Think stores are a thing of the past? Think again, because stores are just getting digitally smarter. According to the Retail TouchPoints / Sprint 2013 Store Operations Survey, some retailers are embracing technology to suit shopper demand.
Blueport examines data on how budgets and pricing are impacted by technology, the role mobile plays around in-store operations and how other technologies, such as in-store Wi-Fi, inventory and payment options are positively affected by the increase of all things digital. We’ll also share three tips for how furniture retailers can stay ahead of the digital game.
It’s All About The Money
Retail TouchPoints found that 67.6 percent of retailers are increasing their store operations, and 56.9 percent are increasing their investment in mobile technology. What does this mean exactly? Retailers who value the in-store experience are using technology to drive sales and enhance the shopping experience.
Pricing consistency plays a factor by the simple facts that shoppers can easily price-compare products in store, online and on their smartphone. And 46.1 percent of retailers surveyed say that they are offering consistent pricing across all channels, which helps them take advantage of the showrooming experience.
Furniture Retail Tip 1: Take a close look at your numbers to determine where you can allocate mobile or other technology in your stores, and further integrate your offerings both online and offline. This helps offer convenience for your shoppers while giving them time to go to your store.
Mobile Is So Hot Right Now
Mobile has clear advantages to retailers who adopt it. Specifically:
- Retailers are increasingly arming store associates with mobile devices (44.1%)
- 56% of these employees are using corporate smartphones and 50% are using corporate tablets
- Product availability (71%) and product information (66.1%) are the most-used functions by store employees on in-store mobile devices
- mPOS is not yet fully adopted, but those that do are seeing results. Only 33.3% of respondents have it today, but Moosejaw saw 72% of its transactions being completed on mobile devices
Furniture Retail Tip 2: Take control of showrooming by enabling your store associates with smartphones and tablets. While shoppers may not only browse your store, making it easier for them to shop with the use of technology is a sure way for them to remember your positive shopping experience.
Digital Lends A Helping Hand
Other digital technologies, such as in-store Wi-Fi, channel integration and location-agnostic store credit are three other areas where retailers can use technology to their advantage.
- Wi-Fi: 37.3% of retailers have implemented Wi-Fi for their shoppers. A survey by JiWire cautioned that 79.5% of shoppers said that the availability of in-store Wi-Fi determines where they shop – either definitely or somewhat.
- In-Store/Online Integration: Most retailers (67.8%) are offering some kind of buy in-store / return to another, and buy online / pick-up in-store (41.2%). Kmart has started to make inroads with its reserve online, pay and pick up in-store option.
- Location-Agnostic Store Credit. 33.3% give the store credit for online sales picked up in-store.
Did you know? Blueport offers the option for shoppers to sync their items into their cart and purchase from anywhere (online, mobile, in-store).
Furniture Retail Tip 3: Examine what additional digital tools will suit your business best; look for ways to implement Wi-Fi; Determine the role mobile plays in payments, returns and credits in the future.
For most furniture retailers, the showroom is an integral part of doing business. Improving store operations and sales by taking advantage of the digital opportunities available is critically important for business success going forward. We couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead!
About Blueport Commerce
Leading furniture companies work with Blueport Commerce to capture the billion dollar furniture e-commerce opportunity. We marry our clients’ bricks-and-mortar infrastructure and expertise with our decade of online furniture experience, innovative technology, and customized marketing services. For some retailers, the Blueport e-commerce platform powers their branded omni-channel websites, driving sales online and in their stores. For other retailers, we drive online sales through Furniture.com, our e-commerce website. For many, we do both. Learn more here. And, if you’re interested in working for Blueport, check out our e-commerce jobs on our careers page.