Mobile commerce is already driving $315 billion in retail sales globally, and that is set to double by 2018. But are retailers doing enough to drive mobile engagement in store, as well as direct sales opportunities?
Within two years, the international mcommerce market will reach $669 billion, according to Statista data. What this figure does not include, however, is the lucrative influence that mobile has on store conversions.
As the one truly ubiquitous channel, it is vitally important that retailers get their mobile strategy right. Shoppers are just as likely to get out their smartphone when browsing the aisles as open an app during their daily commute. However, most retail organizations have a much more sophisticated strategy for dealing with direct mobile commerce opportunities than bringing mobile into the bricks-and-mortar environment.
Get it right, and mobile has the power to drive greater customer engagement, increase sales and enhance loyalty. In fact, by not having an in-store mobile strategy, retailers may well be missing a trick. Here are some considerations to bear in mind when creating that strategy, based on iVend Retail’s work in the retail market:
Give store associates the technology to own the mobile journey
One of the major reasons that consumers turn to their own mobile device in the store is that they can’t find the information they need. This is a dangerous moment for retailers, as it is entirely possible that shoppers can find a product cheaper elsewhere during their search, and leave empty handed.
To exert authority over the in-store mobile journey, retailers should equip customer service staff with the same devices that consumers are using to answer questions for them. Mobile POS technology is a simple, cost-effective way to connect front-line staff to product information, enabling them to provide a richer customer experience.
Not only that, but mPOS gives store associates the opportunity to make sales that otherwise would not have materialized; if an item is out of stock, they can order it from another location, either for collection or pick up. This improves conversion rates and keeps customers satisfied, meaning they are more likely to return.
Create mobile marketing incentives that shoppers can redeem in-store
Most retailers tend to gear their mobile app towards online sales, however it can be a very useful engagement tool within physical retail as well. For example, geo-location technology can enable push notifications to be sent to users’ smartphones when they walk past store, alerting them to the latest collections and offers, to tempt them inside.
Additionally, retailers can encourage customers to save online offers to digital passbooks on their mobile devices, which they can then use to redeem offers in-store. This can prove both a valuable traffic driving mechanism, and an opportunity to increase order values if a shopper is visiting to purchase a specific item, or to pick up a click-and-collect order.
Bring all channels together with a mobile loyalty scheme
Perhaps one of the greatest value-add areas for mobile in bricks-and-mortar is customer loyalty. From the research we conducted for our Omni-Illusion report last year, we know that incentivization is often where the store falls down; consumers find printed vouchers or generic points schemes disappointing compared to the personalized loyalty offers they are accustomed to receiving online.
Developing a mobile-first loyalty scheme is a prime opportunity to recognize and reward customers based on their value across all channels. It also provides a touch point for collecting data on what they are purchasing in physical channels, which can be used to gain greater knowledge of shopper behavior and to tailor future offers and incentives based on that knowledge.
Develop your in-store mobile strategy with iVend Retail
If this blog post is highlighting gaps in your in-store mobile strategy, get in touch with iVend Retail. Whether your aiming to convert more sales, increase average order values or increase customer loyalty (or all three), we can provide the right mobile technology to drive shopper engagement across your store estate.