Building a scalable retailing platform and then seeing only a fraction of it be fully utilized is frustrating to say the least. A bit like setting out a delicious feast and watching guests simply pick at the appetizer tray.
Cloud based retail products like Demandware brought an open architecture and ease of integration that revolutionized backend technology. The expansive new platform meant that IT was not locked into a supporting role, they were empowered to elevate digital retailing to the next level. So did it work? Is ecommerce feasting or are we still just nibbling around the edges?
Stephan Schambach, creator of Demandware and founder of NewStore, wanted to discover how brands were adapting to meet the needs of a mobile centric world. He knew it was important to understand if brands were fully utilizing available technology to create an integrated on-and off-line shopping experience.
NewStore researchers spent time with 112 leading retail brands throughout New York and Boston. The end result was the Mobile Retail Report, and the contents indicate that most retailers are either not implementing or not taking advantage of the capabilities expansive digital platforms can provide. In short, we aren’t feasting.
The research scored retailers on the effectiveness of their native apps, their mobile websites and the connectivity of their in-store experiences. It examined how well these select retailers were using mobile capabilities within these three areas. Specifically, the report examined search and share capabilities, personalization, purchasing and fulfillment.
Some of the technology gaps researchers discovered were obvious, with many of the stores not even providing open Wi-Fi for customers. Overall, stores did fair with traditional mobile retail offerings but were lacking when it came to enhancements like real-time mobile inventory checks for both customers and associates. The report confirmed that retailers were putting mobile retail into an ecommerce silo and failing to integrate it with customer’s in-store experience.
The ramifications of not integrating the mobile and in-store experience are coming. 75% of in-store customers use their phones while they shop and 25% are shopping on their phones. Not developing a compelling enough mobile experience increases the odds that the 25% may not actually be buying your merchandise.
The report demonstrates that many retailers need to evolve their mobile strategy so that it’s keeping pace with the available technology. Expanded mobile commerce can empower brands with the ability to build stronger on-site customer relationships and loosen the hold competing brands have on customers who are browsing their smartphones in-store.
To find out how today's retailers are ranking when it comes to their mobile acquity, download the Mobile Retail Report.