75% of retailers to ID shoppers at the door

By 2020, nearly two-thirds of retailers will identify shoppers by their smartphone as they enter a store.

Personalization is the buzzword of the day for retailers and mobile devices are the way in which that's being delivered. The need to deliver those messages in real time is growing, according to a new report by Boston Retail Partners.

"Real-time retail is the ability to deliver a holistic experience to consumers whenever, wherever or however they choose to shop by gathering, analyzing and disseminating customer, product, pricing and inventory data across all channels in real time," the report stated.

"Customers are forcing a fundamental reshaping of retail by demanding a seamless convergence of the in-store and digital experiences," said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners. "Successful retailers realize they can no longer divide that experience among separate channels and must work towards a holistic shopping experience that transcends channels and offers contextual guided selling and promotions in real time. It is promising to see that nearly 50 percent of the retailers indicated that real-time retail was one of their top three priorities."
Roughly 76 percent of retailers plan to provide suggested selling based on a customer's previous purchases within three years, according to the report. And 83 percent plan to offer promotions based on a shopper's geographic proximity within five years.
Nearly all the respondents, 91 percent, plan to have real-time inventory available at the point of sale within three years and 95 percent will implement real-time analytics in the next five years.

These are ambitious plans, but quite a few obstacles remain, beginning with the need for retailers to implement some form of digital identification: geofencing, beacons or Wi-Fi. Implementing analytics and delivering personalized offers (and their fulfillment) are priorities, but can retailers execute these plans in the next five years?

For more:
-See the Boston Retail Partners survey results

Related stories:
Facebook is giving away free beacons
Mobile shopping growth slow as in-store refuses to go away
Gap turns to Spring app to reach millennial shoppers
Walmart debuts new mobile initiatives
Tesco trials mobile coupons to drive traffic to new concept store