Nearly half of retailers plan to allow customers to make purchases through social media channels by 2018, according to a report by Infogroup Targeting Solutions.
While only 24% of merchants surveyed already had the technology, 46% said they planned to roll it out during the next five years. One surprise that came out of the survey was that 40% of retailers do not plan to implement free WiFi in stores.
Michael Penney, managing director of agency services for Infogroup, said: "Some retailers require the bandwidth provided by free Wi-Fi because they’re developing sophisticated personalisation strategies.
"Others either don’t have a marketing need right now or think that Wi-Fi will become unnecessary as cellular networks advance."
The reported also found that few merchants have struggled to adapt to a multi-channel environment. Only 37% of retailers said they had achieved a consistent, multi-channel marketing strategy and 47% said that effectively using customer data was their biggest marketing challenge.
Don Patrick, president of Infogroup Targeting Solutions, said: "Our survey revealed that retailers struggle with using the data that they already have.
"Retailers must also invest in analytics to maximize ROI and improve the customer experience."