I have been asking myself why this personal technology revolution is so hard for retailers.There are a number of pretty obvious answers on the surface.
The pace of innovation, for one. Given that the standard in-store technology refresh cycle is often measured in decades, it’s more than a bit frightening to think that today’s all-store devices might be old school in six months.
The fact that it’s about more than devices and apps, for another. Smart retailers know that the operational implication of the revolution is a single-brand, multi-touchpoint, flexible fulfillment future. Which will be millions and years in the making.
Which is enough to give any CIO – let alone CEO – pause.
I wonder, though, if there’s not another big reason. One that’s buried deep inside the financial fabric of retail.
Consumers today are highly attached to mobile technology and are using it as part of their daily lives and shopping experiences. According to Nielson forty percent of mobile consumers over 18 in the U.S. now have smartphones. As these users consume bandwidth to send and retrieve content from SMS, MMS, Email, and social media apps such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter that supports pictures and videos, they are increasingly looking to Wi Fi to improve their experience.
Are retailers offer their shopping channels (including store, web, voice and social media) to consumers, the consumers are expecting to be able to use their mobile device across all the channels whereever they are, at home, at work, and IN YOUR STORE.
As a retailer, facilitating mobility in the retail store can differentiate you from the competition, plus help you meet the soaring expectations of your customers. On the other hand, allowing access to your wireless network poses potential risks. You’ve got to ensure the security of your data, comply with PCI mandates, prevent misuse and interference, and provide consistent bandwidth for your own operations.
For help retailers address this issue, we are hosting a webcast on October 20th 10:00am Pacific Time titled
Thinking today about mobility – cell phones, smartphones, tablets – and where and when it’ll be changing the rules of retail.
Forrester made a solid case this June that it won’t be as a transaction tool. They – and eMarketer.com – expect M-commerce to be only 7% of total E-commerce revenue by 2016, which means M-com will total only 1% of retail merchandise purchase market.
Gartner made the case this May (echoed by Forrester) that it won’t be as an electronic wallet – at least not until 2015 and beyond. Despite the fact that some 40-50 NFC-enabled smart phones will be shipped this year, the complexities of collaboration between service providers, financial institutions, retailers, and standards bodies is rendering progress slow and tortuous. (To see a preview, rewind to the past decade’s EPC-RFID efforts.)
And yet: The future of the personal communication and computing is increasingly mobile, and that means retailers are looking at a potential opportunity.
Working with Adam Hagen, Cisco Global Integrated Marketing Communications Manager, Cisco worked with a series of artists in multiple disciplines including paint, digital, sculpture and video, and asked them to interpret security through their eyes.
The artwork will be on display at the Payment Card Industry Council North America Community meeting September 20-22 in Scottsdale Arizona as part of Cisco and our partners HyTrust, VCE and RSA sponsorship of the event.
To learn more about some of the artists and their interpretation, we filmed some of the artists with their creations while it was installed in the Cisco San Jose campus for a limited run.
The sight of Crayola crayons stacked high to fly at the local mass merchant brought these back-to-school thoughts to mind.
Colleague Dr. Jeff Loucks and I surveyed US consumers this past spring regarding their confidence – or lack thereof – in using consumer electronics devices and content services.
No surprise that we found a cluster of early adopters, a male-dominant group of device-loving consumers of all forms of bits and bytes.
What was surprising – at least at first glance – was the discovery of a group that we might call “learners” that is more than twice the size of the early adoption group.
The “learner” group was no stranger to technology: No Luddites among the Learners. What distinguished them was that they didn’t know how to do all the things they might like to do and wanted to learn more.
This suggests they would respond with enthusiasm – and more importantly, with Visa and MasterCards – to the brand that was willing to invest in their education.
Consider for a moment: Pew Research estimates that 21% of American adults search online for product information on a typical day. That’s about 49 million persons. Consider that comScore estimated that last year there were six million Internet searches for dining recipes – every day.
Combine this research with the Pew and comScore numbers, and a sharp-edged hypothesis begins to emerge: