By Chuck Martin
If a retailer can identify their best customers as they walk in the door, they could, at least in theory, target those shoppers for a better shopping experience.
Merchants also say they want to engage with their in-store customers but very few have the ability.
While most (95%) of retailers list customer engagement as one if their top three initiatives, a mere 3% currently have the ability to identify the customer when she walks in the door, according to recent research.
Based on a survey of 500 retailers, the Commerce Benchmark Survey by Boston Retail Partners found that the majority (75%) of retailers plan to implement technology to identify customers when they walk in the door within the next five years.
If a retailer can’t identify in-store shoppers, they have little hope to engagement other than general sales and offers that may appeal to certain market segments.
An even larger issue is the lack of ability to identify and acknowledge their loyal and best customers, which means they look the same as casual shoppers or regular showroomers.
The lack of current retailer sophistication in interactively dealing with mobile shoppers is highlighted within the survey.
16% — Have real-time retail from their point of sale system, which offers the Amazon experience in the store
28% — Use mobile marketing
22% — Have implemented real-time analytics
The future view is a bit more promising, with 63% planning real-time retail from POS, 62% planning mobile marketing and 61% planning for real-time analytics.
The catch is that the “future view” is what retailers plan within the next five years.
With the pace of the adoption of new mobile consumer shopping behaviors, five years may seem like an eternity.
The biggest issue in service mobile shoppers in stores is not identifying that there are some problems.
The mega challenge is executing against what they see is coming.
Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.