This is the first in a four-part series helping retailers plan their 2016 mobile strategy.
Didn’t you hear? E-commerce was huge this holiday. And the most significant e-commerce growth came from mobile. In fact, mobile’s influence on holiday sales was so big that we still can’t stop talking about its impact on retailers. Well, that and the weather. It was too warm (but not anymore).
But this is not one of the thousand blog posts or breathless tech press headlines illustrating how mobile reached an important tipping point as a consumer channel this holiday. Though, did you know shoppers spent over $950M on mobile black Friday alone (couldn’t resist just one more stat)?!
Holiday is over, and now your organization has to do something about the shift in behavior due to a 5” screen that is glued to your shopper’s hand. So what did we learn and what can you do about it as you plan your 2016 Mobile Strategy?
Stores aren’t dead, but your store experience is.
Stores are not just places where consumers touch and feel products only to buy them online or on mobile. They are living and breathing brand experiences. Stores make you “feel” a certain way that opening a group of tabs on a screen cannot. They are emotional shopping avenues that still have the distinct advantage of impulse fulfillment. Over 50% of shoppers use their mobile devices in stores, yet many stores are doing nothing to connect to those customer devices and augment the retail experience. They are treating active digital shoppers as strangers in store.
This is a huge missed opportunity. “Surprise and delight” is not dead; it is moving to digital. This means that retailers need to look at digital tools and techniques to make their stores compelling and personalized to the customers that walk through their doors. Using store locations as an extension of digital strategy needs to be a priority to succeed in experiential retail.
Mobile Action Items for 2016
Connect your mobile strategy to your total customer journey – including your in-store experience. Start offering “In-Store Mode” in mobile applications to make them more relevant to the physical shopping experience. Mobilize your store associates - not just with mPOS, but with true clienteling tools that interact with shoppers’ own devices. Take a look at True Religion and its iWatch-enabled sales associates who are not only able to extend the aisle with their connected devices and flip those images to large screens around the store, but also pull up relevant customer information and preferences - all while keeping their hands free.
Also consider beacons, which are finally exiting the trough of disillusionment and entering the slope of enlightenment. What does this mean? It means retailers like Target, RiteAid, Belk, Lord & Taylor and others are recognizing that behind the hype of beacons lies a great idea – connect with customers on their devices as they walk around your stores. Empower them further by allowing their devices to interact with their physical environment.
Contact us to learn more about planning your mobile strategy this year.
About the Author
Maya Mikhailov is the CMO and Co-Founder of GPShopper, as well as a professor at New York University (NYU) specializing in mobile marketing and strategy. In recognition of her leadership in the space, Mobile Marketer recently named Maya one of the “Mobile Women to Watch” and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) labeled her their “Guru of Mobile” two years in a row. Maya has been featured on Fox News and Women 2.0 as a “Female Founder to Watch in Mobile.”