'Retailers not evolving fast enough in digital world'

19 Jan '16
3 min read

German multinational software corporation SAP SE that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations, has announced findings from a survey and report commissioned by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), “How Mobile is Transforming Retail.”

Retailers are under enormous pressure to adjust both internal and customer-facing business strategies in order to keep pace with rapidly evolving consumer demands. And most are not evolving fast enough.

The report is based on a consumer survey across 39 countries. The survey results were announced at the NRF annual convention and expo now under way in New York.

Three key mobile imperatives to retail growth identified in the report include addressing generational differences in shopper behavior. The report shows that 69 per cent of consumers polled use smartphones and desktops for shopping in equal measure — but 81 per cent of millennial respondents say they mainly use smartphones for the purpose.

The report also identified prioritizing the user experience to attract and retain customers. Of those who shop infrequently from mobile devices, 63 per cent blame small screen size and 38 per cent cite awkward navigation as the obstacle. Among those who do not yet use mobile devices to request product samples, 51 percent believe they will do so in the future.

The report also suggests closing the gap in mobile shopping functionality. In a few years, a generation whose shopping habits have matured alongside that of mobile technology will become the mainstay of retail spending in developed economies.

The report also states that about 60 per cent of those polled use their mobile devices to comparison shop. Of those polled, 76 per cent say in-store staff using mobile devices to ring up purchases appeals.

The increasing use of mobile shopping functionality threatens retailers who fail to meet this group's expectations for more sophisticated mobile shopping services, especially as the group's purchasing power grows, the report added.

With these three key mobile imperatives as guides, retailers can fine-tune their mobile shopping services.

Carolyn Whelan, the report's editor, said: “Mobile shopping continues to grow in its reach and breadth. But as demand for more sophisticated services picks up, particularly among Millennials, shoppers will be less forgiving of services that fall short. As retailers shift or expand their mobile service offerings, a cohesive strategy considering consumer capabilities and needs across multiple touch points, from the physical store to desktops and smartphones, is paramount.” (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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