More than half (57%) of shoppers report having used a mobile shopping app while shopping in-store. Mobile solves a number of pain points for consumers—delivering better personalization, more information, and tools that aid them in making faster, more rewarding purchases. For retailers, mobile represents an opportunity to improve customer service, streamline processes, and provide shoppers with the tools they need to feel good about their visit to the store. Ultimately, this satisfaction leads to loyalty and bigger profits for the companies that go above and beyond to ensure a fully integrated mobile in-store experience.
How Are Shoppers Using Their Mobile Devices In-Store?
Before diving into why mobile matters in-store, it helps to understand what people are using mobile devices for, specifically. According to one survey, shoppers are using mobile to:
- redeem digital coupons in-store (65%)
- find deals (57%)
- locate sale items (46%)
- make purchases (33%)
Another survey found mobile in-store shoppers use their devices to:
- pay with a digital wallet, the store mobile app, or phone (49.2%)
- look up coupons or discounts (46.8%)
- look up product information (43.3%)
- compare prices (33.6%)
- look up product reviews (31.1%)
- gain loyalty rewards (24.7%)
- make a mobile-order-ahead purchase (16.6%)
- create a shopping list (2.3%)
Marketers no longer think of mobile (or eCommerce, in general) as a direct competitor to brick-and-mortar retail. Especially since 90% of consumers still make in-store purchases at least monthly, and 60% of shoppers say they prefer the in-store experience because they like to see items in person. Nearly half of those surveyed said they like the visual appeal of store environments. They gravitate to stores for additional services (42%) and special events (36%).
Why Does In-Store Mobile Experience Matter?
Mobile is a reasonably affordable investment, compared to many of the other rapidly evolving technologies available to retailers. After all, the vast majority of shoppers already possess the hardware and feel more comfortable using their own device than one provided by store personnel. It’s simply a matter of finding a mobile platform to work with, and developing mobile-friendly features and campaigns. Here are a few of the reasons why mobile in-store experience should matter to a forward-thinking retailer.
Mobile Shoppers Buy More Often
It’s worth courting mobile shoppers by offering a pleasant in-store experience, as 17.7% of in-store smartphone users still shop brick-and-mortar on a daily basis, and another 63.8% shop weekly. By comparison, 5.8% of non-mobile shoppers make daily trips and a similar 63.2% shop weekly. Retailers should enhance the mobile experience to cater to these valuable everyday loyalists.
Mobile Shoppers Are More Likely to Convert
A RetailMeNot survey found that 38% of shoppers who begin their journey on a smartphone and 43% of shoppers who begin their journey on a desktop complete their purchase in a physical store. The survey also revealed that Americans are 30% more likely to complete a purchase in person than on their smartphone when they find a deal on their phone. Shoppers may have done research on their mobile devices before coming to the store, may need that little bit of extra information to seal the deal, or may be attracted to a new offer they discovered on a mobile shopping platform while in-store. Regardless of the reason, retailers can use mobile as a way to nurture leads and overcome objections on the path to purchase.
Mobile Checkout Is the Next Frontier
Mobile devices can alleviate a time-consuming checkout line. Forty percent of shoppers say they’d “be more likely to shop at a store that has a mobile point of sale.” Early adopters of mobile POS included Target and Amazon Go stores, but 22% of retailers now allow shoppers to check out using their phones. Three-quarters of retailers say they at least plan to enable sales associates to cash-out customers on mobile devices or tablets over the next three years to improve the in-store experience.
Mobile Helps Retailers Connect the Dots With Personalization
In the past, retailers filled consumers’ wallets with plastic loyalty cards. Later, smaller loyalty cards made their way to keychains, but there was still room for more convenience. Today, virtual shopping and browsing activity marries in-store purchase habits through a central mobile-enabled account. Using digital data, sales associates can get a more complete picture of a shopper’s personal needs, POS systems can print out the right offers, and customers can apply in-store purchases to their loyalty cards virtually without carrying an extra card around.
Mobile Makes Shopping More Fun
Gamification is particularly effective among mobile apps, where users can participate in scavenger hunts and contests for incentives. With Shopkick, one of the top mobile shopping platforms, mobile customers locate and engage with products at-shelf, flip through digital lookbooks, and engage with informative video ads in exchange for reward points (“kicks”) they can accrue toward a gift card of their choosing. Users who convert to sale receive bonus kicks, which not only boosts sales for retailers, but fosters positive affinity and loyalty for the retailers who awarded them.
To achieve results in terms of loyalty and sustained sales, retailers need to give shoppers what they want: a convenient, in-store mobile experience.
To achieve results in terms of loyalty and sustained sales, retailers need to give shoppers what they want: a convenient, in-store mobile experience. Savvy shoppers don’t want to belong to loyalty programs that overcrowd their phones with apps, so trying to compete for downloads or daily use can make ROI from a dedicated retail app difficult. Instead, a third-party retail app like Shopkick can help court loyalty in new and existing customers who already use the platform regularly.
Image courtesy of LDprod