Personalization and Mobile Capabilities Top Customer Engagement Priorities as Self-Service Retail Shows Greatest Growth, According to New RCP Report

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81% of Retailers Have Identified Retail Mobility as a Top Priority for 2020

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As digital interactions continue to drive and define heightened customer expectations, retailers are challenged with finding ways to connect with customers and provide an enhanced and personalized in-store experience.

With an ever-increasing number of touchpoints, retailers and consumers can interact 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the entire year. And even though in-store sales continue to drive the majority of revenue for the retail industry, they are by no means the only way in which purchasing decisions and brand satisfaction are influenced. As digital interactions continue to drive and define heightened customer expectations, retailers are challenged with finding ways to connect with customers and provide an enhanced and personalized in-store experience.

Retail Consulting Partners (RCP), founded by former BRP Consulting (BRP) executives, is continuing with the well respected BRP market research and thought leadership traditions, including annual surveys and white papers. RCP is pleased to announce the results of their first survey for 2020 which is a continuation of the long established Annual POS/Customer Engagement Survey with this being the 21st edition.

According to the recent RCP POS/Customer Engagement Survey, Personalization once again remains at the top of retailer’s priorities heading into 2020, with 56% of retailers identifying that as their #1 Customer Engagement priority. Retailers are more focused than ever on innovative ways to enhance and personalize the in-store shopping experience, and this year’s survey results show strong increases in leveraging mobile devices and introducing customer-facing technology. Retailer’s top Customer Engagement Priorities are all associated with an end result of curating a more personalized experience for their in-store shoppers.

Between enhancing mobile tools for associates (44%) and aligning the overall customer mobile experience (37%), 4 out of 5 retailers have identified mobility to be a top priority for 2020. “The prevalence of smartphones in shoppers’ hands is forcing retailers to find ways to better engage with these customers while they’re interacting with their brands or shopping their stores. Ensuring their sales associates are equipped with the same near-unlimited product knowledge and consumer information is imperative to keep up with today’s informed consumers,” said Perry Kramer, a managing partner at RCP.

Delivering real-time data and capabilities across all customer touchpoints requires a unified commerce platform. Retailers are still progressing slowly down this path as more and more solutions providers are maturing their offerings for unified commerce. 63% of retailers said they have or still plan to implement a unified commerce solution within the next three years. Also trending up, 28% of retailers indicated they will be looking to implement a cloud-based POS in the future.

The key customer experience trends driving today’s retailer initiatives are:

PERSONALIZATION - The modern customer journey necessitates targeted interaction at the right time and place. The abundance of data and multi-channel customer touchpoints requires savvy retailers to employ different marketing technologies to interact and influence the customer. 56% of retailers indicate that personalization of the shopping experience is a top customer engagement priority for 2020.

RETAIL MOBILITY - Mobile device applications for associates and customers soar as retailers see tremendous opportunities to take control of key functions typically performed at the checkout stand or in the back office. However, even though retailers are making gains launching new mobile functionality, nearly 2/3 of those retailers are seeing the need for significant improvement in their mobile tools and apps. Retailers are also investing significantly in mobile hardware for their associates with 33% having purchased new mobile hardware in the last 2 years.

SELF-SERVICE RETAIL - The shift in importance of self-service in retail is a significant opportunity for retailers. “Consumer demand for improved speed of service and independence in the overall customer journey combined with higher wages and lower margins for retailers have all contributed to the importance of an effective self-service strategy,” said John Eagles, a managing partner at RCP. 44% of retailers have either implemented, or plan to implement, self-checkout solutions for their customers.

To download the complete 21st Annual POS/CustomerEngagement Benchmarking Survey, visit:
https://retailconsultingpartners.com/2020-pos-survey.

The 2020 POS/Customer Engagement Survey gold sponsors are Aptos, RedIron, and Veras Retail and the silver sponsors are Enactor, ENS Group, and Verifone.

About Retail Consulting Partners (RCP)
RCP is an innovative retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. RCP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business initiatives.

RCP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS) | Mobile Technology | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Operations | CRM | Unified Commerce | Order Management | Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Vendor/Marketplace Assessment | Due Diligence

For more information on RCP, visit RetailConsultingPartners.com.

Contact
Ryan Grogman
rgrogman@retailconsultingpartners.com
972-365-0257

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Ryan Grogman
@RetailRcp
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