Retailers Need to Close Omni-channel Gap Before Realizing Potential of Retail Technology, Says New Study from Mozu

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Majority of retailers fall below consumer shopping expectations, face barriers to embracing retail innovation

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For organizations to grow in this new retail paradigm, they must take a customer-centric view of shoppers' engagement with their brand, and remove any artificial channel-driven barriers to the experience.

Mozu, the most advanced enterprise commerce platform on the market, today announced findings from its benchmark report gauging retailer readiness in implementing new retail technologies. Overall, the majority of retailers are struggling to implement technologies now regularly expected by consumers, which prevents them from exploring future retail opportunities.

Highlights from the report include:

  • 69% of retailers indicate they are not omni-channel integrated, with 29% stating they have not considered omni-channel capabilities.
  • Consumers indicate that bridging the online and in-store experience matter to them most, ranking their most desired online shopping features as: 1) Buy online, pick up in-store same day; 2) Buy online, exchange in-store; 3) Same-day delivery.
  • Of those retailers who do plan to invest in retail technology, 49% plan to invest in mobile payments, 29% look to offer buy online, pick up in-store capabilities, and 28% are working to create a dedicated mobile application.
  • 85% of consumers indicate that they use their mobile device while shopping in a retail store.

Retailers and consumers generally agree that implementing basic omni-channel capabilities is a top priority, including the abilities to purchase online and pick up or exchange in-store. In terms of shopping experiences within a retail store, consumers expressed they would like to see more mobile capabilities, such as receiving personalized discounts based on their location. Retailers agree, and are working to create these experiences, namely by investing in dedicated mobile applications and mobile payment technologies.

When it comes to implementing new retail technologies, retailers say their top barriers include: 1) Insufficient financial resources; 2) Difficulty implementing back-end technology; and 3) Lack of education and training of employees. These barriers were consistent among organizations of all sizes – from those generating high revenues ($300M-$500M+) to those with lower revenues (<$1M-$299M).

The study also reports a widening technology gap among retailers who consider themselves to be omni-channel integrated and those who do not. Forty percent of respondents, most of whom are not omni-channel integrated, indicate they have no intention of implementing new consumer-facing retail technologies in the next 12 months. This lack of investment further deepens an existing technology gap, introducing a risk for technology laggards of losing sales and favorability to retailers whose technologies meet or exceed customer expectations.

In terms of consumer adoption of new retail technologies, the “Big Brother” effect is a much smaller barrier than retailers might think. Consumers expressed no major objections to any emerging technologies like mobile payments and augmented reality, with 35% indicating they would be comfortable with a full list of new retail experiences.

"For organizations to grow in this new retail paradigm, they must take a customer-centric view of shoppers' engagement with their brand, and remove any artificial channel-driven barriers to the experience", said Jason Wallis, CTO, Mozu. "From there, they must gain organizational alignment and implement a modern, open technology backbone that will enable them to be much more agile and stay ahead of the technology-savvy shopper."

To review the complete findings, download the full report, “The Future of Retail is Coming…Are Retailers Ready?”

About Mozu
Mozu is the commerce platform for today’s omni-channel marketplace. With Mozu, retailers can manage their commerce, content and customer experience across every channel, on any platform, around the world. Designed with an API-first architecture and built to meet the demands of the modern consumer, Mozu provides truly limitless commerce to an ever-changing business landscape. To learn more, visit mozu.com and @MozuCommerce.

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Matt Winn
Volusion
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