In-Store Mobile: A Game Changer

In-Store Mobile: A Game Changer

Retailers, imagine having as much insight into your in-store analytics as you do your ecommerce site. Imagine having the power to track how many people visit individual store locations, what products they look at while there and how long they stay in the store per visit. Imagine being able to send relevant, time sensitive messages to your customers while they are driving by the store to entice them in, or once they are there, based on which aisle they are in. And then, imagine being able to measure and track each of those interactions. Envision having unprecedented insight into shopper behavior where 90% of retail sales still occur—in the store.

The mobile landscape is rapidly evolving as smartphone adoption continues to soar amongst consumers and retailers scramble to keep up with their emerging smartphone-savvy consumer base. Over the past couple of years, retailers realized that a growing portion of their site traffic was coming from a mobile device, and so we saw many top retail brands enable a smartphone optimized website to increase consumer adoption and transaction rates across mobile devices by making the mobile shopping experience quick, easy and convenient.

Now, retailers are seeing a new consumer demand they need to meet: the integration of the in-store shopping experience with mobile engagement. More and more, consumers are pulling out their phones in the store to aid their purchase decisions. More than 50% of consumers already report using their phone while in the retail store to check-in, compare prices, and search for discounts according to a report from Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies.

But simply enabling an in-store app with store check-in and barcode scanning capabilities is not enough to make the in-store mobile experience truly cross-channel or to maximize on the opportunity this new mobile generation, or Mobennials, creates. Retailers need to link their own branded mobile app with a backend mobile console that allows them to create geo-locations around their retail stores and create and manage in-store mobile campaigns and then track and report on the success those campaigns.

Imagine the following use case…

A woman named Jo visits a local retail store with her iPhone in hand.

3:30 p.m. – When Jo gets to the store, there is a sign offering a store discount for those who download the store’s mobile phone app. She downloads the app to her iPhone and gets a push notification asking her if she wants to check-in to the store. Once checked in, Jo sees a list of all current store promotions running on a screen in the retailer’s app. She picks through and saves all relevant offers to an offer wallet within the app. She is particularly excited about an offer for 15% off all glassware.

3:35 p.m. – Jo arrives in the Glassware aisle. She uses the retailer’s app to scan the barcode of a set of Riedel Vinum Bordeaux Wine Glasses she has been eyeing for months. The app pulls up the glasses’ product page with additional details and consumer ratings and reviews. She sees they have received 5 stars and reads that while they are fragile, there is no better glass to enjoy fine wine. She adds them to her cart.

3:45 p.m. – Jo passes by a demo station offering various wines for sample. She browses through them and picks one from her favorite region in France. She likes it, and so she scans the QR code on the table and rates the product 4 out of 5 stars using the retailer’s app. Then, based off of her choice, the retailer sends her a promotional offer enticing her to buy the wine while in the store.

3:50 p.m. – Jo now goes to get what she originally came for: a nice Roquefort cheese for a dinner party she is hosting tonight. Once in the Cheese Shop section, she scans a QR code in the artisan cheese aisle and receives a message to her app that there will be a cooking class at the store this Saturday at 2PM. She saves the message to her offer wallet so she remembers to mark her calendar at home.

4:00 p.m. — As she is leaving the store, Jo receives a message thanking her for visiting the store with a link to a store survey. She fills out the survey, alerting the retailer to a floor sales associate that was particularly helpful during her visit. Once the survey is complete, she is offered a discount coupon good for her next trip. Jo leaves the store satisfied with her experience, and the retailer has closed a sale and gained valuable consumer insight.

Each of these consumer interactions is a measurable activity by the retailer to easily track, report on and understand consumer-shopping behavior in the retail store. The benefits are significant for both retailers and consumers—Jo has made additional, unplanned purchases increasing incremental revenue for the retailer while at the same time buying items she has wanted for a while at a great discount heightening her customer satisfaction and loyalty.

There is little doubt that mobile is the next big thing. Now is the time to enable in-store mobile engagements as an increasing percentage of retailers’ valuable customers search, browse, and buy from their mobile phones while on the go, at home, and in the retail store. Many top retailers have already started taking advantage of these opportunities, and those who haven’t, will quickly feel the pressure.