Off-price retailers are projected to increase profits by 5.4% this year, and it’s no coincidence that this growth comes when e-commerce is finally a commonplace in the sector.
Five years ago, when the broader universe of apparel, home and accessories brands had perfected online and were venturing into mobile commerce, off-price retailers were struggling to accurately reflect inventory available for purchase beyond the store. But as supply chains and real-time inventory technologies have become more efficient in recent years, offering customers an omni-channel shopping experience has become a no-brainer for off-price retailers like T.J. Maxx.
What off-price retailers need to understand is an app or mobile website won’t replace their stores but should complement them. In an effort to keep the incentive of finding personal treasures or bargains alive, here are some ways that retailers can leverage mobile apps to engage their diehard customers:
- Offer exclusive offers and promotions in app that drive customers to the stores.
- Include an easy to navigate store locator, bar code scanner or even implement wayfinding.
- Develop unique content that inspires your customers. An app is also a great place for users to submit UGC and share their favorite finds.
- Mobile is the perfect channel to get rid of access inventory – and quickly!
- Announce new designers launching in select stores and the “best bargains of the week.”
- Enable your most loyal customers to manage and pay with your private label credit card in-app.
- Have a loyalty program? The audience that will download your app will greatly overlap with your club members. Let them access their rewards and shopping history in-app. Even offer a digital loyalty card to earn more in-store without taking out their wallet.
- Send geo-fence notifications when a customer is close to one of your stores. Promote those new arrivals!
At the end of the day, your channels must align, even if a store doesn’t offer its full inventory in-app or online. Chances are, your customer is using their mobile phone to research their upcoming shopping trips. Meet them where they are and help them get excited about the gems they’re guaranteed to find in their favorite store.