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How Artificial Intelligence Can Help To Jumpstart The Retail Industry’s Mobile Strategy

9 February, 2017

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help To Jumpstart The Retail Industry’s Mobile Strategy

Mobile has become an integral part of the shopping experience. As consumers spend more time with their mobile devices than with desktop and notebook computers combined, they’re looking to their smartphones and tablets to complete more complex transactions.

Yet, there is still room to grow for the retail industry’s mobile experiences. While nearly one-third of retailer web traffic is from mobile devices, only 11 percent of sales come from mobile, according to Forrester’s U.S. Mobile Phone and Tablet Commerce Forecast, 2015 – 2020.

Mobile gives retailers opportunities to entice new customers, and retain returning customers, by allowing them to shop on their own terms. Retailers can engage customers across touchpoints that include the point-of-sale, checkout, and by means of multi-channel customer relationship management (CRM) engagement.

For example, customers found that mobile-equipped retail staffers enhanced their in-store experiences. Yet, a new research study, “The 2017 Global Customer Experience Index Study,” from the IBM Institute for Business Value finds that 84 percent of brands do not offer any in-store mobile services.

Consumers increasingly want to spend time shopping on a smartphone or device while on the go or sitting in front of their TVs. How can retailers respond with a mobile strategy?

Here are three ways:

  1. Think about digital reinvention: Mobile accounts for 60 percent of time spent shopping around online, according tothe digital research firm comScore. However, mobile accounts for just 16 percent of all retail dollars spent, perhaps because of screen size and security concerns, according to comScore’s “U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus” report in 2016. The retailer front shop window is now, for many consumers, the screen of their mobile devices.

But, despite the obvious potential of these technologies in creating new and better customer experiences, Retail Dive estimates only 16 percent of all retail dollars are invested in new mobile capabilities. This calls for digital reinvention; an evaluation of how consumer (and employee) needs are being met by digital strategies and a plan to implement technology that will meet those needs and delight users.

  1. Try off-the-shelf solutions: Retailers don’t have to build mobile shopping experiences from scratch. They can get ready-made solutions, such as buying, payment, and inventory management systems that can be implemented quickly.

The latest 2017 findings from an upcoming study on mobile and emerging tech shows that 97 percent of global retailers have dedicated mobile strategy teams, yet a full 42 percent still report that they are not any more innovative than their peers. Modular, off-the-shelf development tools with security features could help them.

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