Retailers Need to Step Up to Mobile Tech Shopping

retail mobile tech

Retailers will need to up their mobile tech game as new devices, faster networks, and app-savvy consumers demand the next-generation in mobile shopping.

According to a new study released by WBR Insights, 52% of senior retail executives stated they weren’t prepared to use artificial intelligence chatbots and augmented and virtual reality to engage mobile shoppers-  with only 9% indicating they were able to support these advanced technologies.

The study which surveyed 100 executives indicated that transitioning to technologies such as mobile payments platforms, AI chatbots and on-demand same-day services that offer customers benefits similar to those within the physical retail experience have the most potential to improve mobile commerce business segments.

“Consumers want the ability to seamlessly browse for and buy products at their convenience, so it’s no surprise that mobile payments and on-demand services are at the top of retailers’ technology wish list,” said Andrew Greissman, Research Director at WBR Insights.

“As consumers continue to demand more information and flexibility from their mobile shopping experience, technologies like voice recognition and augmented reality will become must-haves for engagement.”

The study revealed that 27% of retail executives are evaluating the implementation of AR/VR in the next two years, followed by voice recognition 25% and progressive web apps 22% to emulate in-store experiences.

Budgetary constraints and lack of internal resources and executive buy-in were among the most commonly cited reason for the delay in adopting mobile-based technologies.

Retailers who want to compete with giants like Walmart Inc. and Inc will need to adopt innovative mobile technologies.

Discount giant Walmart has just announced the rollout of a mobile feature that enables customers to purchase ingredients featured in 4,000 videos from BuzzFeed’s Tasty food content iOS app and have the items delivered to customers’ homes via a single click.

The move by the mega-discount retailer is a clear indication that there’s significant value to be derived from enriching the mobile shopping process to emulate real world and physical brick and mortar in-store retail experience.

The opportunities for retailers to capitalize on consumer conversion through innovative mobile strategies are extensive and robust digital connectivity is poised a significant role in enabling consumer sales and transactions.

During last year’s busy holiday shopping season, one- third of all online purchases came from smartphone users.  Nearly 40% of the $6.2 billion in online revenue generated on Black Friday- a traditionally brick and mortar shopping day- came from mobile devices last year.

Statistics show that 40% of users will go to a competitor after a bad mobile experience, yet an alarming 84% of consumers indicated that they had experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction.

As more retailers rely on consumer-facing mobile apps to attract customers at crucial search, browse, discovery and purchase stages of their shopping journeys, those who can successfully create a seamless and connected experience will boost profitability and thrive in the future.

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