While many retailers have seen a strong shift to online shopping rather than in store purchases, those that have truly developed and implemented an omni channel retail strategy have seen more consumers returning to their stores. One in three consumers bought more items in store in 2013 than in 2012. This can be attributed largely to the integration and alignment of all retail channels to ensure customers receive a positive shopping experience. Many retailers have done this with the help of warehouse management systems (WMS), enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) and strong analytics trackers. Retailers are now able to track consumer purchases across channels, even into the retail store locations as many consumers are researching items online first and flocking to retail stores to make actual purchases. The use of mobile technologies in store has increased significantly and has supplemented not only information available in store, but retail associate availability as well. One in three consumers reported that they used smartphones to find information rather than asking store associates. This is only one of many ways consumers are now making or would like to make use of technology in store. Eighty four percent of consumers want to use their mobile devices when shopping in store. Of this eighty four percent, fifty one percent want to use their personal devices for checkout rather than waiting in line. A smaller portion of consumers, thirty two percent, want all online conveniences transferred to in store purchases and have them made available via mobile devices. To adapt to these changing customer expectations retailers are making accessing personal consumer devices more convenient. They are doing this by adding free services such as wireless internet access – nearly 60% of retailers plan to add in their stores by 2015. By allowing customers to move more freely throughout the store and manage their own customer experience, retailers are seeing an increase in consumers returning to stores.
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