iQmetrix, provider of retail management software for the North American wireless industry, has announced the results of its 7th annual "State of the Wireless Industry" survey released at its Wireless Summit held inMiami, FL October 16-18. The survey, conducted by iQmetrix, polled 158 independent wireless resellers across North America, and provides an inside peek at trends, challenges and plans for expansion.
The most significant finding was that despite economic uncertainty, the majority of mobile resellers expect growth over the next five years. Additionally, nearly half of the mobile resellers surveyed see recruiting and retaining staff to be one of their biggest business challenges.
Nearly 70 percent of respondents believe the industry will continue to grow over the next five years, with the same percentage planning to expand their businesses.
More than 85 percent plan to improve the in-store experience in 2012 with a focus on employee training (88 percent) and store design (63 percent).
Mobile payments, digital signage, interactive retail and location-based advertising will be the top in-store investments for 2012.
70 percent of respondents are currently using social media to communicate with their customers and many are planning to invest in mobile advertising in the near future.
Trends and technology that respondents consider important for the future include: 4G, mobile broadband growth beyond traditional devices with a continued growth of tablets and mobile payments.
The Case for Interactive Retail
Proliferation of online shopping and mobile purchase research has increased consumer awareness and decreased patience for in-store assistance. Consumers are now disenchanted with traditional brick-and-mortar retail.
Today's shopper looks for a new, more convenient, informative and engaging in-store experience; an experience providing all the benefits of online shopping and in-person shopping including the ability to touch and try the desired product and leave the store with it in hand.
The information gap between customers and salespeople further deteriorates the quality of the customer experience.
55 percent of retailers believe shoppers are better connected to information than store associates(1).
In-store smartphone research influenced 39 percent of walk-outs: 12 percent went online to check other retailers' prices; 8 percent checked product availability at other stores(1).
By empowering consumers with pre-purchase information, salespeople are often at a disadvantage as their customers become more knowledgeable about the prospective product. Meanwhile, retailers hire the best sales people available, but face common challenges related to training and retention.