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Accenture: Mobile retail not advancing quickly enough


Retailers are failing to meet consumer demand for increased convenience while shopping with mobile devices.

According to new research from Accenture, the number of consumers shopping with mobile devices, grew 10% in the past year, from 36% of consumers in 2014 to 40% in 2015.

Not surprisingly, the number of shoppers who want more retail services via mobile devices, particularly real-time in-store promotions, also grew to 47%, up from 40% in 2014. However, only 7% of retailers said they currently have the ability to send real-time promotions.

Furthermore, while nearly one-third (32%) of shoppers want to be able to scan products in-store using their mobile devices – up from 27% in 2014 – only 17% of retailers provide scanning capabilities. At the same time, 42% of shoppers want to receive automatic credit for coupons and discounts via their mobile phones – up from 35% last year – yet only 16% of retailers have the capability to automatically credit coupons.

Accenture’s research also showed a nearly 60% increase in the number of shoppers who want the ability to order out-of-stock products when shopping in-store – 27%, up from 17% in 2014. Some retailers are already meeting that expectation, with almost half (46%) employing store staff who can order out-of-stock items for customers; however, only nine% have in-store kiosks for customers to place those orders.

Retailers are adapting to the increase in consumer demand for improved mobile capabilities. The vast majority offer smartphone-optimized websites (93%) and tablet-optimized websites (89%), only 58% of retailers offer smartphone apps with purchase capabilities.

Despite inconsistent mobile capabilities, overall, shoppers feel that retailers meet the majority of their expectations, according to Accenture research. However, while 67% of shoppers were satisfied with store environment and product quality, only 52% were happy with interaction with staff and delivery, and 51% with web environment and returns.

Other notable findings include:

· Only 1% of retailers provide their sales staff with tablets allowing them to easily access the personal history of customers while they shop in-store.

· Sixty-eight percent of retailers have knowledgeable staff who can give detailed product information.

· When it comes to delivery, 56% of retailers have next-day delivery capabilities, 11% offer same-day, 49% can schedule delivery on a specific day, 57% allow consumers to return online orders to the physical store and 39% have click & collect capabilities.

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