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Automation will help retailers focus on customers

  • News
  • June 19, 2019
  • The Register team
Automation will help retailers focus on customers

More than 100 retailers have gathered at Freedom Furniture’s new Newmarket flagship to consider what the upcoming wave of automation technology offers for the industry. Speakers included Pier Smulders from Alibaba Group and Soul Machines’ Hilary O’Connor.

Held this morning, NZ Retail’s breakfast event was sponsored by Latitude Financial Services. 

NZ Retail and The Register editor and associate publisher Sarah Dunn spoke of how smart retailers will use automation to redeploy staff from process-driven, easily automated tasks into high-touch customer-facing roles where they can demonstrate human empathy.

“Human empathy remains central to retail. Many jobs still require a human touch – multi-tasking, problem-solving, communicating and emotionally connecting are all aspects of retail work just as surely as buying and stock management are. If anything, automation is increasing the importance of these soft skills.”

Soul Machines director of technical sales, Hilary O’Connor, introduced ‘digital human’ Lia, a lifelike customer services avatar driven by artificial intelligence. She demonstrated Lia’s capability by using it to help select a credit card offer, explaining products like Lia can seamlessly and reliably replace human staff in a variety of roles.

Alibaba Group’s country manager for New Zealand, Pier Smulders, talked about the Chinese mega-retailer’s focus on ‘New Retail’. This is “seamless convergence” of online and offline shopping environments, expressed at every retail level – from Hema to a corner store near Alibaba’s headquarters in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

This integration of technology means customers can engage with products and brands before they purchase, enjoying offerings like gamification, interactive AI technology in-store, AR product placement and image search.

Andy Mackie from Auckland’s Asset Factory discussed the role of images and video in enhancing the ecommerce experience. Asset Factory offers an automated product photography system that makes producing high-quality product photography very simple, even for SMEs and even at scale.

Sean Quincey from Latitude’s buy-now pay-later Genoapay rounded out the morning by sharing insights on the coming evolution of retail finance. Building and retaining quality relationships with customers will become ever more important as the regulatory landscape changes, and automation technology will make the necessary checks and information gathering smoother.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Latitude Financial Limited have one of the largest interest free customer bases & a range of 0 percent p.a. interest free deals. Our products enable your customers to buy what they want today and enjoy the flexibility of paying it off over time. We offer a range of competitive finance promotions, which can help increase repeat sales.  Having a long history in retail finance, we partner with your business to grow strong relationships and help you achieve a point of difference from your competitors. We also provide you with retail finance expertise, products and services to suit your business’s needs.

We believe that service is the key to any sustainable business relationship and to assist your business with any query when it comes to Gem products, we have a team of professionals dedicated to this task.

Email - merchant.support@gemfinance.co.nz

Phone – 0800 787 767 Option 3

Mon-Fri 8:30-5pm

​ ​

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InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

  • News
  • July 18, 2019
  • The Register team
InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

Grace Stratton, the 20-year-old founder of specialty ecommerce site All Is For All, has been named one of 50 global Badass Women by US glossy magazine InStyle. The list includes international celebrities like Mindy Kaling and businesspeople like Stitch Fix chief executive Katrina Lake.

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Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

  • Opinion
  • July 18, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

Idealog editor Elly Strang recently spoke at the Magazine Publishers Association conference about the importance of wellbeing in the workplace, and the key takeaways from Wellness Month. She shares why it shouldn't be thought of as a luxury nice-to-have, like yoga classes, as research is showing it impacts on your bottom line, as well as some tips on how to create change in the workplace.

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How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

  • technology
  • July 18, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

Many people struggle to envision plans from simple 2D renders and floor plans, as without a designer's eye, filling in blanks from imagination isn’t the most reliable method when it comes to something as important as building a brand-new home or store. Reactar has launched an augmented reality-based platform, HomeAR, to counteract this, which allows users to see and engage with homes in a virtual way, making the very personal process more reliable.

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Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
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Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

  • Who's Where
  • July 18, 2019
Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

Simon West, who has 20 years' experience leading companies like Ezibuy, has been appointed the chief executive of The Warehouse Group's outdoor retailer Torpedo7.

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Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

  • Design
  • July 17, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

Stephanie Saxton has been selling cheeky swimsuits and ethical activewear online out of Bay of Plenty's Athenree since 2018. She's now opened Saltysea's first bricks and mortar store, the Salty Collective.

Read more
 

What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

  • News
  • July 16, 2019
  • Idealog
What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

Every business goes through a life cycle: start-up, growth, maturity and renewal, rebirth or decline. Once you’ve made it past the juicy, creative ideation stage and into the growth and maturity stage, the time for many comes to seek investment. But what do investors look for beyond a commercial return? And what do investors think New Zealand companies excel at when compared to our neighbouring countries around the world? Executive director of the Angel Association of New Zealand Suse Reynolds shares her top tips for those who are looking for investment.

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