A majority of consumers desire more mobile-friendly retailers.
In order to compete for the modern consumer, retailers are continuing to move away from traditional in-store experiences. A recent study from SOTI has revealed that the use of mobile technology within brick and mortar retail locations is proving a successful way to appease today’s technology driven customers.
The survey showed that 73% of respondents stated the availability of in-store mobile technology signaled better customer service and loyalty, an increase of 26% from the previous year.
The SOTI poll of consumers was announced during the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual 2016 Convention & Expo at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, January 17-19, 2016. Major investments in mobile technologies continue to proliferate in the retail industry as signaled by an increase of 83% of respondents reporting in-store mobility technology experiences. The survey revealed consumers are more likely to use mobile technology throughout their entire shopping experience, from research and price comparisons in-store to self-checkout and mobile point-of-sale (POS).
Key findings of the study reveal:
Consumers prefer mobile-friendly retailers: 66% of consumers are more likely to shop at retailers offering an in-store mobile technology shopping experience, an increase of 52% year over year. Half of the respondents preferred mobile-forward retailers because of a more personalized experience, an increase of 52% from the previous year. 93% of respondents would like to see more stores using in-store mobile solutions.
Demand for customized promotions and personalized experiences on the rise: Retailers are increasingly using location-aware beacon technology to deliver promotions and coupons to consumers, with almost 40% of respondents reporting they have experienced this in the past year, an increase of 33% from the previous year. Further, 85% of respondents would like to see more customized, location-based coupons and promotions from retailers while in-store.
Mobile “showrooming”-friendly retailers will persevere: The showrooming phenomenon has increased by one-fifth, with 90% of consumers now using their smartphone to compare in-store prices with online internet prices.
Retail mobility footprint expanding across segments: Big box retailers, clothing stores and health and pharmaceutical retailers have grown their mobility footprint most significantly in the time period. Restaurants, Big Box stores and electronics retailers continue to lead in their mobile consumer experiences in 2015, with six out of 10 respondents reporting having encountered mobility in these segments.
Consumers prefer in-store kiosks versus a sales associate: 59% of consumers prefer using an in-store kiosk rather than speaking with a store employee or sales associate. This is a 28% increase in the past year. An additional 41% of respondents claimed that sales associates equipped with special-purpose mobile devices were better informed and increasingly helpful.
Mobile POS demand continues to grow: Seven out of 10 consumers prefer mobile POS instead of traditional cashier checkout, an increase of 20% from the previous year. An additional 45% report that they would be more likely to shop at a store that offers mobile POS, an increase of 25% from 2014.
Security remains a top priority – more consumers willing to take legal action for personal data breach: Security continues to be a high priority with shoppers, with nine out of 10 shoppers reporting that they would cease shopping at a retailer that suffered a security breach of their payment or personal customer information. More than half of consumers reported that they would pursue legal action if a retailer leaked their payment data or personal information, an alarming increase of 43% from the previous year. An additional 62% would publicly expose the issue on social media, and seven out of 10 would boycott the retailer with family and friends. Interestingly, 88% of respondents said they assume retailers have security and privacy practices in place. More than 53% of respondents would stop frequenting a store if they learned the store had lax security and privacy practices.
Consumer retail mobility education needed: One in five respondents expressed strong uncertainty on how to use the technologies in-store, signaling the need for increasingly user-friendly mobility experiences and better consumer education.
“In-store mobile technologies are helping brick-and-mortar businesses better compete with online-only retailers and is enhancing the overall shopping experience for customers,” said Carl Rodrigues, SOTI president and CEO. “It’s clear that consumers are looking for the best deals, want instant gratification with in-store couponing and comparisons and fully expect assurances that their data is protected. These trends are a boon for enterprise mobility management companies that are charged with unifying all retail endpoints, whether consumer-facing or back-of-the store technologies.”
SOTI Inc., a provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions, issued the year-over-year comparison survey in late December 2015 against results from 2014. SOTI surveyed nearly 200 consumers with the majority of respondents residing in North America.