Mobile technology continues to change the retail landscape

From a couple of recent RetailWire posts about mobile technology (it’s a hot subject):

The advance of mobile technology is a reality, and retailers need to manage their business accordingly. In particular, it makes the argument for competitive pricing and in-stock performance even more compelling than before. There is nothing acceptable about “walking” a consumer who came into your store expecting to find an item in stock — whether through the promise of a circular or a website — and this standard shouldn’t change no matter what the tech landscape looks like. Retailers do have an opportunity to be smarter about using new tools like kiosks (where customers can order out-of-stock items from a website), in order to avoid disappointing the consumer.

No question that technology is reshaping the consumer landscape, and RetailWire panelists have weighed in recently about the impact of mobile apps, tablet computers, and so on. The ongoing question is how retailers choose to respond to these changes, especially the consumer newly empowered by the smartphone in her hand. I expect retailers to adapt by continuing to move toward exclusive brands (to reduce price competition), and by developing new ways to “close the deal.” If a store is out of stock on an item, they ought to use kiosks or other methods to satisfy the consumer from their e-commerce site, and you should see retailers rapidly moving toward this technology.


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