Written by the One Step Blog Team

In the beginning of the year, one of the top trends forecasted by retail experts to make waves in the industry was the implementation of enhanced technologies to elevate the customer experience. From self-service features to augmented reality and real-time connectivity, retailers were expected to implement many of these new technologies to enhance customer engagement both within the digital and physical world. Well, we are now officially more than halfway through the year and the question we are still asking is... have retailers met consumer demands for digitally driven shopping experiences.

Based on the Boston Retail Partners recent report Retail's Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Shopper Expectations, the answer might surprise you.

Here is an excerpt from the report in Chain Store Age's article, Retailers Can't Keep Pace with Consumer's Digital Preferences.

According to data, consumers are more likely to shop at retailers that align next-generation technologies with their digital preferences and understand the impact. These customers are after more frictionless and relevant shopping experiences, however, in many cases, retailers still don’t offer the capabilities that impact consumers’ shopping preferences.

For example, 68% of consumers are more likely to shop a retailer that offers automated returns capability versus one that doesn’t. Yet, only 8% of retailers offer this service. Similarly, 65% of consumers want to use proximity-triggered mobile coupons, but only 8% of companies offer them. Smart fitting rooms appeal to 53% of shoppers, but only 18% of retailers feature them.

Meanwhile, 48% of consumers would shop... to read the rest of this article please click on this link.

Although retailers are finding it difficult to take the next step in crossing over the digital divide, more familiar technology such as mobile POS is continuing to break ground— with 35% of companies looking to invest in mobile POS and apps in the next 12 months.

It is surprising to see that mobility is still considered a new investment for many companies although the technology has bee available for several years now. And, perhaps that is the reason for the slow movement to adopt many of the new technologies. Unfamiliar territory can be a cause for hesitation whereas proven technology, such as mobile POS, is considered an actionable investment. One thing is for certain, retailers cannot stand idle and wait to see if the latest digital technology will take hold. Adaptation is key to relevancy and relevancy is key to returning customers.