Make more of in-store tech, consumers urge retailers

Bricks-and-mortar stores need to do more to improve the in-store experience for tech-savvy consumers, new research has suggested.

A new report from mobile technology solutions provider Apadmi showed that customers wanted to see retailers make better use of technology in-store.

Almost half (46 per cent) expected stores to offer free wi-fi and one-in-five shoppers wanted retailers to use technology that would provide a more tailored shopping experience while they browse in-store – such as an app that notifies them of nearby offers or provides product recommendations or reviews.

Speed and convenience were top priorities for UK consumers, with over a quarter of shoppers liking the idea of being able to pay for items through an app to avoid queues.

At a minimum, 26 per cent of consumers said they would like to be able to purchase products through an app and then pick up their items in-store.

With one-in-10 UK consumers downloading more retail apps in the past 12 months than a year ago, this highlighted the shift towards online and mobile technology, and the need for retailers to offer a unified, omni-channel experience.

“There is a need among consumers for retailers to make better use of technology in-store to make every aspect of the shopping journey more enjoyable,” said Apadmi chief executive Nick Black. “As shoppers continue to embrace mobile e-commerce, and retail apps, the in-store experience needs to remain relevant and therefore incorporate the benefits that can be achieved through shopping online.

“Our research has uncovered a desire among shoppers for more convenient ways of buying items in-store, as well as better communication channels to inform them about the latest offers or promotions as they walk around the shop.

“Expectations of the in-store experience are increasing, and while it will be challenging for retailers to meet the demands of tech-savvy shoppers, it’s important that they get on board to retain customer loyalty.”