OPERATIONS

Survey: Mobile technology leads to better in-store experience

BY Marianne Wilson

Schaumburg, Ill. — Three in four (75%) surveyed retail associates and managers feel they provide a better in-store customer experience when equipped with the latest mobile technologies, according to Motorola Solutions’ annual Holiday Shopping Survey.

Shoppers echoed a similar sentiment, with 67% reporting greater satisfaction with stores where associates utilized the latest technologies to assist in the shopping experience. And 43% of shoppers reported that the mobile point of sale improved their shopping experience.

Retailers are still losing significant revenue due to inefficient payment approaches, out-of-stock occurrences and lack of selection, according to the survey. Thirty-three percent of shopping trips ended with shoppers leaving before satisfying their intent to purchase, costing an average of $125 per trip. Of those lost opportunities, more than 73% did not complete their purchases with the original retailer.

“Retailers continue to deploy technology to improve the shopping experience, but they need to pay closer attention to the growing expectations of the omni-channel shopper,” said Michelle Crissey, customer solutions lead, Motorola Solutions. “Rather than just give them technology and call it a positive experience, customers prefer that retailers use the technology in a meaningful way to actually give them a better experience, both in-store and for fulfillment of online and mobile orders.”

Key survey findings include:

  • One-third (33%) of store visits ended with an average of $125 unspent due to missed opportunities to purchase driven by inefficient payment approaches, deal-habituated behavior, out-of-stocks and limited store associate assistance.
  • The vast majority of shoppers reported that self-help technologies improved their shopping experience: 83% cited using a price checker while self-checkout payment lanes (65%) and information kiosks (59%) also were mentioned frequently.
  • More than four in ten (43%) shoppers would likely use a store application on their smartphones that creates a map from a shopping list to guide them through the store on the most efficient route to complete their shopping.
  • Sixty-eight percent of lost sales could have been recaptured if a retail associate was able to order the item and have it delivered to the shopper’s home. Almost 55% of shoppers would have made their purchases if an associate could find another location that had the item in stock and told them how to get there.
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OPERATIONS

Report: Wal-Mart names new head of corporate foundation

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Wal-Mart Stores on Friday will appoint Sylvia Mathews Burwell, a former senior executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to head its corporate foundation, according to the New York Times. She also will oversee the retail giant’s social, environmental and economic development programs in Africa.

Burwell replaces Margaret A. McKenna, who became the company foundation’s president in 2007.

Burwell joined the Gates foundation in 2001 after working in the Clinton administration as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and chief of staff to Robert E. Rubin when he was Treasury secretary, the report said. The Gates Foundation is the largest in the country with some $36.3 billion in assets.

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REAL ESTATE

Year-end Review: New York’s Best Store Revamps

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — It’s true: Everything old is new again. New York City’s retail maven, Faith Hope Consolo, chairman, The Retail Group, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, New York, has put together a list of her favorite store makeovers of the past year. As Consolo notes, even the most iconic stores must constantly present a new, fresh face to keep shoppers coming. Here are her faves:

  • Apple’s simplified cube (767 Fifth Ave.);
  • LaCoste’s grand redo (Fifth at 49th);
  • Mauboussin’s brightening of a still fabulous new store (714 Madison Ave.;
  • Mulberry’s work (605 Madison Ave.);
  • The completely re-freshed Fresh (872 Broadway);
  • The experimental Limelight Marketplace’s change from a mall to a department store feel (656 Sixth Ave.);
  • Bloomingdale’s. Several years in the making and still ongoing, it will create a completely new store (1000 Third Ave.); and
  • Barneys at 660 Madison Avenue. With a new Men’s Co-Op, new main floor and dining options, it’s a complete and stunning redo (660 Madison Ave.).
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