North American retailers have plenty of work ahead of them when it comes to integrating new technologies.
A research report from Boston Retail Partners indicates that retailers need to improve their game in everything from multichannel to payments to mobile.
“The most common mcommerce feature among retailers surveyed was a digital catalog, which 58 percent of respondents currently had—though 32 percent said theirs needed improvement,” according to eMarketer. “The No. 2 feature was product info like price and location, which 57 percent of retailers had—but in this case, 38 percent said they needed to do a better job.”
On the bright side, many retailers said they plan to introduce features such as mobile coupons, smartphone apps, personalization, mobile wallets in the next two to three years.
“Few respondents currently accepted any type of mobile payment at the point of sale,” added eMarketer. “The most popular was PayPal, but only 13 percent of retailers accepted it, followed by 8 percent who accepted Apple Pay. Three in 10 planned to add Apple Pay within a year, and adoption plans for other systems were longer-term.”
Retailers also have their work cut out for them even in basic multichannel shopping capabilities. The research suggested that a mere 24 percent have “a system that works well for buying online and picking up items in-store.”
Working all the channels is a critical area for improvement. Few retailers, noted the report, offer options for buying or reserving an item on one channel and then picking it up or shipping it from another.