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Most Retailers Want to Know Who You Are

14% of respondents said they plan to implement the technology within a year

June 17, 2016

Retailers are continually looking at ways to reach consumers on a personal level. And according to April 2016 research, nearly half of retailers in North American plan to implement technology to identify customers via their smartphones as they enter stores.

Timeframe in Which Retailers in North America Plan to Implement Technology to Identify Customers via Smartphone, April 2016 (% of respondents)

Boston Retail Partners surveyed more than 500 retail executives in North America. Most said they had plans to use technology to identify customers via smartphone. The largest share, some 49% said they planned to implement technology to identify customers via smartphones within one to three years. In addition, 14% of respondents said they plan to implement the technology faster than that.

In order for retailers to identify shoppers in this way, however, smartphone users will need to buy in. The survey also asked about possible incentives for doing so.

Incentives Offered to Customers to Encourage Identification According to Retailers North America, April 2016 (% of respondents)

The survey also looked at incentives retailers offer to customers to encourage identification. Almost half (40%) of retailers in North America said they offer specialized deals to customers to encourage identification. More than a third said they offer maintenance of purchase history for ease of returns or exchanges, and almost a third said they offer product incentives.

But not every retailer offers incentives. In fact, 29% said they don’t. What’s more, some 11% of respondents said they can’t identify customers at all.

Also in April, 20% of US retail executives told TimeTrade that their stores currently used technology like beacons for personalization, and another 17% planned to do so in the next 18 months.

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