As retailers recover from a tumultuous fiscal year, they often look to innovate because it’s common sense in a competitive market to make shopping easier or more enjoyable for customers. In-store shoppers now expect the latest digital conveniences, but are forcing retailers to innovate just to retain existing customers. For example, PYMNTS data shows that 81% of retailers now see access to mobile apps as a tableau for customer loyalty.
To Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Customization Through our global collaboration between PYMNTS and ACI, we look at how global retailers are using digital innovation to retain customers and build loyalty. These findings are based on United States or United Kingdom-based retailers with at least 50 stores and annual revenues of at least $1 billion. US dollars in the US or 100 mln. GBP (127 million UK respondents were asked about the digital tools and technologies they currently use, the challenges they perceive in maintaining customer loyalty and their plans for future innovation. The survey ran from June 1 to June 21.
Retailers believe that innovation is critical to their success
The report reveals that retailers have seen their customer base greatly impacted by the digital shift: innovative features are now central to customer engagement. Losing the ability to provide features like mobile apps and digital coupons means losing customers, according to our survey. However, we also found differences in how some traders prefer specific digital features.
For example, for general retailers, barcode and QR code scanner apps were the most important for customer retention, as were convenience store and pharmacy retailers. But grocery retailers are finding mobile apps just as important to customer loyalty as barcode and QR scanner apps.
Merchants tended to innovate individually based on how their consumers shopped and what they liked.
Convenience alone is not enough – personalization is key
Many retailers are not comfortable with the digital tools they currently have, and we’ve found that many retailers are not confident in their ability to deliver an engaging customer experience or the power of their digital tools to help them do so. Our research found that only around half of retailers in the US and UK believe they have the right mix of digital tools to serve their customers well.
This discomfort has driven retailers to not only innovate for consumers, but to dig deeper into insights into what consumers really want by collecting and analyzing consumer data. For many merchants, this type of personalization is critical to making convenience features work for their unique customer base.
Other findings of the report include:
- Retailers in the US and UK are introducing speed and efficiency innovations to make in-store shopping more like online shopping.
- Most marketers look to external help to develop and launch digital innovations.
- 43% of UK retailers and 33% of US retailers plan to add real-time payments to their consumers in the near future.
To learn more about how retailers are addressing their frustrations with current technology and preparing for the radically changed future of retail, download the report.
We are always looking for opportunities to partner with innovators and disruptors.
find out more