Retail Technology Wack-A-Mole

  • Retail executives face competing priorities.
  • Achieving a consistent shopper experience can reduce the number of one-off challenges that pop up.

One of the hard choices senior retail executives have to make is prioritizing ideas and the resulting operational and capital funding across the variety of operational teams. Stores want complete assortments, while the accountants want return on investment growth. If we all had the latest toys, would we all achieve the same results? Retailers are notorious for copying each other, and with technology, they are no different. As retailers have reacted to movements by Amazon and Walmart have they caught up in core areas?

I was using one my favorite iPhone apps when an offer popped up to purchase an assortment of products at a grocery store chain.  Why should grocery store chains care about this capability? Walmart’s current advertising track is impacting competitors based on their basket receipt total versus a local competitor.  Many grocery chains have announced limited price reductions to compete against Walmart for like products – even offering price matching guarantees.

Retailers follow trends to win customers

As we work with retailers, we’re seeing a definite pattern in what is being implemented by retailers. Current economic trends are emphasizing revenue growth, whether by new stores, increased traffic counts, or improvements in average ticket size. Most retailers have a pretty good handle on supply chain – you have to in today’s environment. Most retailers have upgraded their websites and many are rolling out mobile applications. The next step will be in consolidating and integrating those solutions. After that, we see the integration to the point-of-sale as a major milestone.
So whether you call it omni-channel, cross-channel, or just retail, the race to address what pops up drives many decisions. The current idea to pop up is achieving a consistent shopper experience. What pops up next, we’ll address next time.

See what AT&T is doing for the retail enterprise, check out

Paul Rombach CPG and Restaurant Marketing Retail Director AT&T About Paul