Representatives from Tesco, Carpetright, Dune Group and Blackwell's sat down with Essential Retail and event sponsor Hitachi Solutions for a breakfast roundtable discussion to talk about the modern retail customer journey and how to iron out the pain points for today's shoppers.

It was a broad debate covering topics such as the impact technology is having on the shopping experience, new ways of encouraging loyalty, and how ensuring quality customer service is now central to most retailers' strategies as they battle for market share and revenue growth.

Chris Huntingford, customer relationship management consultant at Hitachi Solutions and one of the roundtable participants, said: "As customers we've all experienced the irritation of having to repeat ourselves to multiple sales agents from the same retailer. It wastes shoppers' time and money, you form a lower opinion of them and it's less likely that you'll buy from them again.

"Having a single, accurate customer view that is available across multiple channels, and being able to act on this insight are a massive boost for both retailer and shopper. With it, retailers can create a closer, more authentic relationship with shoppers, who benefit from products and services that are better suited to the way they buy."

Download the second of two white papers from Hitachi Solutions and Essential Retail on Cutting Customer Irritation, which specifically looks at ways of maintaining authenticity in retail.