Burberry hails growing success of using iPads in-store

The preliminary results announced by Burberry today showed that retail sales are on the rise and profitability continues to grow, but the business also gave particular attention to its use of tablet devices in stores across the globe.

Like-for-like retail sales for the 12 months ended 31 March 2014 were up 15% year on year, and Burberry said that its digital operations performed strongly. The company also pointed out that orders taken on iPads in-store accounted for more than a quarter of digital sales made during the period.

As many retailers look at ways to embrace the use of technology in the physical environment, Burberry has been able to increase the percentage of sales made via iPads in-store by more than 10% year on year.

"With consumer behaviour rapidly evolving, Burberry focused on improving the customer experience both offline and online, driving 12% comparable sales growth," today's statement said.

"In-store, footfall remained weak but was offset by improved conversion, reflecting investment particularly in customer service. Online, both traffic and conversion grew, with the integration of digital into the regional infrastructure driving the growth of sales via iPads in-store and collect-in-store."

As well as the growing frequency of store staff conducting transactions with a tablet device, the last 12 months also saw Burberry make further investment in its .com site by adding three more languages and rolling out further delivery options, including collect-in-store to around 120 of its shops.

Burberry's statement also spoke of how it continues to "blur the lines between the physical and digital", which is a technique that is currently high on many retailers' agendas.

Recent research from industry insight group Conlumino, commissioned by law firm TLT, found that iPads in-store and apps for customers are key investment areas in 2014 for approximately 50% of the UK's 60 leading retailers.

Commenting on today's preliminary figures from Burberry, Anusha Couttigane, senior consultant at Conlumino, said: "The digital reinforcement that mainline stores enjoy has also augmented sales opportunities for Burberry.

"Acting upon rapidly changing consumer patterns at the threshold of the digital age has helped to establish Burberry as a leading eCommerce player in the luxury market."