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Retail brands lag behind mobile consumer expectations


The future of retail is mobile. Yet, brands are failing to keep pace with consumer expectations.

That’s according to the “2016 Mobile Retail Report” from NewStore. The study dives into the shopping experience across 112 luxury, lifestyle and fashion brands, and reveals the sample’s overall mobile acuity online and offline. Retailers achieved an overall grade of C-minus, proving that brands still illustrate mixed adoption and integration of key technologies needed to satisfy how today's mobile consumers’ shopping behaviors.

“The only way to make omnichannel a reality is through mobile,” said Stephan Schambach, CEO and founder of NewStore. “The retail industry continues to buzz about mobile, but it lags in the implementation of such technologies in every aspect of the customer experience.”

NewStore proves this point through analysis that mirrors the mobile shopping experience. It started with the use of a native app or mobile web site to search and share, continued with the quality of personalization and engagement, traced the path to purchase and fulfillment, and ended with the return and re-engagement process.

Once research was complete, NewStore reported that the experiences were disappointing due to lacking levels of technology implementation and mobile acuity. Here are the aggregated category grades:

• Mobile Experience: C+. Despite the fact that shoppers use a mobile device in the majority of purchase decisions, only 22% of brands and retailers offer mobile shopping apps.

• Search and Share: C. This grade stems from the fact that a mere one in five store associates had visibility into real-time inventory through convenient mobile devices.

• Personalization and Engagement: C-. A strong influencer in this ranking is that none of the retailers are utilizing beacon technology, data showed.

• Path to Purchase: D. The fact that customers must complete an average of 21 fields when making a digital purchase was a major factor in this grade. Meanwhile, only 14% of brands allow store associates to check a customer out on a mobile device.

• Fulfillment: D-. Only 22% of retailers offer in-store pickup through native apps. Even fewer, 13%, accommodate in-store pickup of orders placed on a mobile site, the study said.

"While consumers are living in a mobile-first world, the retail industry is stuck in the past,” said Schambach.

“Brands know they must adopt a mobile mindset and incorporate mobile strategies to achieve the full potential of omnichannel commerce, yet few are doing so effectively," he said. "While technology solutions are readily available, many retailers are either not using them optimally or are still running on antiquated systems and processes.”
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