KPMG: Mobile Technology to Decide High Street ‘Battle’

KPMG have this week publishedresearch which indicates that retailers worldwide are beginning to come roundto the view that effective implementation of mobile technology is eclipsingmore traditional ways of generating business.

Theresearch, compiled following a survey of 350 senior financial officers ofglobal retailers and consumer brands, also indicates that a decrease in annual revenue is widelyexpected, with opinion varying from country to country on how far mobiletechnology can help to maximise sales.

The U.K. respondents appear to be the least enthused aboutthe ability of mobile technology to deliver a much-needed boost to retailsales, with only 36% of the Britons surveyed stating that yes; the technologywill drastically help improve sales over the next two years – compared with 46%in Germany, 44% in America, and 50% in India

Althoughit does indicate a lukewarm leaning towards the benefits of mobiletransactions, those percentages seem incredibly low. Especially whenconsidering further insight by KPMG published in September last year, whichindicated that over 90% of financial services executives believed mobilepayments were ‘yet to go mainstream’. This is in spite of the fact that anestimated $3 billion worth of transactions were processed via mobiles last year- four times the amount for 2010.

Whatfigures, then, can we expect when mobile transactions really take off? We could be looking atastronomical numbers – and it’s then even more alarming to consider that lessthan fourout of ten retail CFOs in this country remain, at present, unconvinced of itsmerits. Perhaps it’s down to an inherent mistrust of new technologies, and ‘Big Brother’ paranoia thwarting appropriate progress in the fusion between the old and the new.

Do we,then, continue with the slow progression towards (and begrudging acceptance of)a coalescence of modern technology and traditional retail values; or do we doaway with the myopia, and give mobile technology the chance it deserves in theimmediate future to help resurrect a broken retail market?

I’drather hope that more than 36% of retailers, agents and landlords in the U.K. wouldchoose the latter.

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