Fifty percent of retailers surveyed by Shopgate said a mobile shopping app is a top priority for their omnichannel strategies, while 45% listed mobile points of sale as another key to their plans, according to a recent Shopgate report titled "The New Rules for Omnichannel Retailing."
Additionally, 61% of retailers surveyed identified buy online, pick up in-store and buy online, return in store capabilities as being among top priorities in their ongoing omnichannel strategies.
Overall, omnichannel will be a priority this year for more than 67% of retailers surveyed. There is an opportunity to improve approaches to omnichannel by providing store associates with mobile devices to aid the order fulfillment process, the report stated.
There are more ways than ever to shop including in store, online, via voice-activated virtual assistants, personal shopping assistants, mobile-optimized websites, branded shopping apps and progressive web apps. With all those choices, retailers continue to see their own shopping apps as a top priority. It's not hard to understand why — the technology may hold the key to keeping shoppers in a retailer-controlled and branded shopping environment.
The finding that 45% of retailers see mobile POS as a priority demonstrates that even with a limited number of automated checkout and mobile checkout offerings in the sector, the technology has quickly gained influence in the industry.
Likewise, 33.8% of survey respondents said they would like to have order fulfillment data on tablets, smartphones or desktop devices to allow store associates to have greater control over operations, including managing BOPIS.
Even though BOPIS is currently more common in retail, with buy online, return in store, processes could offer another chance for associates to positively engage with customers, especially if employees are given technology for streamlining those returns. The report said to "Think of the returns process as a critical touchpoint" that ideally will use consumers' "heightened attention to create an opportunity to re-engage and upsell."
Giving associates mobile devices can increase the potential for employees to establish longer-term relationships with shoppers, or clienteling. By tracking data including client names, style preferences, wish lists or previous purchases, personalization plays a part in a larger, more targeted shopping experience. Forty-six percent of retailers surveyed by Shopgate said clienteling ranked highly in importance for their preferred technologies. Ultimately, these survey results show how important mobile is on both the retailer and consumer sides of the shopping equation.