Study: Retailers must embrace the smartphone consumer


If they want to survive and succeed today’s retailers must embrace the smartphone consumer, revamp the in-store strategy and become a true omnichannel retailer.

Also top of mind should be tapping aggregated data to better serve consumer needs and personalizing the retail experience, according to a new ABI Research report.


All those tasks are being driven by the millennial and GenY shopper, which ABI describes as «agents of this revolution» within the transformation taking place in the retail sector in the next decade.

«Millennials play a large role in the in-store shopping revolution, as their smartphones are basically an evolutionary extension that the retail industry has yet to catch up with,» said Patrick Connolly, principal analyst at ABI Research, in an announcement. «The conceptual battle between brick and mortar versus online is dead. All retailers must become omnichannel and harness the power of the smartphone by developing next-generation, personalized experiences.»

Retailers should be leveraging technology such as camera analytics, iBeacons and Wi-Fi to gain valuable knowledge from online analytics. The smartphone should be viewed as a new retail platform for enticing and engaging consumers. It’s also prime real estate for an advertising revenue channel, notes the report.

«Installing an iBeacon network is not enough,» said Connolly. «Retailers must upgrade and aggregate all data across their brick and mortar, online, and mobile outlets. It is otherwise impossible to understand the customer enough to personalize offerings, streamline processes, and create new services.»

Retailers must also take a long look at point-of-sale and in-store display strategies as many are outdated, according to ABI.

«The retail industry is notoriously slow at embracing new technology, but CEOs should view early adoption as a huge opportunity to rejuvenate their brand, while establishing themselves as industry disruptors,» said Connolly. «By 2025, we will be exposed to a new shopping world in which the value of a physical store will no longer be measured in sales, queuing will not exist, any surface will be a storefront, customers will be able to find and buy any item at any time, and clothing will be shared, tried on virtually, and printed at home. The path to the future should start today for smart retailers.»

Source: Retail Customer Experience

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