Improving the In-Store Shopping Experience through Technology
- Apr 9, 2014
Like many people who own brick-and-mortar stores, your natural instinct may be to discourage customers from using their smartphones. After all, doesn't it increase the risk that they'll just buy what they want online instead? According to a recent study entitled "How In-Store Shoppers are Using Mobile Devices," by the Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council and MARK Research, such activity actually boosts sales! Learn how your business can best leverage your customers desire to use their smartphones to increase sales improve the customer experience in your store.
Leverage Smartphone shopping to Boost In-store Sales
Like many people who own brick-and-mortar stores, your natural instinct may be to discourage customers from using their smartphones. After all, doesn't it increase the risk that they'll just buy what they want online instead? According to a recent study entitled "How In-Store Shoppers are Using Mobile Devices," by the Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council and MARK Research, such activity actually boosts sales!
Make it Easier for People to do Research Before Visiting Your Store
Did you know 90 percent of smartphone owners use their devices to perform pre-shopping research? By creating a mobile friendly website, you'll be able to give people what they want with a minimal amount of fuss. Your site should include basic information like store hours and location, and it should also include in-depth information about your products.
Showrooming means visiting a brick-and-mortar store to see products in person and then using a mobile device to perform additional research. Store owners often frown upon it because they're worried that people will just place the order online with another merchant instead. By encouraging it, you're actually more likely to earn people's business. Promote your e-commerce site on signs throughout your store, and use QR codes so that people can easily gain additional insight with their smartphones.
Establish a Price Comparison Policy
What happens when people discover the same products elsewhere for less using their smartphones? This is brick-and-mortar store owners' biggest fear, and it's easy to see why. However offering price matching can provide retailers the opportunity to avoid losing a sale. Additionally it provides the merchant the opportunity to sell additional items and establish a relationship with the consumer. Proactive merchants might consider creating convenient bundles that can't be found online. People will feel they're getting more value and are less likely to be swayed by better online deals.
Accept Mobile Payments
Accepting all major credit cards is NO LONGER ENOUGH. If you can swing it, you should try to accept mobile payments too. Make sure to promote the fact that you accept options like Google Wallet and ISIS on your website and in your actual store. Retail store owners know that it pays to accept as many forms of payment as possible. As these programs become more popular with consumers, you can leverage them to increase the traffic to your store.
Embrace Omni-Channel Marketing
It refers to employing the same marketing strategy across all marketing channels. Use the same logos, slogans, color schemes and other techniques in your store and online. By tracking their purchases you can deliver a more personalized experience when they return to your store, or visit online. Encourage customers to create online profiles so they can effortlessly switch from buying through your site and in your store. If you haven't heard of omni-channel marketing, it's time you learned.
Create an Unbeatable In-Store Experience
Give people plenty of reasons to visit your brick-and-mortar store. One of the best ways to do that is by having knowledgeable employees who are actually enthusiastic about the products they sell. Encourage customers to handle the merchandise by setting up interactive demos. That's one thing that can't be replicated online.
With 84 percent of smartphone owners using their devices in stores, there's no stemming the tide of this type of behavior. By embracing it, you can use it to your advantage and dramatically increase your odds of long-term success.