Research from Vanson Bourne reveals nearly 99% of global retail IT decision-makers have implemented at least one mobile technology in store. The research was commissioned by Jamf, the standard in Apple management and highlights the potential for retail to transform the shopping experience. However, a majority (93%) of respondents say there are or would be challenges when implementing mobile technology. The research shows the difficulties retailers face when looking to maximise the benefits of in-store technology.
Nearly 700 retail IT decision-makers across the UK, US, Japan, Germany, France and Australia examined mobile devices in retail. The research highlighted the opportunities that in-store mobile tech provides, The report identified several challenges that need to be overcome. Key findings from the research include:
Benefits and future of mobile technology in-store
Retailers are increasingly using technology to elevate the retail experience. Respondents confirm that mobile technology enables them to optimise inventory planning and management (96%) and point-of-sale (96%). They are also personalising the customer experience (96%) as well as boosting employee productivity and motivation (95%). In fact, the majority of respondents confirmed that mobile technology makes their retail brand more competitive. Furthermore, retailers believe it 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. Nearly all respondents (rounded to 100%) plan to increase mobile technology use in the future. These retailers are already offering, or plan to offer, company-issued mobile devices for staff use (95%) and point-of-sale systems (95%). Mobiles are used to connect between physical and online shops (93%), fixed interactive screens in-store (94%) and shared devices (90%).
Most retailers prefer Apple devices in-store for the transformation of the retail experience. Over three-quarters (76%) of retailers believe that Apple devices are better to use in retail than Windows or Android. Yet nearly half (48%) use a mix of Apple, Windows and/or Android devices today. Issues with Windows or Android devices may be a factor in the preference for Apple only. More than three-quarters of respondents (82%) who use Windows or Android in their retail environments experience problems.
“Mobile technology has been broadly adopted by retailers small and large. Many applications of the technology are still only single-purpose,” said Josh Jagdfeld, Director of Alliances at Jamf.
“Even with the multitude of benefits that mobile technology makes possible. Retailers are still facing challenges when it comes to finding, deploying and managing devices across multiple applications and workflows.”
Challenges in managing devices in retail
The survey highlights the difficulties retailers face when it comes to managing multiple platforms and ecosystems in store. Organisations 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%) were also cited. Ultimately demonstrating the difficulties of navigating a multi-platform environment.
A majority (89%) of retailers who uses more than one mobile device management (MDM) solution wishes their organisation used one. Highlighting the need for retailers to prioritise and choose one device ecosystem to use and manage in store. This ecosystem management approach enables IT to deliver a seamless experience for end users, including shoppers and employees.
As retailers are looking to revitalise the in-store experience with technology, it’s critical that it is well managed. A majority of respondents (91%) agree that MDM solutions are beneficial for managing technology in their organisation’s retail stores. With MDM, retailers can minimise time and cost challenges. The survey found that on average, a retailer’s IT team using MDM could save 24% of time and 25% of money annually.
Summary of Key Findings:
- Ninety-nine percent of retailers have implemented at least one mobile technology in store.
- Most retail IT decision makers confirm mobile technology enables their retail brand to be more competitive. This leads to increased revenue by streamlining the sales process (both 91%).
- Respondents confirm that mobile technology enables them to optimise inventory planning and management (96%) and point-of-sale (96%). The technology also personalises the customer experience (96%), as well as boosting employee productivity and motivation (95%).
- Retail stores with mixed device environments are more likely to have difficulties managing multiple devices’ functionalities and logins (45%) as well as security and compliance (43%).
- Seventy-six percent of retailers believe Apple devices are better to use in retail than Windows or Android.
Enterprise Times: What this means for retailers?
Essentially, the research just confirms the reality of modern-day retail. Virtually every major store on the high street, offers mobile technology to enhance the user experience. This allows sales staff to configure or customise products, order out-of-stock items, and give consumers the opportunity to play in-store.
Consequently, it’s not surprising that implementing mobile device management (MDM) solution is good for retailers and good for the retail industry. It enables retailers to maximise revenues and support brands. However, a majority (93%) of respondents say there are, or would be, challenges when implementing mobile technology. The research shows the difficulties retailers face when looking to maximise the benefits of in-store technology.