Despite the rise of e-commerce, consumers continue to shop in brick and mortar stores. However, their expectations have changed with the internet and they are more often relying on their smartphones to help them with the purchasing process. What are the benefits of mobile solutions? The answer in 5 strategic axes.
Mobile solutions: our new shopping buddies
With the rise of the internet and smartphones, consumption habits have changed. As proof, nowadays cell phones play an integral part of the purchasing process for many consumers. According to a study conducted by Médiamétrie-FEVAD, 53% of smartphone owners use their cell phones while they’re shopping for various reasons: to compare prices with competitors and e-commerce websites (23%), take and share photos (20%) and look for information.
More than just a comparison tool, smartphones provide consumers with end-to-end shopping advice: from product information searches to help with the final purchase decision. Cell phones also make checking out easier. Conventional companies are today naturally turning their attention to cross-channel strategies, such as web-to-store. In this process, they are confronted with 5 challenges.
Challenge no. 1: enhance the flow of in-store shopping experiences
At the first signs of a queue, customers are prone to abandon their purchases so as not to waste time waiting in line. To improve flows in points of sale, it is now possible to pre-register shopping baskets from a tablet or other device directly in line. This pre-checkout, called queue busting, reduces wait times by giving customers access to a priority line. Not only that, but this process also gives customers the opportunity to interact with shop assistants, which is crucial especially during peak periods. These options also increase consumers’ overall satisfaction.
Another method for improving flows: equip shop assistants with mobile payment devices (Ipay or Gpay) to speed up the checkout process in store and prevent customers from abandoning their products because of long wait times. This approach is all the more pertinent given that consumers who seek help from a shop assistant are most likely to take out their credit cards and become buyers. With a mobile payment solution, checkout wait times are reduced and the conversion of browsers into buyers is accelerated.
Challenge no. 2: provide easy access to product information
Consumers who shop in stores demand the same quality of information and service they have access to online. However, shop assistants sometimes do not have complete information for products in store. To effectively answer customers’ queries, shop assistants should have connected tools that allow them to consult product information in real time.
Read also: Web-to-store: 6 mistakes beginners make
Challenge no. 3: maintain end-to-end customer relations
Equipped with tablets in store, shop assistants have access to customer information and can thus create close ties with shoppers. They fulfill the role of sales consultant by providing product information and can take on the duties of checkout operator by ringing up the products with a payment device.
Challenge no. 4: transform the sales space into a showroom
Often times, companies do not have enough space in their points of sales to show the full range of their products in displays and on shelves. Not all products can be displayed in store; therefore, many companies have opted for minimizing their stocks. Aim: make room in the store room and use that extra space to present all of the company’s catalog, in the form of a showroom.
Having a website where customers can view your products is no longer enough: they also want to be able to make up their minds in shop. The tablets that each shop assistant has at their disposal are real extensions of the physical point of sale. As such, if a product is out of stock, shop assistants can use the mobile solution to find it in another store or order it online with the choice of home or in-shop delivery. This method is particularly beneficial for shops with a limited number of products.
Further reading: Eliminate sales channels with a single omnichannel shopping cart
Challenge no. 5: build customer loyalty
Mobile solutions are also very valuable for building loyalty with your customers. As these tools are connected to a CRM and recognize customers, you can personalize buying journeys based on the information the company has in its customer profiles. Thus, the approach you take to managing customer relations is consistent with this data, regardless of the initial point of contact.
Closed off in the physical dimension of its points of sale, the mass market retailer sector is struggling to adopt an omnichannel approach. In fact, the mobile solutions integrated into stores via tablets are still seen as an extension of the internet. To improve customer service in store and online, reconciling sources of information and implementing a coordinated strategy are essential. Want to offer the same promotions and advantages to all your customers while converging fragmented sales channels? Click on the button below and contact Generix Group's Sales Marketing experts!
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