Retailers expect that mobile retail's share of revenue will grow 10% by 2020, according to a survey of industry executives by researcher PSFK made available to Mobile Marketer. Brick-and-mortar retail will lose a 10% share of sales, while desktop internet will see a 7% decline in that period, the survey of 400 retail professionals found.
About two-thirds (61%) of respondents said shoppers will value experiences over direct commerce and 59% said consumers will exchange their personal data for personalized services and product offerings. As a result, 68% of retailers will be investing in data tracking, collection and management and 55% for in-store experiences by 2020.
As mobile devices become the center point of transactions instead of store cashiers, retailers can focus on creating new in-store experiences that build on the shift to smartphones and challenge e-tailers like Amazon, Piers Fawkes, founder and president of PSFK, said in a statement.
Smartphone technology will continue to play a key part in the way that retailers understand the needs of their customers and encourage loyalty among a variety of channels, according to PSFK. Retailers that don't account for this ongoing shift will likely continue to fall behind in a trend that's been starkly apparent this year, with a number of big-name brands going bankrupt or otherwise shuttering entirely in what's been deemed the 'retailpocalypse.'
Connected shoppers won't necessarily think in terms of brick-and-mortar, online and mobile shopping, but instead will seek the best experience among a variety of marketing channels when they want to shop with a preferred store or brand, per PSFK. Young consumers and Gen Zers, in particular, are often painted as not caring about ideas like ominchannel, instead opting for convenience or where the best deals are.
A more holistic approach is especially important as retailers face challenges from e-commerce companies like Amazon that have steadily eroded the customer base of department stores, shopping malls and big-box retailers like Toys R Us and Best Buy. To keep customers coming back into stores, retailers need to create personalized shopping experiences for customers, including building an experiential strategy that relies on AI-powered and mobile-enabled systems, per PSFK's recommendation.
This data-driven approach means that retailers can adopt strategies that have been a core part of Amazon's methods of cross-selling, up-selling and offering special discounts to shoppers based on their purchase history and product searches. Friction points like checkout, stock availability and fulfillment can be reduced to make shopping more convenient among a variety of channels, PSFK said.
"The wave of the future is a blended retail framework — experiential retail underpinned by an invisible layer of technology-driven services to connect with shoppers in a meaningful way to drive sales, encourage repeat engagements and build brand affinity," Fawkes said in a statement.