Many traditional retailers are adopting an omnichannel strategy to improve the customer experience — embracing online channels while taking steps to maximize brick-and-mortar sales. This generally involves a two-step approach: quickly deploying next-generation technologies and applications, and providing a seamless online-to-store experience.
In a recent Wakefield Research survey of IT decision-makers in the retail sector, nearly half of respondents said their company will need to adopt new technology in the next three years to stay competitive. The technologies that are deemed of highest importance for evolving brick-and-mortar stores include:
- Retail apps to track inventory (40 percent)
- Virtual assistants and digital personal shoppers (37 percent)
- Mobile point-of-sale technology (35 percent)
- Personalized in-store experiences based on customer loyalty data (34 percent)
- In-store push notifications to customers (33 percent)
- On-demand in-store video streaming (29 percent)
However, most retailers acknowledge that they don’t currently provide in-store staff with all the tools they need to drive stellar customer experiences. Although applications to track inventory top the list as the most important technology to keep up with customer demand, 46 percent of survey respondents said their company doesn’t currently use such apps. Further, 58 percent of retailers do not have mobile point-of-sale technology in place, making the purchase process a significant pain point.
Results from the study also reveal retailers’ broader technology strategy for ensuring the success of their in-store initiatives. Over the next 12 months, retailers plan to invest in a wide range of applications, infrastructure and tools to support digital transformation and execute their omnichannel approach. The most common areas of investment include:
- Improving the in-store Wi-Fi and mobile service experience for employees and customers (49 percent)
- Obtaining tools to better monitor customer apps, such as usage rates or the user experience (48 percent)
- Ensuring point-of-sale connectivity and continuity in stores (47 percent)
- Delivering new digital services and applications for employees and customers (47 percent)
- Enhancing productivity for enterprise mobility applications on and across devices (45 percent)
The rapid adoption of advanced in-store technologies is critical to the success of today’s omnichannel retail strategy.
SageNet offers strategic solutions and services to support today’s omnichannel retailer. Contact us to discuss how we can assist you in your digital transformation journey.