Most retailers haven’t figured out how to use mobile technology to increase company growth. CTO’s often have limited resources to maintain their existing systems and seldom have time to explore new ways to grow their business.
While this is a pain-point for many large retailers, successful brick and mortar stores are starting to dedicate more resources to connect with their customers through free wifi offerings, interactive apps and mobile optimized websites.
And the results? Big growth.
The internet has created a more intelligent consumer. Customers use the internet to research products and compare prices before they decide to make a purchase. The Madman days of flashy TV ads and full-page banners simply don’t get the job done anymore.
AnÂ On Device Research study in 2012 found that over 60% of respondents have used mobile internet while in a retail store. Not only are potential customers comparing prices, but 74% of them would also be happy to interact with the store through text messages and email promotional offers while shopping.
Of those using mobile devices, SmartInisights found 82% of mobile media time is spent via apps and the numbers continue to grow exponentially each year.
5 Ways To Grow In Mobile Retail:
1) Convenience is king.
The CVS mobile app allows customers to refill and view prescriptions, redeem coupons (as opposed to sifting through deals from the sunday paper), instantly shop and send photos to be printed. Forbes recently rated both the CVS and Walgreen’s app the most exceptional shopping experience out of any other retailers. Why?
Not only is it convenient for their customers, but it’s an entirely different way to fulfill services that haven’t changed in decades.
Toys “R” Us knows their core consumer. After multiple mentions of having difficulty finding information about their products in a store overflowing with similar toys, they created an app that allows shoppers to scan the product barcode and instantly get pricing information / view online reviews.
This makes a parent’s job a lot easier and keeps customers in their store (rather than alternative online retailers) to find relevant information.
Anyone who has ever created a wedding registry knows how outdated the product scanners are. Most stores use separate, bulky devices that run out of batteries quickly and aren’t very intuitive to operate.
Crate & Barrel changed the game when they allowed customers to create / edit registries, view purchases and even get product suggestions in real-time, all from the convenience of their personal cell phone.
Nordstrom’s created 4 different apps aimed at showing their clothing on real models, in real-time. Shoppers looking for inspiration can instantly access examples of stylish looks, share exclusive events and make purchases directly from their phone using coupons.
In an interview with the MobileMarketer, Jessica Scheibach, group product manager at Nordstrom Direct explains, “we know people aren’t buying as much on smartphones, but they’re researching,” she said. “They may be buying on other channels. We focus on engagement. It doesn’t really matter if they buy from that channel as long as they are using it.”
“On a smartphone conversion is not the only metric. It’s definitely something we look at, but engaging across touchpoints and never buying is fine. We want to you to use and love Nordstrom. You might go into a store, you might not. It’s just about engaging and being in people’s lives.
A trendy shoe store based out of Guatemala created an app called HiJack. By using GPS technology, hijack recognized potential customers entering the official store of one of the brands sold at Meat Pack and triggered a special notice with a promotion that gave the chance to earn a discount.
According to AdsOfTheWorld, “the discount would start at 99% and it would decrease by a percentage with each second that went by. The countdown discount made people want to hurry towards the Meat Pack store, making the countdown stop. Those who reached the stores faster, got better discounts.”
Results: More than 600 costumers were hijacked from the competitors. All discounted merchandise sold in record time and every time a discount was redeemed, the customers Facebook status automatically informed the world about the promotion and it generated a viral competitive attitude that spread amongst their circles.
What are some of your favorite retail apps?