Mobile apps have become essential part of shoppers’ life. We now use mobile to locate a store, get info on products and compare. Before entering a store, shoppers already have the product information and expect the same with store attendants. Therefore, the relationship between mobile and in-store shopping is very much interconnected. Mobile apps present an opportunity for the retailers to enhance the in-store shopping experience, create personalized experiences for them and boost profitability.
Here are 5 ways mobile apps will help you reach your consumers, increase your revenue, loyalty and productivity. And all this while controlling the cost!
Having your store app will help you increase customer engagement more effectively. Sprint, a telecommunication company discovered that one in four people who click on mobile search ads rush to the retail store. Shoppers generally look for promos and coupons. According to a survey carried out by RetailMeNot, in partnership with Omnibus Company, more than 33% of shoppers admitted to being bargain hunters. They often search for online coupons on their mobile devices. Giving away offers will keep your customer updated on your latest deals and discounts. In-store navigation will help shoppers find your products, which make things easier for them. While shopping 90% of customers use smart phones to check product information, product prices etc., For Example, Walmart’s app serves offers on their homepage. One of the app store reviewers puts it, “Easier than (sic) using my computer!!!” Walmart ramps up mobile in-store strategy to save customers time.
Walmart has a feature on their mobile app called Scan & go, which allows shoppers to scan their products in destined stores and pay at a self-checkout counter. Also, with the help of a mobile app, the retail staffs are able to process a payment from anywhere in the store. Most of the retailers are leveraging mobile apps to boost efficiency and productivity, reducing the chances of a customer to change their mind before checking out, thanks to long queues at the market. With less effort you gain customer satisfaction, generate sales and grow your business. Motorola research determined that by 2017 nearly the in-store transactions can be done using an app or a self-checkout feature on the mobile device of the customer. Customers are always looking for local information like, google search for “near me” and it has grown 2.4X every year. As per research, 50% of customer who look out for local search, visit a store within a day and 18% of those leads to a purchase. As per the survey, 82% of customer consult their phones while doing in-store purchase. Retailers who adopted the digital in-store, took advantage of the mobile technology to enhance customer experience, drive sales, improve customer loyalty and achieve operational efficiencies. Neiman Marcus service app provides customers to personalize in-store shopping experience by bookmarking certain items, and connecting with sales staff. For the sales staff, this allows them to look at the customer’s desires and shopping history, thus giving them a valuable insight to customer queries.
It is disappointing for a shopper when they reach your store and find the product out of stock. You lose your potential customer and also their loyalty, a reason why most of them avoid a store visit. Having your app on a smartphone provides product information and will have a quick access to up-to-date inventory in the store, as many of your customers are depending on their phones to purchase products. If you provide a quality app, you are providing a consolidated cross-channel experience. According to MasterCard, customers who shop both online and offline with a specific retailer buy 250% more on average. Mobile apps not only provide information to shoppers, it also helps your store manager to keep a track of the inventory and make effective inventory decisions. Resulting in reducing stock-out situations, manager will know the amount of stock that should be in the store. For instance, Mobile apps will give real-time alerts to your store manager, of any pending stock, overstock situation, immediately. Keeping this information in-hand, managers plan and take decisions like, to request a back-stock pull, overstocked inventory can be moved to another store, or request for additional merchandise. With the help of Local Inventory Ads, Sears Hometown and outlet stores saw an increase of 122% in store visit by showing actual store inventory App users. “Mobile computing/mobile BI is not only becoming more pervasive in and across organizations, it’s becoming much more mature and advanced,” said Howard Dresner, Founder and Chief Research Officer, Dresner Advisory Services, and author of the 2013 Wisdom of Crowds® Mobile Computing/Mobile BI Market Study.
Today retail industry has become highly aggressive acquiring new customers, retaining them, gaining customers trust and growing their business while generating revenue. It is important for retailers to deliver the right products, keep interacting with customers to know their needs, keep them engaged and deliver personalized content. Start giving options like, live chat with an associate to know more about the product, you’re likely engaging your customer. In the end ask for their feedback.Nowadays, people rely more on product reviews and rating, before buying any product. This will improve the conversion rate by providing your customers with other customer reviews and ratings. Based on Cisco’s research, that the 63% of online shoppers consumers purchase depending on the ratings and reviews displayed on websites, so that it will have a sizable impact on their purchase decisions.
Sephora, the beauty and body-care retailer, consider in-store mobile behavior as a major opportunity. Their app allows in-store customers to scan the products to view the product reviews and other key information.
“In retail, you can’t think about the mobile phone as a threat. You have to think of it as a magnet to draw that client to your store”—Bridget Dolan, VP Interactive Media, Sephora
Parkway Parade is a shopping mall partnered with Sprooki. Their mobile app has an option for customers to pre-purchase using smartphones and also motivate retailers. When customers receive any alerts of the shopping mall, they will open the app and make a purchase and services on the spot, using their phone and they can pick the product immediately from the store. While CVS Caremark and Walgreen’s app allows users to get refills and make orders to collect, at the same time they also look at deals in the store. This feature will add more confidence about shopping and help customers keep a track of the products they want. To make shopping more entertaining British shoe retailer Clarks rolled out an interactive, iPad-based system which help measuring children’s shoe sizes. The app creates a pleasing heat sensor image of the child’s foot, trying on new shoes is now more appealing to children and easier for parents.
Mobile apps are transforming the retail market. For a retailer, a mobile app is no longer a choice but necessity