Mobility opens new doors for retailers
Did you know that more than half of the world is equipped with mobile phones? However, trends show a switch from ordinary phones with simple call functions, to smart phones with internet browsing. Consumers can easily:
- create and store shopping lists;
- scan item barcodes to compare characteristics;
- use discount coupons and promotions.
"Mobile commerce" or "mobile marketing" are no longer shallow concerns around technologies and trends in retail; over the past few years, they have been gaining popularity among both consumers and retailers.
Although retailers are not getting the most out of mobile technology yet, retailers will definitely change customer relationship practices in the future.
Experts say that every retailer changes the POS software every 5-7 years, on average. This means that mobile technology must be constantly integrated with the current infrastructure, while investments in such technologies should have a long-term impact. Retailers have now the opportunity to shape the way consumers will experience new technologies in the buying process.
Why is mobility good to consumers?
It makes life easier! As simple as that! Integrating mobile services such as auto scanning or mobile payments in the shopping process helps consumers get what they want in a shorter time.
It provides accurate information and helps consumers make better decisions. Other mobile service, such as possibility to view product packaging, allows consumers to choose those products that are consistent with their life, health, welfare and environmental values.
Why is mobility good to retailers?
- Increases sales. There is a clear link between the information provided by the POS and the buying decision. Information simply means more sales;
- Increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers will return to companies that meet their needs in terms of information and products;
- Adds value to physical products and improves the buying experience through digital services. As consumers spend increasingly more time in the online environment, mobile devices can become the "connector" linking physical products and stores.
Key questions that you must answer if you have decided to use mobile technology to communicate with customers:
- What consumer needs can be tracked and met by using mobile devices in retail activities?
- How can mobile devices provide a richer shopping experience?
- What does a retailer need to change in his activity to follow the trend?
Mobile services for consumers
- View product packaging: consumers can get more information about products they want to buy;
- Coupons: mobile phones are used to capture, display and use discount coupons;
- Loyalty: mobile phones can replace physical membership cards and provide personalized mobile services;
- Advertising and promotions: ads can be sent directly to customers’ phones (it decreases the company's budget for other types of advertising that cannot be as targeted and effective);
- Payment: provides the ability to make payments from anywhere, at any time, in perfect safety;
- Automatic scan and check-out: customers can use their mobile phones to scan products as they shop and pay them at the end without staff support;
- Store location: mobile applications can display the location of the nearest store, where customers can buy the products they want;
- Shop navigation: customers can find the products they are looking for much easier inside the store;
- Shopping lists: you can build shopping lists stored on the mobile phone and access them when physically shopping;
- Mobile eCommerce: consumers can search, order and pay for products directly on their mobile phone, anywhere, anytime.
“On the shelf” benefits for consumers
- They can scan products as they add them to the shopping cart;
- They can get detailed or custom information about products;
- They can order products that are not currently in stock;
- They can create and permanently add items to their shopping list.
“Store check-out” benefits for consumers
- They can pay alone for the purchases, without additional support from the staff;
- They can use discount coupons in store directly from their mobile devices (phones, tablets etc.);
- They can authenticate to benefit from loyalty schemes.
To sum up:
By integrating mobile technology into the daily work of a retailer, there is great potential for reaching customer loyalty. To benefit from these opportunities, it is necessary for retailers to understand the strategic role of mobility in all range of activities they carry on a daily basis.
Retailers must identify how mobility can enhance customer experience by using technologies that are currently available and forecasted for the future, and make smart investments to get the most out of mobile trends.