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Customer loyalty requires a retail transformation, reveals IBM study

New IBM research reveals retailers must transform fast if they hope to inspire customer loyalty as consumers are busy shopping on their phones, online and in stores.

While nearly all Generation Z shoppers, 98 percent, still hit brick-and-mortar retailers, more than half, 66 percent are now using more than one device and 60 percent won't use an app or hit a website if the site loads slow, according to IBM's IBV study of 15,000 Generation Z consumers. The demographic represents $44 billion in estimated buying power, according to IBM.

The Gen Z consumer expects and wants personalized interaction, considers quality more important than price and wants to be engaged with a brand across all its channels, notes the study.

Yet, on the retail front, just 19 percent of retailers provide a highly personalized digital experience and 84 percent do not offer any in-store mobile services.

"In this new era of customer engagement, what will separate the winners from everyone else is a differentiated brand experience that delivers high impact engagements with compelling personalization regardless of where the customer is," Harriet Green, general manager of IBM Watson Customer Engagement, said in a press release.