How retailers are using mobile technology to become more competitive

A new global survey of 700 retail IT decision makers has revealed that nearly all of them (99%) are implementing mobile technology in store.

Conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Jamf, the survey found that respondents believe that mobile technology enables them to optimise inventory planning and management (96%) and point-of-sale (96%), personalise the customer experience (96%) as well as boost employee productivity and motivation (95%).

In fact, the majority of respondents confirmed that mobile technology makes their retail brand more competitive and/or drives increased revenue by streamlining the sales process (both 91%). Half of respondents (50%) also report that customer satisfaction has improved significantly after deploying devices.

Mobile technology will likely play an even greater role in a future retail environment. Nearly all respondents plan to increase mobile technology use in the future and already are offering, or plan to offer company-issued mobile devices for staff use (95%), point-of-sale systems (95%), connections between physical and online shops (93%), fixed interactive screens in store (94%) and shared devices (90%).

When it comes to the preferred mobile devices in retail, there is a clear preference of platforms among respondents. Over three-quarters (76%) of retail IT decision makers believe that Apple devices are better to use in retail than Windows or Android, despite nearly half (48%) using a mix of Apple, Windows and/or Android devices today.

Issues with Windows or Android devices may be a factor in the preference for Apple only, as more than three-quarters of respondents (82%) who use Windows or Android in their retail environments experience problems.

“While mobile technology has been broadly adopted by retailers small and large, many applications of the technology are still only single-purpose,” said Josh Jagdfeld, director of alliances at Jamf.

“iPad and iPhone, along with the power of the Apple app ecosystem, are being used in-store globally to allow retailers to get the most from their devices and optimise processes, engage teams and enhance the broader customer experience. However, even with the multitude of benefits that mobile technology makes possible, retailers are still facing challenges when it comes to finding, deploying and managing devices across multiple applications and workflows.”

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