Retail technology trends: How to create a successful mobile retail strategy?

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With mobile technologies rapidly developing and customers becoming more demanding, the retail industry of today is so competitive as it has never been before. To maintain sales and keep pace with the times, retailers must focus on providing the personalized shopping experience and delivering their services across all channels possible.

In speaking of customer engagement, a successful way to go is the creation of a mobile retail strategy. Why follow a mobile-first approach, you may ask. By now, smartphones have penetrated not only our lives, including communications and social media but the entire business environment.

Do you know that an average individual spends at least two hours a day in smartphone playing games, chatting with friends, and shopping online? According to Harvard Business Review research, 7% of customers shop online exclusively, 20% are store-only shoppers and 73% use various channels for making purchases where mobile is in the first place.

Analysts found that companies with omnichannel retail strategies retain 89% of their clients from channel to channel. They discovered that the more channels you use, the more valuable they are: customers who use 4+ channels have their customers’ average check 9% higher compared to those who use just one channel.

Also, they said that retailers should bridge the gap between physical and digital worlds to ensure seamless, multi-channel shopping experience where the role of mobile cannot be underestimated.

Domino’s, a leading pizza delivery service in the world, provides a simple ordering via SMS, Twitter, Samsung Smart TVs, Ford Sync, smartwatches (Android Wear, Pebble) – this all besides having a great mobile app on both iOS and Android!

What’s more, the guys integrated a virtual assistant called Dom helping users order pizza using only the voice. By offering so many sales channels and engaging customers on each step of their journey Domino’s continues to be the most identifiable brand associated with pizza delivery.

So, you don’t need to invent the wheel, simply learn from the best.) In this post, I will tell you how to improve the customer experience and increase income by focusing on mobile retail.
 

How to create a mobile retail strategy that works

 
1. Create an omnichannel retail strategy: The more channels you use – the better

First and foremost, you should offer user-friendly ways to order your goods or services, providing customers with the ability to make purchases via as many channels as possible. A mobile app, the company’s website, social media accounts, calls, emails are the very things you should consider above all else.

Through 2018 and beyond, smart devices will gain huge popularity and see widespread adoption, so it will become natural for every individual to order pizza with the help of virtual assistants and smart fridges.

Ensure all your channels work well. Customers enjoy visiting a physical store to interact with the product and then purchase it at home. So, think: can your customers browse a product in-store, scan it with a mobile application, and then add it to their bag to buy later online?

What’s more, consumers often check prices in different stores. Having this in mind, you can implement a feature of price comparison in your mobile app so that its users can easily check prices in chosen stores.

Noteworthy that before taking a purchasing decision, 57% of US shoppers look for advice on social networks like Facebook and Twitter and look through reviews and ratings. So, integrate social media into your app, also taking into account Pinterest, Instagram, and others.

2. Collect and analyze customer data using Big Data and ML

Thanks to small inexpensive beacons, RFID-tags, sensors, and CRM systems, now retail companies have access to advanced customer data. Add to it mobile app analytics and data across various channels (social media, polls, surveys, reviews, testimonials) and you get the ability to make deep insights in customer behavior and increase customer engagement.

Big Data Analytics is becoming of the highest concern: when understanding the audience needs, retailers can deliver the personalized shopping experience and receive loyal customers as a result. Yet today, machine learning algorithms are successfully used for analyzing large data amounts, developing effective retail strategies, and planning advertising activities.

3. Leverage the power of customer location data with beacons

According to a new survey by Global Market Insights, retailers are integrating modern technologies and innovative business models to provide customers with a personalized and seamless content-driven shopping experience.

At the moment, a beacon technology is gaining momentum due to a fast-growing demand for location-based marketing solutions. Simply put, beacons are small devices that instantly detect the moment every customer appears near the store and use low-energy Bluetooth connections to automatically send a push message directly to the user’s smartphone.

When being notified of special offers, shares, and discounts, customers are much more likely to enter the store and make purchases. Also, beacons can serve for collecting data about customer behavior, e.g., for identifying their favorite shops, goods, and routes in the shopping center.

Having this information at hand, retailers can improve such things as the arrangement of goods, location of shops, and indoor navigation as well.

So, beacons are the next big thing in ad targeting, customer indoor navigation, and proximity marketing campaigns. Global Market Insights tell us that the retail sector will continue to have the largest share on the market by 2024. The latest report by Research and Marketers expects smart beacon market to grow at a CAGR of 56.2% between 2017 and 2023.

4. Integrate chatbots in your services

AI-based bots are becoming smarter day after day, transforming customer service into something more simple, fast, and convenient. Realizing AI prospects, companies and corporations are using AI solutions to build advanced client support and customer assistance systems.

Chatbots – lightweight Artificial Intelligence apps that run inside such popular mobile messengers as Facebook, WeChat, and Telegram and quickly answer user questions – are being widely used in the retail industry.

You can also apply them to automate issues that generally need manual resolution, for instance, request processing and customer coordination in a variety of goods and services. This way, chatbots will not only help engage your customers and offer a seamless shopping experience but also reduce costs and optimize business processes.

When considering other practical things, you should adopt various ways of payment, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Mercury, and others. If you have a large-scale business, think about the option of adding cryptocurrency payments.

Amazon and Zappos have already integrated cryptocurrency transactions into their services and now are taking a competitive advantage. Maybe, now is your turn?

To conclude, days, when the range of goods and their price were enough to achieve success, have been long behind us. Now, retailers should create a successful mobile retail strategy and provide the personalized shopping experience across as many channels as possible.

Diana Maltseva
I'm a senior content manager at Smartym Pro, a company specializing in blockchain, IoT, and software development. Having a Bachelor's degree in international business communication, I have been a tech blogger for 3 years. I generally cover such topics as mobile & web app dev, blockchain, Big Data, IoT, AI, BI, and machine learning. My articles are published on IoT for All, 7wdata, Datafloq, IoT Central, StartUS Magazine, Innovation Enterprise Channels, and more.

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