Survey reveals how retailers mobilize store operations

Virtually all retailers are leveraging mobile technology in three key areas of the store.

According to a new global survey of 700 retail IT decision-makers from Apple enterprise management software provider Jamf, nearly all respondents (99%) say that their retail store(s) have implemented at least one mobile technology in-store.

Leading in-store uses of mobile technology are optimizing inventory planning and management (96%) and POS (96%), and personalizing the customer experience (96%). Nine in 10 respondents confirmed that mobile technology makes their retail brand more competitive and/or drives increased revenue by streamlining the sales process (both 91%). Half of respondents (50%) also report that customer satisfaction has improved significantly after deploying devices.

Mobile technology will likely play an even greater role in a future retail environment, according to survey results. Nearly all respondents (rounded to 100%) plan to increase mobile technology use in the future and already are offering, or plan to offer company-issued mobile devices for staff use (95%), point-of-sale systems (95%), connections between physical and online shops (93%), fixed interactive screens in-store (94%,) and shared devices (90%).

When it comes to the preferred mobile devices in retail, the study indicates a clear preference of platforms among respondents. Over three-quarters (76%) of retail IT decision-makers believe that Apple devices are better to use in retail than Windows or Android, despite nearly half (48%) using a mix of Apple, Windows and/or Android devices today. More than eight in 10 respondents (82%) who use Windows or Android in their retail environments experience problems.

The survey also sheds light on potential issues that can arise from managing multiple platforms and ecosystems in-store. Organizations that use multiple devices are more likely to experience challenges managing multiple devices’ functionalities and logins (45%), security and compliance (43%), system integration issues (40%) and technical difficulties (37%).

About nine in 10 (89%) of respondents whose organization uses more than one mobile device management (MDM) solution wish their organization used just one, highlighting the need for retailers to prioritize and choose one device ecosystem to use and manage in-store. Ninety-one percent agree that MDM solutions are, or would be, beneficial for managing technology in their organization’s retail stores.

The survey found that on average, a retailer’s IT team using MDM could save 24% of time and 25% of money annually. In addition, respondents said MDM can help configure devices for a specific use case (45%), enable devices to be user-friendly for staff and customers (44%), personalize employee devices (42%), ensure devices are equipped with up-to-date OS/software (42%) and more.
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