There is no doubt that smartphones have changed the way we experience the internet today. In the past two years alone, smartphone adoption has grown from 36 percent to 61 percent. 
No longer are the days we spend evenings with our bulky computers in our parents dusty basement. Now, it goes wherever we go! As a result, people are spending much more time surfing the net and using social media -- simply because they can do it from any touch point. Powered by the rise in smartphone adoption, this constant connectivity has created opportunities for retailers to connect with shoppers.
Accommodate Mobile Customers
As retailers, you should think thoroughly about what it means to accommodate mobile customers. The appeal to adapt a desktop strategy to fit mobile can be alluring, but should be generally avoided.
It’s more often than not that your future customers are just around the bend, and a mobile strategy can get them through your front door. It’s recently been noted that one out of five searches from major search engines have local intent. 
With these powerful references in mind, many retailers today are realizing the power of capturing mobile demand. A recent Digby analysis indicates that 70 percent of top retailers now offer mobile apps. Further research indicates that 78 percent of fast food chains, 75 percent of casual dining brands, 77 percent of big box retailers, 59 percent of specialty stores, and 58 percent of grocery stores have mobile apps. 
80 percent of mobile search triggered store visits happen within 5 hours of initial search
85 percent of mobile search triggered calls to stores happen within 5 hours of initial search 
Price Transparency Demands
This topic is inescapable in today’s retail markets. 80% of smartphone users use mobile devices for shopping research, and 80% of those shoppers do their mobile search in the store.  39% of walk-outs, when shoppers leave without making a purchase, were also influenced by smartphone usage. 
The term for using mobile devices in stores has recently been coined “showrooming,” which transforms brick and mortar locations into showrooms for products that are then later bought online. All retailers today have seen at least one form of this.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions that showrooming will in some way be a threat to your business. However, retailers should approach showrooming as an exciting new opportunity. Don’t worry, we’ll get you on your way. Here are three strategies that have proven to work well in a retail environment:
1. Develop a Digital Relationship with Your In-store Shopper
Ok, so we know that showrooming starts in the physical store, but what are you doing to engage them while they’re shopping? We suggest spending quality time with your customers. This can be done by simply answering their questions, ensuring they get the most out of what they are looking for.
A lot of the time in-store customers come well-equipped with product information in-hand. Sometimes more so than store staff, so many in-store enhancements can be created to anticipate these customer behaviours. QR codes on shelves that explain useful product information and customer reviews are great to engage shoppers. In addition, tablet and mobile-optimized tools that in-store staff have access to can really help guide customers select the right purchases.
In conjunction to better answering customers questions about products, including the option of buying online via mobile or desktop and then later picking up in-store, should be made a high priority. This will allow shoppers to purchase where and when they want to at the same price, while gaining the extensive experience you offer in-store. To make the in-store pickup process even easier, you can offer tablet solutions that will allow a customer to receive their product more efficiently.
2. Clarify Your Value Proposition for the Showrooming Shopper
Some retailers today are featuring offerings such as same day delivery, in-store pickup, showing in-stock items within the store, and free online shipping when an item is out-of-stock.  To avert losing sales for out-of-stock items, you can launch marketing campaigns that will gently remind customers that if they can’t find something they’re looking for in-store, sales associates can help them find it online.
3. Sweeten the In-store Experience
Let’s sweeten the deal for in-store shoppers. By making the experience more engaging and financially rewarding, or both, you’ll secure an extra edge against online-only competitors. Perhaps offer free in-store WiFi to your customers during high season. With this functionality, customers will have better access to your mobile site and it will help them redeem mobile coupons and scan QR codes throughout the store.
“One out of five searches from major search engines have local intent." Tweet this!
“80% of smartphone users use mobile devices for shopping research.” Tweet this!
"39% of walk-outs are also influenced by smartphone usage." Tweet this!