Increasing market share can happen in one of two ways—either brands and retailers are “stealing” business from competitors or creating a new demand to increase the market along with share. Regardless of which route a brand or retailer takes, learning how to increase market share in retail is easier said than done, as consumers tend to be habitual in the way they shop. There are generally three ways to shake things up: through strategic acquisition, marketing to a different demographic, or technological innovation.
If the resources are available, buying out a smaller company can be a way to acquire a basket of customers in one fell swoop; consider Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. Another way to gain new customers is by expanding reach into a new market—be it moving into a different geographic location, offering support in other languages, or pitching to a different demographic. Both of these methods have been proven effective but they can be enhanced with the use of technology—specifically, mobile technology.
How to Increase Market Share in Retail with Mobile Marketing
Today’s consumer is busier than ever and perpetually on-the-go. Your company must cater to smartphone users in order to connect with shoppers during those crucial moments throughout the buyer’s journey. They may happen on break at work, on the commute home, while waiting in line at the bank, or surfing the mobile web before bed.
A number of mobile tools, services, and platforms can be leveraged to drive sales, helping differentiate your brand from a competitor while boosting market share.
1. Ask Customers What They Want
Engaging with customers directly via mobile device can give you a leg up on the competition. If you want to increase market share, simply ask what would win their business. A carefully crafted mobile survey sent out to loyalty program members, for example, can help you view the company through the consumers’ eyes. You’ll not only glean insight into how to increase your market share, but how to improve your products and customer service as well.
You can even use social media to understand consumers’ needs. For instance, skincare company Glossier leveraged Instagram’s story poll feature to ask followers about pressing skincare questions. You can take similar measures to make it easier for consumers to share feedback with your company. Asking customers what products they’d like to see or what services they would be willing to spend their money on is a low-cost way of conducting market research and keeping a pulse on consumer perception.
2. Enable Buy Online and Pick Up or Return In-Store, and Curbside Pickup
Retailers who recognize consumer pain points will get ahead in gobbling up market share. BOPIS—allowing customers to buy online using web or mobile and pickup in-store—eliminates the cost and delay of shipping. BORIS—allowing customers to buy online and return in-store—is another extension of omnichannel shopping that makes life easier should a shopper have an issue with an order.
Companies like Target, Nordstrom, and Walmart have been able to compete fiercely against Amazon by making use of their convenient local footprints with such services. In 2019, 55% of people surveyed said they prefer Walmart over Amazon—up from 47% a year earlier. Walmart’s curbside option is expected to drive $7.4 billion in revenue and account for 33% of all digital sales this year. Better yet, 40% to 60% of those sales are forecasted to be incremental from new Walmart shoppers.
Retailers can use mobile apps to proactively communicate with customers using push notifications throughout the purchase journey to let them know when their order has been received, processed, and prepared for pickup. Smartphone shoppers can use their phones to confirm their prepaid orders at pickup with a quick scan.
3. Combine Push and Pull Omnichannel Strategies
Mobile helps you push people toward your business. Using mobile beacons and push notifications, you can alert smartphone users of relevant offers based on their geographic location. So, if a person has downloaded the Foot Locker app, for example, and is out shopping near a Foot Locker store, an offer encouraging them to visit may reach them at the right moment.
Mobile also helps you pull people into your business. By leveraging location-based beacon technology in your store, shoppers will likely stumble across you as they’re organically searching for a particular item. Consider a shopper who’s using their mobile phone to search for a juicer, for example. If they have push notifications enabled, they could be lured into your store after being pinged about a promotion for kitchen appliances via beacon technology.
Whether you’re using push, pull, or a combined approach, personalization is the key to success. Opt-in loyalty programs are a great way to track data on purchase patterns, product reviews, social media, and demographics. Targeted promotions prove more fruitful every time.
4. Partner With a Mobile Shopping App
Data has proven omnichannel shoppers to be more valuable than single-channel shoppers. Adyen, the payments platform of choice for many leading companies, highlights the value of these shoppers in its Unified Commerce Index released in 2019:
- Shoppers who spend with a retailer on multiple channels are more valuable; they spend 30% more per purchase than single-channel shoppers.
- Single-channel shoppers spend two times a year with the same retailer—80% of those purchases are made in-store while 20% occur online.
- Omnichannel shoppers spend four times a year with the same retailer—60% of those purchases are made in-store while 40% occur online.
Based on these findings, brands should incentivize shoppers to use multiple channels. For instance, Starbucks sends emails encouraging loyalty members to use their mobile app at checkout. Once they’re in-store, additional incentives and promotions can be sent to a user’s phone. The combination of push and pull has been wildly successful for the brand.
Going one step further, you can reach a new audience by partnering with a third-party shopping app like Shopkick.
Going one step further, you can reach a new audience by partnering with a third-party shopping app like Shopkick. Shopkick users check the app during the pre-trip planning and consideration phase to determine what products they need and where they’ll find them, searching nearby retailers for offers. When users are near a partnering retail location, Shopkick pushes them into stores using location-based notifications, and rewards them just for visiting. Once users are in-store, Shopkick guides them to featured products at-shelf, and incentivizes product engagement. By offering users “kicks,” or rewards points, for engaging with products and branded content in-store, and for purchasing certain products, Shopkick helps brands steal attention and market share from competitors in the crucial moment of purchase decision. The unique rewards-based model is a win-win for both shoppers looking to be rewarded for their engagement and for brands looking to increase incremental purchases, brand awareness, and market share.
Mobile is the way of the future. By using the right strategies and tools, you can remain on the leading edge of your market, converting new audiences to your products and gaining market share over your competitors.
Image courtesy Yganko