Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular for shopping, both inside and out of the store. According to the Invesp Blog, 95% of mobile internet users look up local information on their phones for the purpose of calling or visiting a business, but mobile devices account for just 19% of all US retail ecommerce sales. Consumers are using mobile devices as a resource in and out of brick and mortar stores rather than a vehicle for online shopping.
The Independent Retailer team attended NRF’s Retail’s Big Show in January and sat down with Jeremy Gilman, the SVP of strategy at DMI, who recently conducted a research study titled the Retail Mobility Maturity Report. Based on the results of his report, we found out what he had to say about maximizing mobile presence and getting mobile shoppers in-store.
Overall, consumers want retailers to provide price, inventory, product reviews, personalization, store guidance, access to a loyalty program, and easy checkout via mobile devices. All of these separate factors elevate shopping experiences and create a more customized shopping trip. Personalization is a buzzword in the retail industry and taking advantage of mobile platforms enhances shoppers’ experiences. When asked if personalization or mobile in-store guidance will be more important to retailers in 2018, Jeremy responded, “they are not two separate topics.” Increase personalization in-store by having an online platform that can easily be accessed. Loyal customers can be offered specific promos and prices that can be used in-store and use mobile checkout to avoid long lines. It’s easy for large retailers to provide an app with various features and expert personalization for their shoppers, but independent retailers can also gain the interest of mobile-shoppers.
Independent retailers need to take advantage of consumers that prefer mobile shopping. Shoppers use mobile shopping apps and storefronts for a variety of reasons. Jeremy suggests that independent retailers “find the most important use case for you and then focus in.” After small retailers have conquered one aspect of the mobile experience, they can expand to offer more to their customers. When it comes to deciding what retailers should first try on mobile devices, consider at which point mobile devices should be introduced during the customer journey. Do you want shoppers researching products before entering your store or how about when they’re in-store so they can compare prices and product reviews? In addition to deciding what you first want to offer mobile shoppers, “make sure there is a value exchange” says Jeremy. Whether consumers gain access to exclusivity or promotions, they need motivation to walk into your store and to share information online.
Attracting more shoppers to your store is a constant requirement for independent retailers. Access more consumers than before by offering a mobile concept and increase customer loyalty by giving shoppers the ability to have a more personalized in-store experience. Once your mobile platform is developed, make sure you drive the message on multiple channels. Spread the word on social media, through email campaigns, and make sure to mention it to your shoppers.