Technology is hardly a new story for the retail industry. But it is disrupting and developing both online and physical store experiences for customers.

As a result, stores themselves are becoming increasingly reliant on their integrated devices working flawlessly at all times.

When the inevitable does happen and hardware fails or needs maintenance, it can cause problems for both shopper and retailer.

Here are five insights from the latest ByBox consumer research worth remembering when thinking about in-store technology:

1. Your customers love in-store technical innovation

From our survey, some 97% of shoppers have experienced devices in store, from payment terminals and automated tills through to artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and digital screens. All of these ease the shopper journey to make navigating the aisles a more pleasant experience.

2. But tech can (and does) fail

Two thirds of our surveyed shoppers reported they had experienced problems and breakdowns in store. For a third of these shoppers, this meant they were unable to complete their purchase.

With Britain’s tills ringing through £1.4bn on ‘super Saturday’ – the busiest shopping day of the year before Christmas – downtime could make quite an impact on lost revenue, let alone customer loyalty.

3. Bad experiences can have lasting implications

More than a third of the shoppers surveyed (38%) reported they felt irritated or angry because of these breakdowns. More than a fifth of disgruntled shoppers complained to store staff as a result of technology downtime.

For a very angry one in 10, opinions of the store were damaged in the long term. Nearly three in five (59%) shoppers think that in-store technology does not only make payments faster, it also adds to the overall experience. So, when devices fail, customers’ trips are longer, more complicated and harder.

4. Devices are multiplying

Three quarters of retail decision-makers are planning to increase spend on in-store technology, with the majority (92%) believing that updating their technology will potentially solve the issue of breakdowns.

This means there will be even more devices installed and updated in bricks-and-mortar stores – and even more demand for new and exciting technology to operate flawlessly to exceed customer expectations.

5. Innovative tech solutions are critical to remain competitive

More than half (53%) of retailers view investments in new automations and appliances in store as vital in their strategies to keep up with their competitors.

In a year when some well-established high street brands have gone into administration, the pressure to keep up with change is truly on.

Taking this into account, we have developed and launched a new service called Switch, which has been created to help retailers maintain in-store devices and increase service-level agreement (SLA) performance. 

Switch makes same-day fast fixes of in-store devices possible, resulting in a better customer experience and reducing lost sales owing to breakdowns.

The approach will help retailers navigate the increasingly competitive world of bricks and clicks.