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Report: How Retailers Are “Leaving Money on the Table”

Retailers are struggling to catch up with smartphone-savvy shoppers who expect more from their mobile commerce experience, according to insights from retail technology giant Oracle.

In its Mobile Retail Insights report, the Redwood City, Calif.-based company revealed that many merchants are concerned about their promotions strategy, haven’t been able to perfect personalization, lag in enabling the payment solutions consumers want, and have yet to give store associates the mobile tools they need.

Just fewer than half (47 percent) of retailers that participated in Oracle’s survey confirmed that their overall mobile strategy centers on boosting basket size—whether in a physical store or on the web—by serving customers at their “point of intent.”

What’s more, the lack of personalized offers is a top concern for 62 percent of respondents who believe they’re “leaving money on the table” by blasting out generic promotions to their entire customer base—whether or not that deal or discount is relevant or timely. This points to the untapped opportunity to better leverage data in targeting customers with offers that match their interests, preferences and shopping history.

Though contactless payment solutions like Google Pay and Apple Pay have been around for years, retailers have been slow to incorporate these kinds of payment options into their checkout experiences. However, the Oracle report noted that for 54 percent of retailers, these payment solutions are either in use or part of their near-term technology roadmap.

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“As consumers shift to mobile, online retailers must refine their checkout experience. There is a huge opportunity for retailers to optimize their checkouts by supporting one-click payments, stored cards, user profiles and much more,” Roelant Prins, chief commercial officer for global payment innovator Adyen, said in the report. “If they don’t act, they risk losing out to competitors.

“Mobile is only going to become more important as consumers become increasingly comfortable using new mobile payment methods,” Prins added.

As stores regain their centrality in the overall retail experience amid a fading “retail apocalypse” narrative, retailers still lag in properly equipping their best assets: store associates.

Not only is this a problem now, but it could also create even more friction as a growing number of millennials and members of Gen Z enters the workforce with digital expectations in tow. Just 44.6% of survey respondents said they “empower employees with mobile capabilities so they can perform their jobs regardless of where they are,” while 31.4% do not.

“Store associates can make or break the customer experience and we’re seeing a heightened level of attention being paid to talent acquisition and retention,” Chris Sarne, senior director of omnichannel strategy for Oracle Retail, said in the report. “Equipping associates with the right tools, ones that are mobile, intuitive, and deliver accurate information, impacts job satisfaction and success. If associates don’t feel set up for success, they will go elsewhere.”