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70% of retailers could benefit from communications technology

Unified communications not being used by majority of retailers despite 20% increase in online shopping last month.

By Claire Vanner

A new whitepaper has been released that aims to plug the knowledge gap on how unified communications can drive greater retail profits.

Research from Elitetele.com and unified communications vendor Swyx has shown that nearly 70% of retailers had not heard of, or did not understand the benefits of, communications technology despite a 20% increase in online shopping last month – the highest figure to date.

The free whitepaper titled ‘How Retailers Can Drive Growth with Unified Communications’ explains how to service multiple customer channels, decrease customer churn rates, increase sales and turnover, enhance brand credentials, improve staff wellbeing and speed up expansion plans.

In May, Elite and Swyx teamed up with Retail Week to poll senior retail executives about how they communicate with customers and integrate key trends to gauge their awareness regarding the potential of unified communications.

Matt Newing, CEO of Elite, said: "Our survey pointed to a clear need to educate retailers on how technology can support key operational targets. This year we have already seen many high street retail businesses such as HMV and Blockbuster fail as a result of not evolving their business models to combine physical and digital journeys to suit changing customer preferences and behaviour.

"As a unified communications specialist, we know that this technology is a great platform for retailers to be able to converge physical shopping experiences with virtual ones – combining the best of ‘bricks and clicks’ – whilst cutting costs and allowing for flexible expansion across all platforms. Last month online shopping grew by 20%, the highest figure to date, showing a clear need for retailers to adapt and optimise their communications so they can take full advantage of this opportunity."

CEO at Swyx, Ralf Ebbinghaus commented, "The beauty of unified communications is that it integrates with all areas of a retail business, so that up-to-date information stored in a back-office app or web-based resource can be used in any type of communications channel. This results in a truly unified customer experience across all media.

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"The new whitepaper identifies how senior retail executives can use unified communications to transform their particular business, from providing better service to supporting multiple channels, or simply saving costs and time when rolling out new outlets."

The paper also looks into key trends such as mobile and social media and how unified communications can help retail businesses successfully adapt to incorporate these into their main infrastructure and operations.

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