It's no surprise that in-store technology is increasingly a priority among brick-and-mortar retailers as a means to boost operations, meeting consumer demand and competing with the growth of Commerce's market share (especially Amazon).
To get a better sense of the priorities within the larger push toward digitization, U.K.-based IT software provider Zynstra recently surveyed retail execs and tech managers across the U.S. and U.K. Here are some of the key findings as noted by Chain Store Age.
First up, as to what's in highest demand for retail execs and tech staff, that goes to mobile payment capabilities. Some 65 percent of retailers surveyed pegged mobile payments as their top priority for in-store technology. Other top techs for brick-and-mortar retailers included self-checkout capabilities (49 percent), followed by scan-as-you-shop (44 percent).
Click-and-collect tech and in-store consumer analytics also placed highly, with 41 percent and 37 percent, respectively. Yet despite the interest and demand in the retail space, barriers still exist to bringing technology into the physical store.
The most notable issue in the way of rolling out in-store tech was the high cost of entry and effort of managing remote systems. Fifty-nine percent of U.S. based respondents surveyed identified cost as a barrier.
“In the retail branch (store) IT space, technology is playing an ever more important role in helping businesses meet both current and future demand, not only from an operational point of view but also in enhancing the customer experience,” Nick East, CEO of Zynstra, was quoted as saying. “However, as the research points out, the application of this technology or the readiness to adopt it can be a challenge.”
Other challenges reported in the retail technology space included security, maintenance capabilities and the need to keep systems up-to-date (52 percent) as well as a lack of in-branch or on-site IT skills (31 percent).