47% of shoppers want more mobile services

There's little doubt that mobile commerce is on the rise, but there's a gap between the interests and demands of shoppers and what retailers are providing.

The number of shoppers using mobile devices increased 10 percent last year, from 36 percent of consumers in 2014 to 40 percent in 2015, according to new research from Accenture.

The Adaptive Retail benchmark assessed retailers in terms of nearly 200 dimensions that evaluated their performance across six key metrics: consistent experience; connected shopping; flexible fulfillment; personalized interaction; integrated merchandising; and a better, faster, memorable experience.

Roughly 47 percent of shoppers are looking for more retail services, particularly real-time promotions, but just 7 percent of retailers said they had the ability to provide them.

Nearly one-third (32 percent) of shoppers want to be able to scan products in-store using their mobile devices—up from 27 percent in 2014—only 17 percent of retailers provide scanning capabilities. And 42 percent of shoppers want to receive automatic credit for coupons and discounts via their mobile phones—up from 35 percent last year—yet only 16 percent of retailers have the capability to automatically credit coupons.  

While retailers are adapting to the increase in consumer demand for improved mobile capabilities, with the vast majority offering smartphone-optimized websites (93 percent) and tablet-optimized websites (89 percent), they are not doing enough: the research found that only 58 percent of retailers offer smartphone apps with purchase capabilities.

There is also a disconnect between the technology and features retailers are offering shoppers and what they have provided associates in stores. Just 1 percent of retailers gave sales staff tablets to access a shopper's personal history and assist a sale.

Shoppers' expectations are increasing at a rapid rate: 60 percent more shoppers said they want to order out-of-stock items when shopping in stores.

"This year's survey confirms that retailers have begun to adapt to the evolving needs of their customers," said Patricia Walker, Accenture North America Retail Practice lead. "However, the challenge they face is investing in building the important digital elements of their channel strategy while remaining focused on driving profits which in many cases is still primarily driven by stores. Retailers need to understand however, that they are actually involved in a race that will likely accelerate as consumers continually seek more value, greater convenience, and better customer experience across all channels."

For more:
-See this Accenture survey summary

Related stories:
Mobile holiday sales reach $13B
M-commerce to top $217B by 2019
75% of retailers to ID shoppers at the door
Mobile spending to climb 68%
M-commerce jumped 30% this holiday