech of the Year
We’re thrilled to announce that we have won the National Technology Awards trophy for Retailing Technology of the Year, for our digital store platform.
29th May 2019
Isolate, identify, involve - the three 'I's of digital transformation
These three ‘I’s will enable you to overcome concerns about the practical implementation of a transformation strategy and reinforce the importance of weighing up cost v value
27th March 2019
UK shoppers still love the high street but seek connected experiences
Our new OnePoll survey into the habits of 1,000 shoppers has revealed that, despite the challenging economic environment, 70% of consumers still believe that the high street is a good place to shop. Enthusiasm for a shopping spree is alive and well – provided what you get in store at least matches what you get online
11th March 2019
What's In Store? February 2019
Red Ant's regular look behind the headlines at retail and lifestyle brands' challenges and conversations, with expert views and actionable insight. This week - overcoming the 'Amazon' effect
25th February 2019
A year of partnerships & progress towards the store of the future
As technology and data integration play an increasingly vital role in ensuring the future of the high street, we’ve been privileged to partner with some of the most clear-sighted, forward-thinking brands in the business.
22nd January 2019
Navigating luxury in China: advice from the front line
Panelists including Mark Dunhill of Whittard, Stephen Bywater of Aspinal of London and Joy Isaacs of Argentum gathered for 'The China Conversation' to discuss some of the latest dos and don’ts for luxury marketing in one of Asia’s most complex markets.
22nd January 2019
Women in tech - Isobella Bradshaw, Front End Engineer
Leading women at Red Ant tell their stories and share their advice - Isobella Bradshaw, Front End Engineer: ‘In my experience 99% of the people I work with don’t give a hoot about which gender you are and simply want to help you succeed’
17th December 2018
Women in tech - Amy Stirling, Finance Manager
Leading women at Red Ant tell their stories and share their advice - Amy Stirling, Finance Manager: 'I completed my CIMA exams with Red Ant’s support as well as working part time and raising a young family'
10th December 2018
Women in tech - Emma Newman, Client Consultancy Director
Leading women at Red Ant tell their stories and share their advice - Emma Newman, Client Consultancy Director: ‘Get involved! As much as you can, show that you’re genuinely interested in the technology you’re working with’
3rd December 2018
Women in tech - Elisa Harca, Co-founder, Red Ant Asia
Leading women at Red Ant tell their stories and share their advice - Elisa Harca, Co-founder, Red Ant Asia: ‘Don't be put off by what you might not know, surround yourself with a team that are experts in areas you are not, and keep curious!’
26th November 2018
Women in tech - Sarah Friswell, COO
Leading women at Red Ant tell their stories and share their advice - Sarah Friswell, COO: ‘Progression is based on talent alone and we are always looking for the best person for the job rather than following strict criteria on who candidates are and their previous experience.’
19th November 2018
6 phrases that should be banned when discussing digital transformation
Data integration and management can be complex, so it’s hardly surprising that some retailers and lifestyle brands have made decisions that are not entirely driven by sustainable ideals. Here are six phrases that should be banned from the boardroom if you want a fruitful discussion about data and mobile-led digital transformation
15th November 2018
Women in tech – Red Ant leads the way
There’s a gender diversity crisis in tech – PwC has studied it, the FT and Forbes among others have written about it. Not at Red Ant - find out how women lead the way across the board.
12th November 2018
Three in-store CX initiatives you need to run ASAP
How to tackle stock management, queue-busting and helping customers get what they want - practical advice on implementation and timings
1st November 2018
4 initiatives that deliver CX in the digital store
It can be tricky to get commitment to developing digitally-enabled customer experiences without a solid business case for transformation. The good news is that the retail pioneers who decided to lead the charge are now seeing valid results coming from four fundamental initiatives.
3rd October 2018
Globber and Red Ant Asia partner to build interactive ecommerce site
International scooter brand Globber has teamed up with Red Ant Asia to develop a visual-led interactive site for 16 markets across Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe.
3rd September 2018
WhatsApp is now available as part of the digital store platform
WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging platform, is now part of our digital store platform, offering retailers even more flexibility in how they communicate with customers.
6th August 2018
Novus wins Gold for its Customer Experience dashboard built by Red Ant
Novus, the UK’s leading bar and restaurant operator, has won Gold at the UK Digital Experience Awards in the ‘Customer reviews and Feedback’ category for its industry-first Customer Experience Dashboard, offering real-time customer feedback and business insight.
20th July 2018
What does the future hold for retail workers?
The path to securing the future for retailers is rarely linear these days. However, there’s one significant constant that continues to provide a direct route to strategic success – retail sales colleagues.
21st June 2018
Digital store CX innovations you can apply today
The only way to truly ‘innovate’ and stay ahead of the game is to take an honest look at what you’re offering and how you can adapt it to match customer needs.
16th May 2018
3 undeniable pieces of evidence for building your digital store today
The evidence couldn’t be clearer, and the numbers couldn’t be more positive – if retailers want to exist tomorrow, they need to start building their digital store today.
20th April 2018
3 ways AI will elevate CX and retail sales roles
As the more mundane aspects of customer experience inevitably become automated, retailers will have to radically rethink their employment strategies.
18th April 2018
4 superheroes of digital transformation finally earning their stripes
Omnichannel, on-demand fulfilment, personalisation and core capabilities – the results are in and they’re robust enough to convince even the most risk-averse CIOs
8th April 2018
The future of retail demands tech-empowered sales colleagues
The future of the high street is in the hands of the front-line staff. It makes business sense to place in those hands the technology that can transform the industry as a whole and their jobs in particular. Here are three ways you should be investing in your best assets.
15th March 2018
The 4 digital CX scenarios that slayed Toys R Us
The demise of Toys R Us and Maplin brought home a stark message to retailers – adapt or die. To illustrate how things could have been different, here are four CX scenarios and how to manage them without disrupting business as usual or investing significant amounts of cash.
12th March 2018
What the big picture looks like for CIOs building the digital store
When you’re trying to home in on the technology and data initiatives that really make a difference, take a look at what’s actually happening around you, day in, day out.
5th March 2018
Five Chinese fashion and beauty e-commerce platforms to know in 2018
Making sense of the huge number of e-commerce platforms in China is no easy task. However, the fashion and beauty industry has been able to stay ahead of the game - here are five specialist e-commerce platforms for fashion and beauty brands to be aware of in 2018
19th February 2018
Getting your house in order – foundations first
If you’re building a house, lay the foundations before choosing the wallpaper. And if you’re building a digital future, set up your platform before installing VR headsets and robot assistants.
1st February 2018
How to draw up a practical roadmap for your digital store
The only way for retailers to stay relevant to today’s tech-enabled, increasingly demanding customers is to make a commitment to a digital future. CEO Dan Mortimer shares practical steps for how to get there.
30th January 2018
A better tomorrow? Here’s what will be motivating CIOs in 2018
The next 12 months will be big for CIOs, with significant changes ahead involving data, AI and a new way of working for sales and services
11th January 2018
The 7 deadly sins of enterprise data management
From lust to sloth to pride, many businesses are guilty of sins against data. Here’s what to look out for and how to turn from data sinner to data saint.
10th November 2017
Pay up or lose out: harnessing the power of China's internet celebrity
Wang Hong are the superstars of the internet, earning upwards of $21m a year – Elisa Harca, Regional Director for Asia, gives insight into how to harness their power.
8th November 2017
The Entertainer & Red Ant bring AI Christmas chat to online customers
Customers will be able to ask much-loved mascot Jack, dressed as Santa for the occasion, about all the toys and games they can buy this festive season as well as facts, jokes and information about Christmas, via both voice and text input.
25th October 2017
Watch the video: Transforming the In-Store Experience with Sofology
See how we partnered with Sofology to take home In-Store Innovation of the Year and Overall Winner at the Retail Systems Awards with an app that delivers clienteling and a truly omnichannel assisted sale
13th October 2017
Sofology transforms the in-store experience for colleagues & customers
Sofology is the UK’s fastest growing sofa specialist, and is rapidly becoming a recognised brand thanks to its carefully-crafted activity and ongoing sponsorship of the ever-popular Gogglebox franchise.
5th September 2017
Agile delivery – what it means and how it can help you innovate
‘Agile’ and ‘lean startup’ are the latest project management buzzwords. What they really mean is we can work in fast development cycles, test out ideas and either move on quickly if they don’t work or build a use case for wider rollout – very useful if you’re not sure whether a new technology is worth investing in or not.
21st June 2017
Clienteling – the secret to providing great service
When it comes to customer experience, the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’ comes down to the judicious and sensitive use of data to provide a personalised journey with the customer at its heart.
24th May 2017
10 tips for connected retail
When faced with an ever-rising tide of ‘future of retail’ predictions, tech advances and recommendations on what your strategy should be, sometimes it’s useful to cut the rhetoric and get back to basics.
24th May 2017
Building the store of the future
Building the store of the future depends on having the vision, ambition and commitment to put in place a solid strategy to give your customers a seamless, personalised shopping experience
11th April 2017
Data: Retailers must resist the big bang approach
For most retailers, the first wave of in-store digital experience (kiosks, signage and connected POS, as well as customer applications used in-store) is coming to the end of its cycle, and they’re looking to upgrade to the next generation of tech-enabled retail experiences.
10th April 2017
GDPR: It's time to take our heads out of the sand & become data-smart
Despite heavy fines for non-compliance, only half of UK businesses are aware of the new data regulations due to come into force next year.
4th April 2017
How Luxury Brands Are Persuading Millennials to Spend Their Cash
Young, rich and responsibility free: China's wealthy millennial consumers are not all the same, so luxury marketers are advised to apply different strategies when it comes to engaging them.
3rd April 2017
How to be relevant: providing customers with meaningful experiences
Rather than loyalty, retailers should make best use of technology to achieve ‘relevance’ to the customer's individual needs including location, time of purchase and retail segment.
9th March 2017
Live Streaming: 5 Home Truths for Luxury Brands
The industry buzz around live streaming is getting louder all the time, and with luxury travel and other sectors getting in on the act, there’s a growing desire for the immediacy and authenticity of live video delivered directly to the user’s choice of device.
26th February 2017
Mobile Web or Mobile Apps – Which One Is Better?
Alex Sbardella, Consultancy Director at Red Ant, breaks down the famous argument over what’s better - mobile web or mobile apps? Find out which channel prevails and takes all.
22nd February 2017
Customers and technology – three ‘C’s
According to leading research experts Forrester, businesses that sell either products or services can be divided into several categories based on their customer understanding, from customer-naïve to customer-aware and finally, customer-obsessed
20th February 2017
Assisted Sales: bringing the benefits of online to the shop floor
Online ordering in-store has been shown to increase revenue by 1-3% and secondary purchases by up to 35%. Providing sales colleagues with an assistes sales app on a tablet or other mobile device gives them the ability to offer all the benefits of online in-store.
14th February 2017
Retail tech trends for 2017: App fatigue, cashless societies, and more
Predicting upcoming tech trends has always been difficult. But for Asia, Hong Kong in particular, it’s easy to identify key areas in which retail technology is lacking by looking at what the rest of the world is doing.
2nd February 2017
Three new year's resolutions for retailers
Following what can safely be called an ‘interesting’ 2016, it’s time to start building the future. For retailers, this means committing to a roadmap for renewal and innovation.
16th January 2017
Red Ant & Halfords win Retail Systems 2016 award
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:
20th December 2016
Internet of Things – retail magic, or just another buzzword?
If Arthur C Clarke is right about advanced tech being ‘indistinguishable from magic’, the IoT has the potential to cast the biggest and most complex spell yet over the way we work, rest and play...
29th November 2016
Innovation – it’s all about data
New technology and ways of using data are being developed all the time, and you need a strategy for keeping on top of them, or you will definitely fall behind your competitors and your customers.
14th November 2016
Red Ant and Novus Leisure win UK Customer Experience Award
Red Ant and Novus Leisure, the UK’s largest private bar and club operator, have won a UK Customer Experience Award for its industry-first real-time customer feedback and business insight application.
26th September 2016
Click & collect – a speedy way to improve your customer experience
Our Pick From Store app is a next generation solution for managing the click and collect process in retail stores, offering a complete end-to-end experience for staff and customers.
21st September 2016
Did you miss Apple’s most important product launch since the iPad?
AirPods are a hot topic in the tech community. Business Director James Dye shares his opinion on how they're more than just a pair of wireless headphones. In fact, they could be the conduit for the next phase of the Internet of Things.
15th September 2016
What do your customers really look like?
To get a single customer view – one which unites all customer information about every facet of their shopping behaviour and brings the picture into sharp relief – retailers need to harmonise their data. In his latest column for MyCustomer, CTO Dan Hartveld examines how retailers can go beyond the superficial to get a true idea of what their customers look like
13th September 2016
How brands are using VR to improve customer experience in China
Tech-enhanced customer experiences have always had a very receptive audience in China, and as a result, VR technologies are being widely embraced by both brands and platforms.
30th August 2016
Cognitive and chatbots need a new kind of developer
Our relationship with computers is shifting from us giving instructions and them delivering outputs to a two-way conversation where they are more coworker rather than servant.
19th August 2016
Red Ant has been shortlisted for two Retail Systems Awards
We are very pleased to announce that two of our market leading projects have been shortlisted for this year's Retail Systems Awards - In-store Innovation of the Year for Halfords click and collect and Best Use of Technology in the Hospitality and Leisure Sector for the Novus live customer feedback and business insight app. You can see who we’re up against here - results are announced on 3rd November.
10th August 2016
Three home truths about the connected customer experience
Connected customer experience is a hot topic - most retailers agree that it is key to success in a highly-competitive climate which is becoming increasingly driven by technical advances.
4th August 2016
Our connected retail platform is able to deliver a consistent platform for development internationally that reduces time to market and scales to thousands of stores no matter where they are in the world.
25th July 2016
How I made our AI chatbot more human
There has been a lot of buzz recently about AI chatbots and how brands can use them to engage with customers; there is no doubt that over time, they will continue to grow and become a more seamless part of everyday customer engagement.
19th July 2016
Introducing Antony, the virtual concierge built by Red Ant
Visitors to the recent Retail Asia Expo in Hong Kong found themselves taking part in a unique experience – chatting to Antony, an AI bot fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and eager to help them find their way around the expo.
13th July 2016
RetailWeek Shortlist 2016
We're delighted to be recognised once again for our work with Halfords - we have been shortlisted in the Retail Week Tech and Ecomm Awards for both the Best Use of Technology In-Store and Innovation of the Year.
3rd June 2016
Try before you trust – testing times in the world of retail innovation
True innovation relies on having the courage to test, learn and adjust - in his latest article for TechWorld, Dan Hartveld looks at how lean startup methodology can work for retail.
31st May 2016
Chatbots – an essential retail innovation or just another gimmick?
Chatbots and the concept of 'conversational commerce' have really taken off. Is this the next phase of customer experience innovation?
26th May 2016
Red Ant and Novus Leisure win coveted MOMA award
We are very pleased to announce that Red Ant and Novus Leisure, the UK’s largest private bar and club operator, have won the MOMA award for Relationship Building/CRM for its unique real-time customer feedback app.
20th May 2016
Bringing benefits of online, in-store
In his latest column for MyCustomer, CTO Dan Hartveld looks at quick and easy ways to give customers access to all the benefits of online shopping when they visit a physical store.
3rd May 2016
Halfords’ click & collect smartwatch boosts pick ups & cuts paperwork
Halfords [has successfully completed a trial of smartwatches for click and collect at one of its stores and has seen collection rates improve, cut paperwork and got the staff excited about technology.
26th April 2016
Oasis partners with Red Ant to develop next generation mobile app
Leading high street fashion brand Oasis has partnered with retail experience specialist Red Ant to develop and deliver a next generation mobile commerce and engagement app.
19th April 2016
Introducing PAT – UK retail’s first delivery chatbot
Retail technology and innovation specialist Red Ant (and CMA 2016 Finalist!) has developed the retail industry’s first intelligent messenger bot specializing in delivery and eCommerce fulfillment.
13th April 2016
Red Ant shortlisted for MOMA award
We're very pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted for this year's MOMA Relationship Building/CRM award for our work on Novus Leisure's live customer feedback and business insight app!
12th April 2016
It’s the end of the workforce as we know it
As AI brings radical changes to the way we work, soft skills, the ability to provide insightful analysis and tech know-how will become more valuable.
8th April 2016
All the small things: How to get click and collect right
Contrary to what most retailers think, innovation isn’t big or clever – small and simple iterations are the way to go about introducing new technology and more connected customer experiences.
7th April 2016
Award-winning retail analytics for Novus Leisure
Mobile apps, online activity, in-store data capture, staff tracking, sales stats and more – they all generate millions of datapoints which need to be turned into accessible, useful information which can be fed back quickly to the right people.
21st March 2016
Announcing the finalists for the 2016 Contactless & Mobile Awards
Our work with Halfords has been shortlisted for another industry award – this time, Contactless Intelligence have recognised Red Ant in the Retail & Loyalty category in the Contactless & Mobile Awards.
22nd February 2016
Novus turns to customer feedback app for social and business insights
Novus Leisure, the UK’s largest private bar and club operator, has teamed up with retail technology specialist Red Ant to build a unique real-time customer feedback app that will help to measure social sentiment, deliver live business insight and improve service.
25th January 2016
Clienteling – the fine line between personalisation and ‘stalking’
When it comes to customer experience, the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’ comes down to the judicious and sensitive use of data to provide a personalised journey with the customer at its heart.
7th January 2016
Red Ant and Halfords are finalists in the 2016 Retail Week Awards
We are delighted to announce that Red Ant and Halfords are finalists for Customer Technology Innovation of the year in the Retail Week Awards with Oracle, along with other major retailers including John Lewis and Waitrose.
12th November 2015
In a fiercely competitive retail market, most businesses have now woken up to the fact that they need to have some kind of digital/physical integration strategy of they want to continue pleasing their customers and making a profit.
5th October 2015
Arcadia leads UK retail with the introduction of Apple Pay to its apps
In a move which places Red Ant at the forefront of retail innovation, Apple Pay is now enabled for its award-winning transactional apps for leading Arcadia stores including Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge.
14th July 2015
Sofaworks' AppCommerce shortlisted for Retail Week Tech & Ecomm Awards
We’re delighted to announce that Red Ant has been shortlisted for BT Retail Week Tech and Ecomm’s OpenMarket Best Use of Mobile award for our work with Sofaworks in developing beacon-enabled App Commerce.
11th June 2015
Jack Wills launches its first transactional mobile app
UK fashion retailer Jack Wills has unveiled its first transactional mobile app, which has been developed in conjunction with technology firm Red Ant.
20th May 2015
SellSmart – a cognitive tool with the power to increase conversion
Currently the only cognitive retail sales tool in Europe powered by IBM Watson, SellSmart has the potential to transform in-store sales and enable every employee to achieve their full potential, increase sales and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
28th April 2015
ServicePlus – in-store clienteling, customer loyalty and VIP treatment
Research has shown that, annually, clienteled customers spend up to four times as much as regular customers. There’s no doubt that personalising the customer experience and making them feel like a VIP increases sales and improves loyalty, but providing the right kind of service means equipping your sales staff with the right kind of knowledge.
26th March 2015
Red Ant to demonstrate cognitive retail tech at Mobile World Congress
IBM has invited Red Ant’s CEO Dan Mortimer and Product Strategy Director Alex Sbardella to demonstrate the power of cognitive sales trainer SellSmart as part of its Digital Service Provider Solutions showcase at this year’s Mobile World Congress, 2nd-5th March, Barcelona, Hall 3 Stand 3H30.
2nd March 2015
IBM invites Red Ant to present SellSmart at major US conference
Red Ant’s CTO Dan Hartveld has been invited to present at this year’s IBM Interconnect conference in Las Vegas. As part of a keynote session on cognitive apps, he will be introduced by IBM CMO Steve Gold, and will talk about SellSmart and how it can help bridge the gap between the online and the in-store customer experience.
17th February 2015