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Best-in-class retailers excel in significantly improving the customer experience and streamlining their warehouse operations and inventory processes through the use of mobility devices, according to a new study released by Aberdeen Group in partnership with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
According to the report, “Mobile Field Workforce in Retail: Strategies to Reduce Total Cost of Ownership,” 73 percent of leading retailers indicated that they had a mobility initiative in place for more than a year, allowing them to offer a stronger brand promise, a more valuable customer experience through improved focus on assisted- and self-service, and a nimble workforce with better workflow processes in the store, warehouse and supply chain operations.
“Leading retailers understand that innovation and evolution are critical to meeting the changing needs and expectations of consumers,” said Casey Chroust, EVP for retail operation for Arlington, Va.-based RILA. “For those retailers that have embraced their use, mobility devices have enhanced the shopping experience by streamlining checkout while also providing store personnel with the tools needed to best serve customer needs.”
In addition, the report found that mobile technology has transformed the day-to-day operations for retailers by ensuring a more efficient and effective supply chain and field workforce. “Having a mobile workforce that is more seamlessly tied to the business workflow can further lower costs and improve efficiency, which is a key differentiator in the present economic environment,” said Shir Anand, chief author and research director for Boston-based Aberdeen’s Retail, Hospitality and CPG Practice.
Fifty-seven percent of leading retailers are able to ensure secure data transfer during the upstream and downstream data flow between the field and headquarters, or vice versa. “Due to the increased awareness and compliance requirements for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) and other Wi-Fi security protocol requirements, such as Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA and WPA2), these retailers are compelled to revisit and improve their secure data compliance on their Wi-Fi networks,” said Anand.
Based on the current use of mobile applications in the retail industry, the top three functional uses are inventory and warehouse management (79 percent), transactions (79 percent), and point-of-sale line-busting (74 percent). These results denote that almost eight out of every 10 retailers that currently use mobility in their stores focus on improving differentiation via productivity and customer convenience.
To download the full report, click here: http://www.aberdeen.com/includes/asp/sponsored_registration.asp?ci=/launch/report/benchmark/6018-RA-mobile-total-cost-ownership.asp&spid