With the rise of smartphones and the introduction of the iPad, consumers are turning to light, portable devices as resourceful shopping companions. More and more consumers seem to prefer a smartphone or tablet to a home desktop or laptop; in fact, Gartner predicts mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most popular Web access devices worldwide by 2013. These portable devices provide all that is needed for Internet browsing, email and social media, and cloud storage has effectively eliminated the need for a large hard drive.
Unlike consumers, however, retailers have been slow to adopt new technologies and remain largely reliant on traditional desktop PCs. Change can be frightening, but CPG retailers need to provide what consumers want—and consumers want technology. Retailers that engage with shoppers online and offer advanced in-store technologies are the shiny new toy everyone’s dying to try; those that fall too far behind the technology curve become the old, outdated toy with which no one wants to play. Technology is constantly evolving, and retailers need to evolve along with it to stay relevant.
For some retailers, updating antiquated technology can seem overwhelming. With so many futuristic gadgets and social media platforms to choose from, where should retailers even start?