This week Walker Sands’ Mike Santoro, President, and Dave Parro, Director of the Retail Technology Practice, shared their thoughts on this year’s Walker Sands’ Future of Retail Study via a Webinar. While they took a closer look at the study to shed light on 2015 trends, they also addressed questions and provided some insight on other forward-looking technologies retailers can expect to see in the coming years.
In case you missed the Future of Retail webinar, here are some of the key takeaways:
- Online shopping
- The race is no longer for retailers to drive consumers online, but to push for them to make online purchases more often.
- When it comes to online shopping, consumer expectations are already the reality and the battle has moved to optimizing from enabling the e-commerce experience.
- Retailers must improve the e-commerce experience.
- Mobile Payments
- It’s the right time for mobile payments to take flight given the decline of cash and increase of players in the space, paired with consumer concern over credit/debit security due to recent hacks.
- Apple Pay is expected to lead the charge into the future of mobile payments, but consumers still have some major concerns about things such as security and privacy that retailers and payment providers will need to overcome.
- Retailers may be the ultimate influencers in which system becomes the leader in the mobile payments space due to consumer concerns of convenience.
- Consumer expectations here are lagging reality. While there are several options, barriers are overshadowing opportunities for retailers and mobile payment systems. The space may take off more rapidly as leaders develop in the space and consumers become more comfortable with this technology.
- Retailers must offer flexibility and security in payments.
- Emerging Technology
- Consumers are ready for drones – and they’re willing to pay for them. While free shipping is one of the top drivers for online shopping, consumers are willing to shell out more dough for the convenience of delivery within the hour.
- Consumers expect virtual reality to change the way they shop – some even expect it to cause them to shop more online.
- When it comes to moving into the next generation of emerging technologies – such as IoT devices – retailers should err on the side of transparency, rather than promotion. The findings indicate there needs to be more of an education for consumers on privacy and security.
- Consumer hype may have gotten ahead of these kinds of technologies. There aren’t any clear leaders yet, so the space is open for competition.
- Retailers should be prepared to explore emerging technology, but also understand the risks.
Sound so great you want to check it out yourself? It’s your lucky day since we just added it to our website: /Future-of-Retail-Study-2015-Webinar.
What emerging technology are you most looking forward to integrating into the retail experience? Sound off in the comments below.