iQmetrix Survey Finds the Face of the Retail Store is Changing

Oct 24, 2011 — Allan Pulga

"State of the Wireless Industry" Survey Reveals Resellers are Positive About Growth with Close to 90 Percent Looking to Improve In-Store Experience

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 25, 2011 -- iQmetrix, the leading provider of retail management software for the North American wireless industry, today announced the results of its 7th annual "State of the Wireless Industry" survey released at its Wireless Summit held in Miami, 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.

Highlights:

  • 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.

In the end, wireless retailers and analysts agree that today's brick-and-mortar retail must offer a convenient, informative and engaging, hands-on experience while combining the benefits of online and in-store shopping.

The "State of the Wireless Industry" survey is a highlight of the annual iQmetrix Wireless Summit, the largest event for independent wireless retailers in North America. More than 700 wireless industry attendees came this year to the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami to learn effective strategies for managing and growing their wireless retail business, network with leading wireless retailers and gain insight from industry experts on current trends and forecasts in wireless retail.  

Supporting Quotes:

  • Christopher Krywulak, CEO, iQmetrix said: "These responses reinforce our customers' commitment to deliver a better in-store experience as online shopping and customer knowledge increases. iQmetrix supports this effort by delivering great experiences to our customers and in-turn, their customers. With interactive retail technology in place, stores are seeing a major drop in walkouts, better employee retention and a real increase in consumer interest, sales efficiency and profitability."
  • Gerald Buchko, VP of Sales and Marketing, Jump.ca said: "According to a recent ROI and customer experience study, our investment in interactive retail technology has delivered a substantial return on investment. It has boosted store revenue and profit, and also increased brand recognition and awareness."

Social Media Resources:

Media Contact:
Allan Pulga
Manager, Communications
iQmetrix
Direct: 604.694.8038
Cell: 604.551.9907
E-mail: AllanP@iQmetrix.com

About iQmetrix:
iQmetrix is the leading provider of retail management solutions for the North American wireless industry. We strive to create the ultimate retail experience for the consumer, the employee and the business. Our flagship product, RQ4, is a complete software solution designed for wireless retailers to manage people, business processes and strategic decision-making. Our new product, XQ Interactive Retail, is a suite of in-store digital media solutions that provide an engaging way to educate and guide customers through the process of buying a mobile device. iQmetrix is a privately held software as a service (SaaS) company with offices in Canada and the United States. www.iQmetrix.com

(1)  Motorola Solutions Survey: Shoppers Better Connected than Store Associates, January 2011

Topics: Retail Operations, Mobile Industry, Press Release

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