How Mobile is Evolving the In-Store Experience

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Marley Bathe

When entering a physical retail store, today’s shoppers arrive with a mobile device in hand. They are extremely aware and expect store employees to be informed about the store’s merchandise, promotions, and facilities.

Today, Canadian millennials hold one of the highest positions in purchasing power. According to Eric Qualman’s #Socialnomics 2014 presentation, more millennials own a mobile device than a toothbrush. With this point in mind, today’s leading retailers are leveraging mobile technology to enhance a customer’s experience, drive sales, increase customer loyalty, and attain operational efficiencies.*

For independent retailers, eCommerce solutions can be cost prohibitive. One of the most effective ways to drive online and in-store traffic is through a responsive website. Responsive web design opens the door for retail mobile traffic, which responds to the 65% of millennials who have already purchased or are willing to purchase through their mobile devices.

After developing a responsive web presence, there is potential for a mobile app program. “A mobile app program is a huge opportunity for retailers to revolutionize how their employees work,” said Hugh Owen, Vice President of Mobile Products at MicroStrategy. “Store managers and associates are now able to take advantage of information that, once locked away in databases or tethered to a desktop, is now within arm’s reach.”

Leveraging Mobile Technology & Responsive Design as a Competitive Advantage:

In-Store Leaders Create Quicker Results: Whole Foods uses responsive mobile technology to provide its in-store leaders with up-to-date sales and operations information. These kinds of detailed insights allow for faster and more effective decisions amongst employees.

‘Real-Time’ Employee eCommerce Solutions: By sharing valued information with customers, mobile apps can significantly empower store associates, while boosting productivity. A mobile presence can deliver real-time notifications to employees on the floor -- sharing daily promotions and providing feedback on products that are driving the most revenue.

Sales Rise, Out-of-Stocks Fall: Mobile technology has the ability to report inventory and order information to help managers make successful inventory decisions and reduce stock-out situations. Example: a floor manager, operating in a grocery store during peak hours, could receive an alert on his mobile device recommending that he immediately check to see if milk products are low or out-of-stock. With a mobile responsive web presence, you can know ahead of time when there will be inventory discrepancies -- closing the gap of the offline stock management system.

Customer Engagement = Strong Brand Loyalty: High fashion retailer, Gucci uses mobile technology to strengthen customer loyalty. Their store associates have the ability to receive reports such as market basket analysis from a mobile device. The outcome being, associates can establish which items to upsell to a customer based on their unique purchasing history and buying preferences.

According to Carman Allison, the VP of Consumer Insights at Nielson, 41% of millennial shoppers use their mobile devices to pay, while over 50% check reviews and coupons online. A responsive web presence in today’s retail market is crucial -- it will provide a fluid customer shopping experience for the largest Canadian web-engaged group and purchasing power.

By connecting all the puzzle pieces together, your technology will empower retailers to meet consumers’ ever-rising expectations of the shopping experience -- while reaching greater values of customer loyalty, sales, and operational production.

For more on eCommerce platforms, contact us or see: Going Mobile with Mac’s

*"5 Ways Mobile Apps Are Driving The Store: Improving Revenue, Loyalty, Productivity and Cost Control”. Retail TouchPoints, White Paper: accessed 17 November 2014.

*Photo credit: Ramil