A new study conducted by EKN and sponsored by Epicor has found that brick-and-mortar retailers are ill-equipped to offer the next-generation of consumers the contextual, seamless and personalized shopping experience they demand.
According to the "First Annual Future of Stores Study," only a third of retailers use the store as a delivery hub for online orders, one in four offer smart devices to their sales associates, and one in ten have features in their mobile app that are useful in the store.
Other key findings of the study include:
- systems focused on the core tenets of traditional retail — product, price and inventory — are the most mature in terms of integration;
- systems focused on the customer — loyalty, customer information and promotions — have the lowest integration levels;
- store associate mobility is high on the priority list, but low on the maturity curve;
- future investments in store technologies will be accompanied by a rationalization of legacy store systems; and
- IT spending on store technologies will remain relatively flat over the next 3 years.
"Consumers don't think in terms of channels. Retailers still do. The future of the retail store is no different than the future of all retail — seamlessly integrated, technologically enabled and personal," said Gaurav Pant, research director for EKN. "For retailers to be able to deliver such an experience, they need to align all channels to the lifetime value of customers, empower store associates at the point of interaction, infuse new digital experiences in-store, and aggressively integrate customer data, inventory and pricing across all channels."
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