Argos digital director Bertrand Bodson predicts that the rise in 3D printing means that customers will be clicking and printing rather than clicking and collect in the next ten years.
Bodson told the Retail Week Ecommerce Summit this morning: “I can see a world in the future where we have click and print. So you order something online and instead of going to stores, you can click and print it. It’s about 10, 15 years until we get there.”
He said that the opportunity was potentially large in categories in which Argos already had strength in such as jewellery and toys.
Bodson said he wants to “push innovation more” in the Argos business and in-store is a big area where it would focus, where it plans to use its staff to convert more shoppers online.
He said he wants to have the “most digital savvy workforce in the country”.
“It could be the strongest digital army this country has,” he said. “They could take the customer by the hand and say by the way do you know that by checking here beforehand we can avoid wasted journeys because you can check stock beforehand.”
Bodson said it had started a trial in 10 stores giving store staff navigators to help customers in-store. He also said he believed that the store could also become the call centre of the future, adding a local element to customer queries.
Bodson, who joined Argos from EMI earlier this year, said he was viewing Argos’ website as a “media business”.
“We’ve got high traffic website. What could you do with brand and suppliers around this to monetise this,” he said.
He declined to give any further detail on how Argos would approach this.