As the line between the digital and the real world continues to blur, we see a new trend in retail, where traditional brick-and-mortar and e-commerce are blending into one: a digital in-store experience.
In the US, mobile phones already influence 28% of in-store sales and 83% of customers using their phone while shopping. Therefore, retailers should be paying attention to what these devices can add to the shopping experience they offer.
Why is mobile important in physical retail?
Surveys reveal that convenience and savings are the key drivers of mobile use, as shoppers find that using their phones in store saves them time and money, and makes their lives easier.
Hence, most popular mobile activities are price comparisons, looking up promotions, reading reviews, checking your to-do list, taking pictures to remember products after leaving the store, and use retailers’ apps.
However, there are many more things that shoppers would love to do and that retailers should consider integrating in their strategies.
Take a look at our infographic about what role mobile plays in stores:
Click here to open the infographic in full size.
What do shoppers want from in-store mobile experiences?
1. Around 50% of shoppers want to receive real-time coupons and discounts while being in-store.
Some brands have already succeeded in providing quick and easy access to deals, promotions and loyalty programs on the spot.
For instance, the Urban Outfitters mobile app allows u
sers to share their outfits on social media in exchange for discounts and promotions, and access their personal loyalty code by shaking their phone
in the checkout line.
2. Another feature that retailers should be looking at is geolocation.
Sainsbury’s new app, for example, encourages users to make a shopping list inside the app and then find all the items marked on a map as they enter the store. This saves time, as the customers can find the product easier, and allows them to scan the items straight away using their phones.
3. Tap into the advanced level of personalization that mobile enables.
Personalization has been a topic of interest for a while now, but not many brands have taken advantage of the opportunity opened up by the the increasing use of smartphones.
With 70% of shoppers expecting a more customized experience, department store Nordstrom, offers a messaging service to receive a personalized styling experience, based on shopping habits and preferences.
4. Let shoppers better interact with products and the store environment.
Sephora has implemented this, by providing ratings and reviews, suggestions from beauty experts, video tutorials, make-up tips, and virtual testers after scanning an item.
Overall, this is about finding new ways for your customer to interact with the product and its environment by integrating the digital into the physical store.
Image recognition technologies are a great intermediary between these two worlds, allowing people to scan anything, from product packaging to banners to access coupons, information and rewards. You can even bring the customers back by offering discount coupons for items they scanned but did not buy at that moment.
Retailers should try to create rich and relevant experiences that connect physical stores with consumers in all the micro-moments of the shopping process, encouraging them to come back again.
Image credits: Sephora, Urban Outfitters