With 2 billion+ smartphones projected in 2014, brick-and-mortar retailers swing mobile strategies into high gear
According to a new Forrester Research report, “Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub, but also the bridge to the physical world. That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations – it will transform your entire business.”
With more than 2 billion smartphones projected globally this year (and traditional retail in transition), brick-and-mortar retailers are making their mobile strategies a top priority to improve the customer experience in the store. While many have been hesitant in the past due to concerns over consumer dispositions, recent research finds that nearly 90% of consumers would be happy to opt into receiving mobile messages in store if they were personalized. With today’s technological advancements in the mobile space, including guest Wi-Fi, mobile apps, and loyalty programs, personalization in brick-and-mortar stores is becoming a reality.
The Forrester report adds, “Mobile has the ability to transform your business, but only if you can engage your consumers in their exact moment of need, or mobile moment, with the right services, content, or information.”
So how can retailers bridge the online and offline worlds and reach shoppers in store with the right message, about the right products, in the right location, at the right time?
Today, opt-in features and in-store analytics allow for retailers to complete a once unseen 360-view of customer shopping behaviors. Once your shoppers opt in (via guest Wi-Fi, mobile app or loyalty program), you can engage with them one-on-one and ensure that communications and promotions are timely and relevant across all commerce channels. Understanding websites being browsed, length of store visits, and purchasing that occurs with other retailers while the customer is in your store can help better meet the needs of both the customer and the retailer.
With in-store analytics, a real-time alert can be triggered to make marketing and management aware of low traffic stores immediately. And with 24/7 mobile access to information right at the shoppers’ fingertips, a marketing campaign can be triggered instantly. For example, a manager can receive an alert letting him know one of his stores is experiencing uncharacteristically low traffic or sales numbers on a certain day and time. To immediately reach the shoppers in that store, she can activate a coupon, a BOGO, rewards, or a flash sale for the next hour via mobile app, email, or social media.
Staples and Sears currently use location-based coupons in their apps to drive in-store traffic and sales. Staples offers consumers who have downloaded their app (and are within geo-fenced area) mobile coupons, while Sears allows shoppers via their app to pick up online purchases in the store.
In a recent interview with eMarketer, Sephora’s Director of Mobile and Digital Store Marketing, Johnna Marcus, said it best: “The big thing is not to think of mobile as just shopping on the go. Mobile is a tool for in-store. It’s a tool for research and consideration.”
To learn more about how mobile is revolutionizing the in-store experience, visit the RetailNext Mobile In-Store Analytics or Guest Wi-Fi pages, or contact us.