How investing in in-store technology can engage customers and increase productivity

BY Australian Retailers Association
02 May 2019

New research has revealed that when it comes to investing in technology, 39.1% of retailers say increasing sales and generating more in-store revenue are top priorities for their business.

The study, conducted by VDC Research for SOTI Inc., the world's most trusted provider of mobile and IoT management solutions, also highlighted that 34.8% of retailers adopt technology to help improve productivity.

“Many retailers are deploying new technologies to help drive worker efficiencies and support sales teams. This is a positive trend where the role of mobile devices in retail operations is not only about supporting worker transactions, but also engaging customers,” said Michael Dyson, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, SOTI. “Retailers want their next-generation mobile devices to show customer’s videos, support promotions, browse the web, place online orders and more.”

“The use of mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices in-store allows store associates to provide customers with a better retail experience, which leads to increased sales. For instance, the adoption of mPOS helps sales by allowing shoppers to avoid long lines at the cash register, which often results in customers not completing a purchase,” added Dyson.

To compete with e-commerce’s growing popularity, and as more customers use technology as part of their in-store shopping experience, more retail businesses are seeing the benefit of deploying mobile devices in their stores.

However, the study found that for retailers adopting mobile technology, many are not leveraging Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions to their fullest potential. In fact, only 1 in 5 retailers claim to have complete visibility into their mobile devices (comprised of phones, tablets, POS systems, scanners and other rugged Internet-connected hardware), and application usage. Additionally, the research found that the primary cause of mobile solution failure was network connectivity issues (49.3%), and for 36.5% of respondents, security and access control were also factors.

“Ensuring mobile devices are working effectively is business critical for modern retail workflows. Just one dropped connection or poorly performing application per shift can translate into almost $20,000 in annual support and productivity loss costs per mobile worker. Additionally, the consequence of this downtime can result in up to a hundred minutes in lost productivity or 23% of a daily shift,” said Dyson.

“Retailers need to make the most of their mobility investments, by adopting management solutions that ensure device security to protect customer data, as well as reliable connectivity that supports both store associates and customers at all times.”

Workplace mobility has continued to rise over recent years, now representing more than 50% of the global workforce. As consumers increasingly expect a seamless shopping experience both online and in-store, retailers cannot afford to delay developing a mobile strategy to support devices becoming the norm in brick and mortar stores.

“With over half of the global workforce now mobile – representing 1.7 billion workers – mobile solutions are no longer a luxury but a necessity for many workers to perform their jobs,” said Dyson. “Equipping retail workers with mobile devices and access to critical enterprise content and applications is transforming retail businesses and driving higher levels of performance, productivity and customer service.”

About SOTI Inc.

SOTI is the world's most trusted provider of mobile and IoT device management solutions, with more than 17,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide. SOTI's innovative portfolio of solutions and services provide the tools organisations need to truly mobilise their operations and optimise their mobility investments. SOTI extends secure mobility management to provide a total, flexible solution for comprehensive management and security of all mobile devices and connected peripherals deployed in an organisation. For more information, visit www.soti.net.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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