New York [USA], Jan 14 (ANI): An overwhelming number of retailers are planning to stay competitive in the future by investing in new technology solutions, according to a new study by IT consulting major Wipro prepared in collaboration with US-based magazine Retail Info Systems (RIS).
The report titled 'Smart Store Strategies for Digitally Savvy, Time-Crunched Shoppers' is based on a poll conducted with senior executives from national and large regional retail organisations.
It shows how retailers need to combine human and technology best practices to create store-of-the-future strategies. It also highlights technology investments necessary to ensure financial success.
The conversation on best practices for technology deployment comes at a crucial time for retailers as brick-and-mortar locations face increasing pressure to compete with consumers' e-commerce options.
"Wipro and RIS found that an overwhelming number of retailers are planning to stay competitive in the future by investing in new technology solutions such as digital signage, new mobile applications, and Al-driven customer service and support for enhanced consumer experiences called store-of-the-future."
The study finds that retailers are looking for guidance on improving implementation of strategies and ensuring their investments become profitable.
"Wipro's work with its retail partners to build smart stores-of-the-future is based on the five pillars of seamless experiences, human-centric, intelligence, future-ready, trusted and safe -- the SHIFT principle -- to build innovative solutions," said Deviprasad Rambhatla, Senior Vice President and Global Head for Retail Distribution and Transportation at Wipro Ltd.
According to the study, 81 per cent of retailers say it is important to adopt a smart, store-of-the-future strategy to succeed with today's consumers. Nearly 88 per cent also say that store associates play a big role in those strategies.
Most retailers want to improve their methods and best practices as many respondents rated their performance in implementing store-of-the-future strategies as middling, scoring themselves just 5.5 on a scale of 10.
Retailers identify three high-level consumer strategies that rise far above the rest: service (88 per cent said yes), convenience (73 per cent) and value (67 per cent).
Retailers believe the most important customer-facing technologies are click and collect (85 per cent), proximity or location engagement in stores (64 per cent), and buy online and return in-store (55 per cent).
New shopper-facing technologies retailers plan to invest in include new payment options (62 per cent), interactive digital signage (47 per cent), and click-and-collect (44 per cent).
Advanced back-office technologies are also important. Retailers plan to invest in technologies such as advanced order management (79 per cent), mobile apps for store staff (70 per cent), personalised marketing capabilities (61 per cent), in-store mobile devices (58 per cent), and AI-driven customer service and support (28 per cent).