Every retailer has seen the effects of mobile shopping on their prices and sales. According to a recent study done by ComScore, 4 out of 5 smartphone users use their phones to assist with shopping, and 49% of these users have used it to compare prices while in store. But you don’t need to see those stats to know that smartphones have changed the way your customers shop.
As if this wasn’t enough, last Holiday season, Amazon, offered a special incentive program that gave shoppers a discount just for using their Price Check app to comparison shop in store, furthering the show rooming effect. With Amazon already gearing up for this holiday season by hiring an additional 50,000 temporary employees, many retailers are scrambling not to be out done, and large chains such as Target and Best Buy have already announced price match policies that now include major online retailers such as Amazon.
But retailers should be looking beyond reactive solutions to the m-commerce shopping problem, and become proactive by offering value-adding services that embrace mobile technology. Below are some great examples of just this…
- Mobile Payments for personalization and convenience: Starbucks recently announced a partnership with mobile payments company, Square, that will allow customers to pay for their purchase without even having to take their phone out. GPS signals notify the store, and the customer can pay for their purchase by simply stating their name and having the cashier match their name to their picture that will pop up on the cash register. Retailers can add personalization to the customers shopping experience by including their favourite purchases, customer rewards account or other preferences associated with this account.
- Location based offers to run more effective promotions: Zone pricing appears to be getting phased out with the prevalence of online shopping, but that doesn’t mean that location based offers have become obsolete. Customer GPS data enables brick and mortar retailers to send customers special offers, promotions or coupons when they happen to be in the area, enticing them into the store. For example, the Starbucks app will not only notify customers when they are near a Starbucks location, but will also send them notifications about their rewards and special offers.
- Mobile Rewards encourage in-store purchases: A cross over between customer loyalty programs and location/mobile offers, there are companies like Shopkick that offer consumers rewards based on their location. Shoppers get “kicks” (ShopKick Currency) for their actions; like walking into a store, looking at certain products and making a purchase. The “kicks” can then be redeemed for products from companies like Starbucks and Coach.
- Mobile Social Media to increase brand awareness: More than half of North American consumers turn to social media some of the time to gather ideas for shopping, and with the advent of Pinterest, this number is sure to rise. Luckily, retailers can use this to their advantage. For example, some retailers are offering special discounts for consumers who check in to their retail store using the Facebook, FourSquare etc. mobile apps. This gives the customer an incentive to actually purchase something, and in return provides free advertising for the retailer, as the customer’s check-in is then shared with their social networks.
These are just 4 of the many ways that retailers can use mobile apps to improve their customers’ experience and increase their in-store conversion. And combined with Competitive Price Monitoring, mobile technologies can definitely be an in-store tool to be reckoned with.