In a recent blog post, From Brick-and-Mortar to Brick-and-Mobile, we discussed how today’s empowered shoppers use their mobile devices to research products, compare prices and share their retail experiences along the path to purchase.
Shoppers now have unlimited access to information at their fingertips. They have grown accustomed to instant gratification afforded by their smartphones and if they don’t like what they see from a brand, they will go elsewhere with help from their mobile devices.
In the upcoming year, shoppers’ expectations for immediate customer satisfaction will only increase. This means that retailers must focus on a superior, seamless experience between mobile and in-store every time they step into their store.
Technology is now a part of the path to purchase. Retailers can no longer think of mobile and brick-and-mortar as separate entities.
Integrate and Simplify
Customers will get frustrated when the mobile experience doesn’t synchronize with the brick-and-mortar. A customer’s perception of the brand can be shaped by mobile. They are actively using their device while they shop in store, so their experience needs to flow simply and consistently between the channels. Prices, information, sales, coupons, as well as ease of use and tone of content must match.
One way retailers can make sure this happens is to break down any silos between departments. When departments communicate through one system, everyone has access to the same information, resulting in consistency, accuracy, and quick response.
Retailers can use shoppers’ constant connectivity to their advantage by encouraging them to contribute their own content-like reviews and photos to social platforms. It creates engagement, builds and nurtures customer relationships, increases brand awareness, and most of all, generates trust with potential customers.
Empower store employees by giving them the right tools and more time to engage customers on the floor. Since store employees have face-to-face interaction with the customer, they can ensure the customer has a good experience. They can also urge shoppers to share socially, whether it’s an Instagram photo of them interacting with a new product or telling Facebook friends about a big sale.
Understand the Customer
The increased use of mobile devices has made customers accustomed to localized and highly personalized content. When shoppers research through mobile, they expect information that is directed to them. Customers want an authentic brand experience. They already have access to a myriad of purchasing options, so a brand must emotionally connect with the customer in order to stand apart.
Data collection can be used to understand customers and their shopping patterns. Retailers need to take into account customers’ preferences and behaviors along with specific store data. Understanding individual customers as well as local needs will help a retailer deliver the most relevant, personalized experience possible, both digitally and in store.
Over the past few years, mobile has transformed retail by providing people with infinite access to information and competitive options while they shop. In 2016, mobile’s role in retail will continue to gain importance, and retailers must take this into account when making decisions about upcoming strategies.
Technology is now a part of the path to purchase. Retailers can no longer think of mobile and brick-and-mortar as separate entities. In order to create a seamless brand experience between channels, retailers should consider their internal process. It is essential that retailers understand customers through data collection. What’s more, it’s important that departments communicate and share this data with each other, all the way down to the store level, to increase productivity and provide customers with a personalized, consistent and engaging experience every time they shop.
Find out how to improve the retail process through the year with the ebook, 16 Tactics for Merchandising Execution in 2016. The ebook addresses the most common challenges retailers face, and the top tactics needed to address them. When applied, these tactics will help retailers eliminate touch-point obstacles and deliver a better, more consistent customer experience across digital and store channels.