Mobile Commerce & the Resilient Retail Store

by Chuck Martin on June 2, 2013

By Chuck Martin

It looks like the retail store still has a relatively long shelf life.

While mobile commerce is transforming the purchasing process, the brick and mortar stores are going strong, at least based on two unrelated studies.

In one study, the majority (65%) of retailers surveyed say the importance of stores is rising. The Fujitsu Pan-European Retail Survey was conducted by Novametrie and included retailers from throughout Europe.

Online shopping, as expected, also is considered strong, with most (81%) of German retailers finding online shopping most attractive to their customers, for example.

I find one of the more interesting tidbits in the research to be that while most retailers are convinced of the strong future of physical stores there are widely varying views on what the store of the future will look like.

Most respondents (86%) defined the most important role of stores as a place for service.

In a smaller U.S. survey, more than two-thirds (67%) prefer to shop in a store, though many (73%) find waiting in the checkout line to be their least favorite aspect of in-store shopping.

The majority (76%) of shoppers would find the checkout process more enjoyable if they received personalized coupons at checkout, according to the survey by Instant.Ly commissioned by Synqera.

While these are hardly definitive shopping studies, they are consistent with other research showing that consumers still want to shop in stores.

The mobile commerce aspect comes down to how mobile interactions with consumers can impact and enhance the experience.

Based on time and location, shoppers can receive highly targeted offers, which we’ve written much about. The challenge and opportunity is to effectively reach consumers who want to receive such offers.

The second study found that a majority (80%) of consumers are more likely to shop in a store that provides an overall customized shopping experience.

This is yet another potential indicator of the consumer desire for a multi-channel experience.

While most consumers will continue to frequent the physical retail store, they won’t be doing it without their mobile device.

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