Mobile is playing a much larger role in the in-store experience and retailers who fail to embrace this trend will themselves fail, as millennials represent an increasing percentage of sales.
As brick-and-mortar retail transforms, retailers must advance in-store retail technology and leverage the power of the smartphone or face extinction, according to a new report by ABI Research. The study underscores that millennials and GenY are the agents of this revolution and identifies the stages of technological development that a retailer must undergo before the total market makeover is complete in 2025.
Analytics is the first step toward reaching this goals. "Retailers must upgrade and aggregate all data across their brick and mortar, online, and mobile outlets," said Patrick Connolly, principal analyst at ABI Research. "It is otherwise impossible to understand the customer enough to personalize offerings, streamline processes and create new services."
To realize this goal, retailers need to combine data with innovations around inventory, POS systems and online information. "This concept further illustrates the ineffectiveness of brick-and-mortar stores' current retail strategies, as even the idea of a fixed point of sale or a large in-store display is beginning to look incredibly outdated," according to the report.
"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," Connolly said.
"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," concludes 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."
-See this ABI Research press release
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