To Stay Competitive, Retailers Need to Close the Omnichannel Gap
Majority of retailers fall below consumer shopping expectations, face barriers to embracing retail innovation.
Findings from a recent retail industry benchmarking report gauging retailer readiness in implementing new retail technologies, suggests that the majority of retailers are struggling to implement technologies now regularly expected by consumers – which further prevents them from exploring future retail opportunities.
Highlights from the report include:
- 69% of retailers indicate they are not omni-channel integrated, with 29% stating they have not considered omni-channel capabilities.
- Consumers indicate that bridging the online and in-store experience matter to them most, ranking their most desired online shopping features as: 1) Buy online, pick up in-store same day; 2) Buy online, exchange in-store; 3) Same-day delivery.
- Of those retailers who do plan to invest in retail technology, 49% plan to invest in mobile payments, 29% look to offer buy online, pick up in-store capabilities, and 28% are working to create a dedicated mobile application.
- 85% of consumers indicate that they use their mobile device while shopping in a retail store.
Retailers and consumers generally agree that implementing basic omni-channel capabilities is a top priority, including the abilities to purchase online and pick up or exchange in-store. In terms of shopping experiences within a retail store, consumers expressed they would like to see more mobile capabilities, such as receiving personalized discounts based on their location. Retailers agree, and are working to create these experiences, namely by investing in dedicated mobile applications and mobile payment technologies.
When it comes to implementing new retail technologies, retailers say their top barriers include:
1. Insufficient financial resources;
2. Difficulty implementing back-end technology; and
3. Lack of education and training of employees.
These barriers were consistent among organizations of all sizes – from those generating high revenues ($300M-$500M+) to those with lower revenues (<$1M-$299M). The study also highlighted a widening technology gap among retailers who consider themselves to be omni-channel integrated and those who do not. Forty percent of respondents, most of whom are not omni-channel integrated, indicate they have no intention of implementing new consumer-facing retail technologies in the next 12 months. This lack of investment will further deepen an already existing technology gap, introducing an increased risk for technology laggards of losing sales and favorability to retailers whose technologies already meet or exceed customer expectations.
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