Consumers certainly love their mobile devices, but the majority of retailers still feel there is room for improvement with regard to their own use of the technology. Just 9% of retailers say they have implemented mobile POS that is “working well,” with another 20% saying it needs improvement, according to Boston Retail Partners (BRP). Only 13% say they have implemented associate-facing mobile solutions that are working well, while 36% more believe there is room for improvement.
Despite their dissatisfaction, most retailers that haven’t yet implemented these mobile technologies plan to offer these solutions within the next three years. While 31% said they’d implement a mobile POS within 12 months, 9% said they would do so at some point within the one- to three-year mark.
To conduct the report, titled: The Mobile World of Retail, BRP surveyed more than 500 North American retailers to explore the current state of how mobile technology is shaping retail capabilities, priorities and processes.
The report emphasizes how mobile devices are impacting retail in five key areas:
Customer identification – Identifying the customer and then delivering a personalized experience is identified as one of this year’s top priorities by 70% of retailers;
Customer engagement – 31% of retailers plan to implement mobile tools for customer engagement within the next 12 months;
Associate Training and Task management;
Mobile POS; and
Mobile payment – Mobile payment acceptance is increasing rapidly with fewer retailers taking a wait and see approach.
Additionally, more retailers are taking advantage of technologies such as near field communication (NFC), Bluetooth and mobile wallets to enhance their customer experiences. Two years ago, no retailers in the study were utilizing NFC as a means of customer identification, while last year 10% had piloted or implemented this technology. In 2017, that number jumped to 15%.
This year, fewer retailers are adopting a “wait-and-see” approach for Apple Pay and PayPal, likely because of the growing support from the payment software ecosystem and the acceptance of these mobile payments by the public. This year, 36% of retailers are using Apple Pay and 34% are using PayPal, but the percentage that will accept the platforms within the next year amounts to an additional 22% and 21% respectively.