Savvy British families may well be in the midst of a mobile tech revolution, but the same cannot be said for many of UK's retailers, according to new research from global retail technology company Omnico Group.
Omnico's survey of 2,007 UK adults found that a meagre 10% of British shoppers have seen or experienced tablet services in-store, for example to check stock or make a payment.
This contrasts starkly with Ofcom statistics showing that the average UK household now owns more than three types of internet enabled device, with 86% having at least one. These devices include smart TVs, tablets, e-readers, laptops and smartphones – all of which allow the user to quickly check availability of items via a retailer's website. When it comes to tablets specifically, Ofcom notes that 20% of all adults own one, a figure that is likely to increase as competitors seek to undercut the established players on price.
Fuss-free tablet service
Whilst the majority of shoppers have yet to experience an in-store tablet, they do have a clear idea of what they want from the service. Half (50%) of respondents say they want sales assistants to be equipped with tablets to be able to check additional inventory if the shelf is empty, whilst over half (53%) would like to be able to check inventory in nearby stores – both achievable on the average retail website.
Out-of-stock products are clearly a cause of concern for British shoppers, with over half (52%) wanting their in-store tablet service to be able to look up exactly when an out of stock product will be replenished. A quarter of shoppers (24%) also want easy payment options available on the device.
"Out-of-stock products combined with a lack of information on when or if they will be replaced is clearly a major bugbear for British shoppers," commented Steve Thomas, CTO of Omnico Group. "Retail customers are not asking for the Earth; but rather for a fuss-free service that saves time, increases convenience and improves their overall experience. If customers can browse, check stock and pay on a mobile device from the comfort of their homes, then they should be able to do the same in-store, too.
"With many bricks-and-mortar formats continuing to struggle with footfall, retailers must offer an efficient, flexible service that fuses the best of traditional retail with a 21st century omni-channel strategy," adds Steve Thomas.
Omnico provides a range of software and hardware solutions that help retailers make the most of mobile technologies, from smartphones through to mobile point of sale. For example, Omnico's Digipos Freedom Tablet enables real-time research of products from the shop floor, including stock-checking, news of the latest offers and product research.
For more information on Omnico, please visit its retail page: http://omnicogroup.com/retail-landing