Retailers catching up to consumers’ digital expectations

Luxury Daily – As consumers seek to shop in environments that are digitally integrated, retailers are playing catch up when it comes to technology such as augmented reality and video conferencing.

According to a report from BRP, retail consulting firm, rather than dying out, the bricks-and-mortar store is evolving in a more digitized direction. As retailers undergo an evolution to remain competitive in the face of disruption, very few currently have the capabilities in place to offer the technology that consumers say they desire in-store.

“The gap between customers’ expectations and retailer capabilities are a result of the combination of two things: continued acceleration and elevation of consumers’ expectations and the time and cost associated with implementing new retail capabilities,” said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners. “Consumers’ expectations are shaped by the wealth of information and capabilities at their fingertips via smartphones and the experiences they encounter at every other retail interaction — online, mobile or physical.

“Retailers’ lack of agility is often restricted by legacy software that is difficult to modify for the new technologies required to support consumer expectations,” he said. “There is also a disconnect between customer expectations for personalization and retailers’ capabilities.

“According to BRP’s survey, 79 percent of consumers said personalized service from a sales associate is an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop, and 63 percent of retailers can’t identify their customers prior to checkout. If you don’t identify customers, you can’t fully personalize their experience.”

Boston Retail Partners’ 2019 Special Report: The Future Store is based on findings from its BRP Consumer Study and the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey.

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