How many times do you look at your phone within the first hour of waking up? Alarm clock (1), emailing (2), checking the weather (3), texting (4), the list goes on. Average consumers utilize these pocket-sized laptops primarily for communication and information. For businesses, mobile phones have become essential to encouraging efficiency and sustainability.
Now, let’s zone in on the retail industry where innovative mobile applications have created disruptive business models, changing the way businesses run and consumers shop. To stay on top of competition, retailers must remain well informed on such technological advances. Here are a few key trends we found to be most prominent:
In-store Mobile Presence: Improving Customer Satisfaction
At Nordstrom Rack, each employee is a mobile point-of-sale (POS). They walk around the floor holding iPads and iPhones, ready to swipe any eager credit card. While not swiping, they focus on providing the utmost customer service–answering questions, suggesting complementary products, checking for stock, and maintaining the store’s presentation. According to a report published by Cisco, mobile POS options can reduce checkout times by 40 to 60 percent, improving productivity and customer satisfaction. The utility of in-store mobile devices does not end here–they can serve as easy feedback portals, collecting consumer data, or promote customer engagement through messages and games.
Cloud-based Retail Management Tools: Streamlining Operations
Seeking simplicity, organization, and efficiency, retailers are increasingly taking advantage of cloud-based technologies to streamline their operations. Today, companies like Nike Golf and Keune utilize mobile CRM applications with cloud computing for consistent, trustworthy data to avoid supply chain issues and optimize workforce management. Moreover, such easy to use technologies cut IT costs, provide real-time insights, and allow team members to work from any desired place, so long as they are connected to the web.
Mobile Marketing: Informing the Customer
A whopping 90% of mobile shoppers claim that they use their smartphones during the pre-purchase phase, and according to Forbes, “CPG mobile ads drove 75 percent more store visits than similar shoppers who didn’t see the ads.” It’s clear that mobile marketing tools are on the rise, and with much power. Some well-known mobile marketing tools include virtual coupons, social media marketing, and email marketing. Also on the rise areSMS/MMS marketing tools, allowing retailers to distribute mass messages to customers with a 98% open rate, significantly increasing customer engagement.
Mobile Beacons: Advanced Location Services
Mobile what?? Marketing with mobile beacons is also known as proximity marketing. It is a method that utilizes location technologies to hyper-personalize the shopping experience. Take Macy’s for example. Macy’s shoppers who opt-in to mobile beacons receive updates, coupons, promotions, and reminders of previously viewed or liked products on their smartphones whenever they walk into a Macy’s store. Business Insider projects mobile beacons to influence $44 billion of sales in 2016. Such personalized experiences are expected to
improve efficiency, customer satisfaction, and ultimately brand loyalty.
Mobile in Retail
As millennials grow older and future generations continue this era of innovation, customer expectations will rise, making the demand for convenience and excellent customer service higher than ever. Ultimately, this means that those in the retail industry will not survive without adapting to the mobile movement and keeping up with mobile trends.