from brick-and-mortar to brick-and-mobile

From Brick-and-Mortar to Brick-and-Mobile

The majority of customers in your store right now are on their smartphones, and they are undoubtedly performing a number of tasks: texting a friend about meeting up for dinner, checking their most recent Facebook messages, and most likely, looking at competitors’ prices for a product they’re about to buy.

In this connected age, customers have unlimited access to shopping possibilities, yet they prefer to purchase in a brick-and-mortar store where they can see, touch and interact with the product in real life.

To savvy shoppers, mobile devices have become tools for a better, seamless shopping (and buying) experience. What are some of the most common ways customers use their smartphones to help them make their purchasing decisions while in store?

Researching Products
Although consumers do most of their research online before they set foot in a store, they still continue to research while at the store, especially if an additional product or accessory has caught their eye. Through mobile devices, shoppers can access product details and customer reviews in real time.

Comparing Prices
Shoppers check prices to make sure they are getting the best deal. Not only are they making sure your in-store and online prices match, but they are looking at your competitors’ prices and coupons too.

Checking Stock
Customers want to see and buy their product now. When they can’t find the product they want at your store, they look to see if it’s in stock somewhere nearby. It could be at your other retail locations, or unfortunately, at your competitors’ stores.

Sharing Finds
Shoppers snap, send and post photos to social media to get their friends’ and peers’ opinions before they buy. They also share their own reviews of products and let their networks know about their retail experience as they shop.

Mobile shoppers share socially
Shoppers snap, send and post photos to social media to get their friends’ and peers’ opinions before they buy.

Retailers must acknowledge that the digital age has put the power in shoppers’ hands. In order to succeed in 2016, retailers should rethink their digital/brick-and-mortar relationship. Retailers need to find ways to combine their digital and physical spaces and eliminate touch-point obstacles to create a seamless experience, strengthen the brand perception and enhance the customer connection. Additionally, retailers can use mobile to their competitive advantage by delivering unique, personalized experiences that influence and streamline shoppers’ path to purchase. When retailers embrace the need for mobile tactics, they can drive customers to the store and keep them engaged once there.

To learn more about using mobile, as well as other tactics to create a superior customer experience. Get the ebook, 16 Tactics for Merchandising Execution in 2016.

What’s the most unique mobile strategy you’ve seen from a retailer so far? Add your comment below.

Mobile ads boost physical store visits by 80 percent in first day of viewing

A new study from San Francisco-based mobile intelligence firm NinthDecimal, discussed on VentureBeat shows that mobile ads on smartphones and tablets are having a big effect — and its impact is growing. Marketers have always wondered about the effectiveness of mobile advertising, this report unveils some potential game-changers for physical stores and for the future of mobile shopping.

This helps illuminate one of digital marketing’s blind spots: the connection between digital ads and real-world behavior. It’s also an area where NinthDecimal, which specializes in connecting online and offline data for campaign targeting, has more than a little skin in the game.

The report’s results show that the impact of mobile ads on physical stores differed by industry and distance. Mobile ads for retailers, for instance, have the best results in driving foot traffic when they were viewed two to five miles of that related store, 24 percent better than average traffic.

Besides the effect of mobile ads on driving foot traffic, the report also indicates that a common wisdom — people use larger screen desktop and laptop computers for making a purchase — may be changing.

Mobile is “having a bigger impact earlier in the product discovery,” with 54 percent of respondents saying they use their mobile devices to shop for products before arriving at a purchase decision, regardless of what means they employ to make the buy. This is an increase of nearly 60 percent over responses to the same question a year earlier.

NinthDecimal's report shows an increasing use of mobile for shopping

And 35 percent of that 54 percent said they made their purchases directly on mobile devices, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year. Forty-seven percent still like buying in a physical store, but the trend is clear.

As with the growing effectiveness of in-app ads for driving foot traffic and the increased popularity of mobile browsing and shopping, rich media ads are likely a reflection of a wider availability of high-speed mobile connections, larger screens, and an increasingly mobile-centric and media-aware market.

Mobile ad makers are getting better at their craft, enticing users with content and bonuses such that video completion rates — the percentage of users watching a video ad to its end — is up by nearly a third.

Fifty-seven percent of advertisers are now providing offers with their in-app ads, per the report. So it may be no surprise that users are spending 5.2 seconds longer on mobile ads than they did a year ago.

See the full report from Venture Beat here