There’s no denying that mobile technology has a significant impact on the omni-channel retailing and shopping experience. Purchasing a product with a personal device is fast and convenient – two key factors that motivate today’s shopper.
Illustrating the growing role of online retail, total e-commerce sales for 2014 outpaced the prior year, showing an increase of 15.4 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; however, brick-and-mortar still rules the shopping experience. While 2014 saw e-commerce jump significantly, it still only accounts for 6.5 percent of all retail sales.
And, most importantly, the majority of consumers still prefer to shop in a physical store. (ICSC)
So, how can stores leverage the growing significance of omni-channel retailing and mobile to offer the best customer experience?
Mobile apps like shopkick provide more granular data and information about your shoppers through BLE beacon technology. The benefits include the ability to accurately target conversions, offer location-based content and an increase in product interaction. Thus, creating a more personalized shopping experience for consumers.
We’ve also seen beacon technology implemented in store mannequins, including window displays, which allow a shopper to view product information of the outfit, as well as reviews all while passing by.
Generate Compelling Mobile Content
In a Salesforce report on consumer mobile behavior, Aldo is highlighted for, “using mobile technology to provide a one-of-a-kind customer experience. Apps like Outfit Matchmaker and Virtual Shelf allow customers to match shoes to outfits in their closets and give customers instant access to the entire ALDO collection for browsing and buying”. This type of offering speaks to the seamless experience today’s shoppers desire, while blending at-home and in-store.
Blend Online Purchases with In-Store Visits
The following stats, courtesy of the ICSC, highlight the opportunity to leverage online purchases in order to drive in-store trips:
- 48% of consumers have ordered online and picked up their purchase in-store
- Retailers that provide an in-store return option from online purchases can expect a 95% net sale (vs. 77% without in-store returns)
However, it is key to note that while consumers prefer to avoid shipping charges, they are easily deterred when an in-store pickup is overly lengthy or inconvenient. If offering an in-store pickup option, it’s important to have a streamlined process that will encourage online to buyers to pick-up in-store and drive additional sales within the location.
Omni-channel may be a trendy buzz word, but that doesn’t make it any less important. It is essential retailers have o2o solution in place to create a consistent customer experience across an array of consumer channels.