High consumer expectations because of the significant improvements in online services has caused retailers to turn to technology to make shopping in-store as appealing as shopping online.
A study by RSR Research has examined the most valuable in-store technologies in the eyes of retailers and how this has changed in 2011 compared to 2010
The report indicates that the percentage of retailers who see value from delivering information to customers’ mobile phones and PDAs has more than doubled from 30% to 62%. This is mirrored by the rise in retailers who hope to deliver information to store-owned mobile phones and PDAs. Furthermore, there has been an increase in retailers who see personal scanners, self-service scales, product information kiosks and employee product information training as important.
Interestingly there has been little apparent change in the importance of modern POS hardware and software, showing that it is still a fundamental building block for improving the in-store experience for customers. Similarly the percentage of retailers who see in-store rewards and coupons as important has stayed very settled at just over 40%
The report states that it is important for retailers to be able to make the in-store experience more convenient by having trained and well informed staff. The idea centres on staff needing to have to ability to keep up with the information that the online shopping site may be able to offer, including making sure that stores can still provide the product even if their stock is out. Many retailers seeing smart phones as a way of driving traffic into stores (67% seeing the value in utilising smart phone technology).