Many Retailers Lag in Technology Adoption, Whether In-Store or Online

But big personalization push is coming

October 27, 2017

Most retailers have not implemented a host of key ecommerce and in-store technologies that support a seamless, convenient, omnichannel customer experience, according to the latest edition of the Customer Engagement Tech Trends study from RIS and International Data Corp. (IDC).

The study, based on a survey of 65 North American retail executives, found that even for relatively common technologies such as "email, mobile, text marketing/messaging," less than half of the respondents said their companies currently have up-to-date tech in place.

The study found similar levels of savvy with in-store technologies. Barely half of the retailers said they are up-to-date with customer Wi-Fi, and less than one-quarter said the same of in-store pickup and returns for digital orders.

Not surprisingly, retailers were far less likely to have implemented cutting edge and emerging technologies—in-store or out—such as location-based sensing, chatbots and personalization. 

Interestingly, though, almost four in 10 of the respondents said they are working on personalization, a reflection of the growing imperative to recognize customers and respond to their demands on their terms—in real time.

Brands that use technology and data to offer customers personalized experiences are seeing revenue increase by 6% to 10%, two to three times faster than those that don’t, according to a Boston Consulting Group survey published earlier this year.