Commentary

Retailers Need to "Tech-Up"

According to a Motorola Solutions survey released in June 2012, reported by Marketing Charts, 75% of US retailers believe that developing a more engaging in-store customer experience is going to be critical to their business in the next 5 years. And, a significant proportion of retailers expect to adapt by providing personalized product details, based on previous behavior, to a shopper’s smartphone. In fact, retailers believe that 42% of sales will come from online, mobile, and social commerce sites in the next 5 years, says the report.

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This is not an outrageous projection, says the report, given the meteoric growth of e-commerce. According to recent comScore figures, retail e-commerce’s 17% year-over-year growth in Q1 marked the 10th consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and 6th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates.

The Future of Retail In Next 5 Years

The Future Needs

% of US Retail Respondents

Developing a more engaging in-store experience will be business critical

74%

All transactions will be completed via mobile POS, self checkout at terminal, or on shoppers mobile device

56%

Sales will come from online, mobile and commercial sites

42%

Send coupons based on customer location in the store

42%

Provide personalized product details to shopper’s smartphone based on previous behavior

41%

Recognize customer in store with geofencing or presence technology

35%

Source: Motorola Solutions, June 2012

With retailers expecting an improved retail experience, they will be investing in new technologies mainly to try and keep up their customer service as shopping channels proliferate. 51% of retailers will make their investments to improve their customer service. This aligns with results from an earlier Motorola Solutions survey, says the report, which found that among retailers who have or are planning to use mobile point of sale (POS) solutions, better customer service is by far their top goal.

Retailers appear to understand the need to customize the in-store experience to appeal to the modern shopper, yet a high proportion are unable to do so. Three-quarters of retailers said they don’t know when a specific customer is in the store, and 85% cannot customize a store visit. Additionally, 89% are unable to connect customers’ activities online with what they do in the store today.

When it comes to personalization techniques used by retailers, customers prefer to be acknowledged in-store rather than via digital channels, at least when shopping for specialty products, per findings from a RIS News and Cognizant survey of US and Canadian shoppers released in June 2012, according to the Marketing Charts report.

Additional findings:

  • According to the Motorola Solutions survey, 2 in 5 retailers believe that the inability to find the item they came to purchase is a major source of customer dissatisfaction, second only to out-of-stock items. The RIS News survey reported that shoppers said that products they want being out of stock is their most disliked experience when shopping in-store for both specialty items and consumables
  • Although just 9% of surveyed retailers currently offer associate-manned mobile or portable POS, 18% expect to do so in the next 5 years. While only 4% currently offer self-checkout on the customer’s own mobile device, 12% plan to offer this option in the next 5 years
  • 37% of respondents do not currently have wireless available in-store. Half expect that to be the situation in 2017
  • 39% of retailers offer consumers the option to buy on mobile and ship to home, while 59% expect to do so by 2017. The proportion planning to offer the option buying on mobile and picking up in-store is double those currently offering that option (58% vs. 29%).

To find more information about the study by Motorola Solutions, please visit Marketing Charts here.

 

1 comment about "Retailers Need to "Tech-Up"".
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  1. Jerry Birnbach from Jerry Birnbach & Associates, July 9, 2012 at 11:53 a.m.

    This train has been rolling down the track for over two years. Our retail design firm has addressed the design elements necessary to incorporate this critical advance in shopping. My concern is that the transition and implementation takes time to develop and now is the time to start. For those clients who do not start now need to be prepared for the train to pull out of the station without them
    Jerry Birnbach F.I.S.P.
    www jerrybirnbach com

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