Here’s why retailers are worried

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Here’s why retailers are worried

By Louisa Hallett - 08/22/2018
Retailers are more worried than ever about keeping up with new technology and shifts in consumer demands, according to a new study.

A new Oracle study has revealed that retailers globally are growing increasingly concerned over their ability to keep pace with new technologies and shifts in consumer behavior.

The 2018 Retail Mobility Insights report revealed that 60 percent of respondents believe that their organization will likely face disruption from more innovative, nimble and customer-centric organizations. While many retailers believe their company embraces digital and mobile technology, 60 percent of respondents recognize that they are not investing quickly enough to keep pace with the speed of technology change and consumer expectations. The trends identified in the report highlight that retailers have been slow to realize mobile's potential and question their logistical capabilities in the countdown to the busiest sales cycle of the year.

"Despite a strong improving sales performance, retailers continue to feel overwhelmed by their infrastructure limitations, decision paralysis has further prevented them from realizing their omnichannel potential," said Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Retail. "Having a single view of customer, inventory and order is no longer optional for retailers to deliver their brand promise.  Organizations that complete this journey first will create stronger relationships with customers, create space for new innovation projects and make more strategic decisions that maximize their growth."

In the study, retailers seem to have reached a general consensus on the role of mobile technology and the opportunity for capturing sales and removing friction from the purchase experience.

  • Conversion: Retailers affirm (47 agree) that their mobile strategy is to increase shopping basket size in store and online by catching customers at the point of intent.

  • Productivity: Mobile also is impacting associate productivity, 45 percent of respondents note that they are empowering employees with mobile capabilities so they can perform their jobs regardless of where they are.

  • Payments: New payment options like contactless checkout, self-checkout and mobile payments are either in use today or part of roadmaps for most retailers (54 percent). Hardline retailers (less than 32 percent disagree) seem to be behind grocery and fashion brands (over 55 percent agree) in enabling these new payment options.

Brands large and small have recognized the tension between consumers' contradictory attitudes around privacy and their growing need for personalized engagement.

  • Discounts: New policies around data privacy have impacted retailers' growth potential, 62 percent believe that they may be leaving money on the table by offering general discounts to shoppers instead of tailored offerings.

  • Forecasting: Despite this most retailers, 77 percent believe that customers expect them to anticipate their needs by analyzing their loyalty, purchase history and brand interaction data. 

Retailers have historically prioritized front-end aspects of the Omnichannel shopping experience and cobbled together backend infrastructure. Neglecting the merchandising, planning and supply chain aspects of Omnichannel retail prevents brands from being able to profitably execute, have clear visibility into their customers' journey and inform new digital experiences like augmented and virtual reality.

  • Consumer Journeys: Less than half (46 percent) of retailers believe they are well positioned to support an Omnichannel shopping experience with distribution centers to fulfill orders placed online or through mobile for delivery to any preferred destination.

  • Logistical Confidence: Increases with the size of retail organizations, 67 percent of respondents from organizations with more than $10B in sales and 52 percent of respondents from organizations with $1 to $10B in sales note this capability.

  • Growth: Conversely logistical doubt trends towards major growth milestones, only 38 percent of respondents from organizations with $250 to $500 million in sales and 30 percent of respondents from organizations with $750 million to $1 billion believe they are well positioned.

The Mobile Retail Insights report was conducted in 2018 among 258 retail professionals from Fashion, Grocery, Hardlines and Specialty brands. Respondents represent an international perspective with responsibilities across North American (35 percent), LAD (6 percent), European (14 percent), JAPAC (2 percent) and Global (40 percent) retailers. Fifty-four percent of respondents are from companies with greater than $500M in sales and 67 percent hold a Director level and above title. Fifty percent of the respondents represent IT, while the other half represents business executives.

To read Oracle’s entire study, click here.

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