Harvey Norman CIO predicts key future retail trends.

Connecting staff to customers to create a seamless and personalised shopping experience is “high on the agenda” for Harvey Norman, according to chief digital officer, Gary Wheelhouse, who discussed trends and innovations on the retail horizon in a keynote address at this year’s e-commerce conference MagentoLive held in Sydney last week.

gary wheelhouse updated

“Our Click & Collect and Live Chat services have been attributing to growth and driving our customers in-store. In my opinion, a company’s website is its flagship store or window into the local store,” Wheelhouse said.

“Consumers demand efficiency and new technologies in their shopping experience and payment systems, driven by an easy-to-use and simplistic platform. This is why it is so important to make constant improvements to your mobile website in order to stay ahead of your competition,” he explained.

Websites remove the friction experienced in-store, including the process of consuming the amount of choice, lining up in the queue to pay for the product and the final payment, according to Wheelhouse.

“Consumers enjoy the speed and convenience of online shopping, so our aim is to replicate this in our stores – a challenge we are willing to take on with both hands.

“Social media has boomed and I view Twitter as a customer service tool where our customers can post their concerns or questions about our products and Facebook acts as a marketing tool or extension of our advertising channels,” Wheelhouse concluded.