Only 3% of retailers are convinced that they are keeping pace with consumer demands for multi-channel retailing, according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, ‘The I Factor: How consumer demand is driving retail innovation’. Many retailers are still grappling with legacy systems, hamstringing efforts to evolve as rapidly as the market.
“Customers are coming into stores with 21st-century kit, the cloud in a handheld device, and retailers are using till systems from the 1980s,” says Ian Cheshire, chief executive of Kingfisher, owner of B&Q and Castorama, who was interviewed for the report. “The arms race has really switched to the consumers now.”
The report is based on a survey of over 300 retailers from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Russia, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, on behalf of MasterCard. The survey results were supplemented with eight in-depth interviews with senior executives from leading retailers to investigate how retailers are adapting to the new world of multi-channel retailing.
Other key findings from the report include:
- Agility and speed give smaller companies the edge
- Watching and waiting for the next game-changing technology
- Physical stores take on a new role in the omni-channel landscape
- Getting personal is the key to meeting changing customer demands
- Emerging markets will not wait to follow in the footsteps of developed markets