Smartphones change the way consumers shop — have you adapted?
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Dalit Braun, co-founder and CEO of our integrator Pickn’Tell, dropped by with a guest post on the impact of mobile on retailing. Pickn’Tell is an all-inclusive mobile marketing solution that lets you easily manage your own branded mobile app and trace consumer behavior. Give it a try from the Bigcommerce App Store.
These changes are accelerating as younger, more digitally savvy shoppers are looking to shop how they want, where they want, when they want, while using the devices they want — their mobile phones and tablets.
So, what’s changing?
The role of the mobile phone
It is an established fact that digital platforms have become an integral part of the shopping experience and that consumers are shopping across devices. According to a survey by Google, mobile devices aid apparel shoppers in the discovery of new brands. If shoppers were previously aware of certain brands, mobile devices will remind shoppers to be conscious of and reconsider them in over 15% of cases. Moreover, after searching on a mobile phone, 26% of consumers were influenced to complete purchases!
So it’s obvious that the mobile phone has an important role in luring potential shoppers to e-commerce sites and in influencing their purchasing behavior.
Point 1: New and existing brands must have a mobile presence to compete in today’s mobile driven world.
The significance of mobile social activity
Consumers are placing an increasingly higher value on the information they receive from blogs and social networks. Many consumers are connected via mobile to these social networks, making word of mouth influence almost instantaneous through shared recommendations and product insights. Although most online retailers acknowledge this fact, apart from opening a Facebook page or occasionally advertising on a social network or blog, many fail to properly utilize these platforms. Connecting m-commerce abilities to social networks can not only enhance a brand’s position, but also help provide learnings about the perception of the brand.
Point 2: It is crucial for retailers to have a strong social media presence in order to reach consumers.
The need for an enhanced marketing strategy
Observing how people shop on an e-commerce site or mobile platform can create a consumer behavior model and customer profiles. For instance, it’s been found that more people will discover products when features like private messaging and social sharing (on-site data on what customers liked and shared with their friends) are available. Understanding this sort of information is of course essential. Leveraging the information through the use of various marketing tools, however, is the most important part of a mobile strategy.
Point 3: Today’s shoppers use their mobile phones as a shopping companion. Retailers must adopt a mobile marketing strategy in order to reach their target market.
Here are actions people performed with their mobile device according to Google:
Consequently, notifying shoppers of promotional offers on their mobile phone is an innovative and entertaining way to reach them anytime, anywhere. If retailers can properly align their offers with their goals, it both enhances the shopping experience and increases the retailer’s sales and profitability.
Engagement as a differentiator for physical stores
The shopping experience has become a mix of various channels. Online shopping, mobile applications, and social networks are several influencers in a purchase. That being said, customers require an added value to enter and stay in stores. Yes, nothing compares to physically touching the fabric and enjoying the process of trying on a garment, however, with a new era of shoppers, there is an opportunity and a demand to provide them with in-store engagement that will complement their visits.
Digital devices can fulfill that desire for a richer and more personalized in-store experience. Whether through the use of an iPad or kiosks that serve as assistive tools for sales associates or digital look books on the selling floor, we will be seeing more in-store mobile payments, mobile-only discounts, and interactive digital signage as time moves on.
Point 4: Retail stores can benefit by integrating mobile and/or tablets into their in-store experience in order to engage customers.
What can you do as a retailer?
So you’re a retailer who is taking note. What are the steps you can take to propel your team and your brand to the forefront of these changes?
Take your brand mobile: Whether you are an online or a physical retailer, tie your store to a mobile experience that includes more than just a viewing catalog.
Solution: A mobile application that allows consumers to really interact with the store, not just browse.
Enable interaction: Retailers should enable interaction with the advanced actions today’s shoppers want to perform inside a store.
Solution: A mobile store that does just that. For example, Pickn’Tell’s application for retailers supports an array of interactive user behavior through purchasing, bar code scanning, sharing with friends (privately or through social networks), digital gift card delivery and more.
Mobile Marketing: Leverage the mobile platform to communicate with your target audience by marketing personalized and targeted promotions.
Solution: Reach out to your target market through their mobile devices. Personalized, targeted push campaigns based on user activity and other factors help retailers reach their target audience.
Empower strong analytics: Measurement is essential for gaining a complete understanding of your shoppers and their behavior.
Solution: If a strong part of your business consists of brick-and-mortar stores, capitalize on the opportunity to provide in-store engagement supported by a platform that provides analytic data. It will encourage interaction in your stores and allow you to understand the habits of your customers, ultimately driving traction and ROI to your business.
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