Today’s Retail Store Slowly Becoming More Relevant, But Not Quickly Enough, New Study Finds

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RSR Research, an analyst firm providing market intelligence on retail technology trends, announces the results of its latest research report, "The 21st Century Store: The Search for Relevance," sponsored by HP, Intel and NCR. The report is also supported by Red Prairie and Salesforce.com. The research finds that while stores fight to become more relevant in a market increasingly dominated by online research and sales, progress is being made - slowly.

What is troubling is that few (retailers) have taken on the necessary steps and baseline technologies needed to facilitate this valuable mobile in-store experience.

RSR Research's latest report, "The 21st Century Store: The Search for Relevance" finds that as stores fight to become more than just a showroom for online merchants, retailers are responding by stabilizing in-store payroll, adding technology touch-points for employees, and are finally moving to add mobile technology touch-points to empower the most important corporate employee in the store – the Store Manager. Unfortunately, their progress is moving quite slowly.

These findings are based on a survey of 86 qualified retailers in the spring of 2011. The report can be downloaded at http://www.retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1299. The report is sponsored by HP, Intel, and NCR, with supporting sponsorship from Red Prairie and Salesforce.com.

"Retailers’ perceived value of in-store technologies have shifted significantly in the past year,” said Paula Rosenblum, Managing Partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. “While ‘bread and butter’ applications like modern POS hardware and software, and in-store rewards and coupons remain important, new trends have emerged. Retailers now see a lot of potential value in cross-channel initiatives that support the store, and also in delivering information to both company- and customer-owned phones and PDAs. The most important technologies are those that make employees more productive and more knowledgable.”

"In the past 12 months, retailers have really started grabbing on to the value that consumer-owned mobile devices have in driving traffic TO the store, as well as enhancing the shopping experience once within it,” adds Steve Rowen, the report’s co-author. "What is troubling is that few have taken on the necessary steps and baseline technologies needed to facilitate this valuable mobile in-store experience – it’s a largely missed opportunity that is vital to a better-trained in-store staff and the consequent result: happier, more engaged customers.”

"The 21st Century Store: The Search for Relevance " contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding store initiatives, as well as prescriptive recommendations for creating a more relevant, interesting, and exciting in-store shopping experience. The report is part of RSR Research's ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, and can be downloaded here:

http://www.retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1299

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Brandon Twyford
Retail Systems Research
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