Chocolate manufacturer and retailer, Thorntons, is trialing SmartPod retail technology to allow customers to purchase from its extended online range while in-store. Developed in partnership with retail technology firm One iota, the online ordering kiosk trial is taking place across three stores in Sheffield Meadowhall, Fargate and Derby Westfield.
The solution will focus on converting sales for items difficult to stock in-store, such as Thorntons’ hampers range, which are currently a bestselling product online. All orders made through SmartPod will be delivered free of charge, and can be delivered directly to a loved one as a gift. The range also includes personalised products such as Alphabet Truffles, where customers can create a bespoke message of up to 33 characters and Thorntons’ chocolate models range, where customers can have a name or message iced directly onto the chocolate.
In the stores, SmartPod will be featured next to a selection of hampers, allowing customers to make their choice, and then order for delivery on the SmartPod with secure payments via Chip & PIN or choose the perfect hamper to take home there and then.
Geoff Kershaw, Thorntons retail director, said: “We know that a significant proportion of our customers already shop us multi-channel and we’re hoping that these new SmartPods will make this even easier for them to do so. Many chocolate fans looking for the perfect gift aren’t aware of the fantastic range of hampers we sell online, so this trial will hopefully help us grow awareness of not only our extensive product range but also our overall online offering.
“We’re also really excited to be trialling this in Sheffield, where the company was born 102 years ago. It’s great to be taking this new technology back to where it all began.”
Damian Hanson, One iota CEO, said: “Thorntons is one of Britain’s best loved and well known brands, so it’s fantastic to work with them to bring multi-channel to life and raise awareness of their online offering. This year will see a trend of major high street retailers adopting in-store connected technology to bring new online and digital shopping experiences into high street stores.”
SmartPod will also help Thorntons to raise awareness of comprehensive online range available via the recently launched new Thorntons.co.uk website. This includes personalised gifts and named day delivery on a chosen date in the future.