There has been a lot of talk in retail over the last two years about bringing successful online practices into the store environment, and UK footwear retailer Dune would appear to be one industry player gaining ground in this area.
Just a matter of months after Dune's retail omnichannel manager, Dave Abbott, told Essential Retail how the business is now measuring in-store customer footfall using metrics traditionally associated with eCommerce, it has emerged that the company has successfully improved internal operations using mobile technology.
Dune has implemented software-as-a-service start-up StorIQ's Area Manager (AM) iPad application, and as a result is reporting faster store review processing and better communication between store managers and the organisation's central office.
The tool enables area managers to issue tasks and upload and share images with local and central management, and the digital platform has apparently permitted AMs to conduct store visits and reviews more efficiently.
Abbott said: "My role is to bring the best and most suitable technology into the stores and our area management team.
"The app has been designed with the area manager's workflow in mind and is helpful in preparing for, conducting and reporting on store visits."
He added that since StorIQ's technology has been in use, AMs have halved the time it takes for a store review while still maintaining the required standards.
And as is the case with the deployment of technology, unexpected extra functions materialise once it has been implemented – and this happened with StorIQ and Dune.
In addition to using the AM application across its UK store portfolio, Dune has adopted the tech firm's Store View module for its international operations. The photo functionality has allowed the retailer to monitor consistency and visual merchandising standards across a diverse range of stores, concessions and franchises, in different geographies.
Nick Jackson, international operations manager at Dune, commented: "We recently rolled out StorIQ across our portfolio in the Middle East and it was fantastic to see how quickly colleagues were embracing the system and uploading photos into the central database for review."
StorIQ's "bigger vision", according to founder and CEO Peter Wake, is for its technology to allow for metrics to be applied to retail operations procedures that aren't currently analysed. This is a target for helping the wider retail industry, not solely Dune.
But in keeping with Abbott's and Dune's current philosophy, Wake added: "We're applying the same kind of analytical review and thinking to bricks and mortar retail that we do to online and this allows retailers to see where tweaks and changes need to be made in order to improve efficiency and improve profits."
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