The shopping landscape is set to change considerably, with a recent report from Business Insider finding that this year, around 3,600 brick-and-mortar retail stores are scheduled to close.
Consumers dependence on physical stores has declined over recent years as online shopping has made it much easier to find and purchase products. This means that store closures will soon become a regular occurrence in the retail industry. But rather than just succumbing to their fate, smart retailers are realising the importance of providing a personalised mobile experience to help survive the industry upheaval.
It has been estimated by Statista that mobile will generate $669 billion in global retail commerce revenue over 2018. Despite this, retailers still need to be providing a shopping experience on mobile that enhances consumers experience, taking advantage of its strengths and attributes to deliver unique personalisation and engagement.
Below are some guidelines to follow when it comes to developing a mobile retail strategy.
Make Your Mobile App the Main Attraction
Retail mobile apps are a critical step in creating personalised experiences. This is because apps work as a go-to-destination for customers, thus providing the best source of customer data which can then go on to drive personalisation.
The use of an app also allows customer profiles to be saved easily, meaning that retailers can automatically collect information such as purchase and browsing history. Reward points and loyalty programs are an additional source of customer data that can be used, while at the same time creating an incentive for customers to use the retail app. Apps can also store credit cards for payments both in-store and online and the use of omnichannel allows shopping carts to be built via mobile and then finished on desktop.
Retail mobility ultimately comes down to creating an experience that merges the physical and virtual worlds – going beyond online shopping and apps. It’s important to remember the value of a mobile retail app is to maintain connection and interactions with customers on a near daily basis and then use it to gather data which can go on to power new strategies.
Assess What Customers Want
It’s clear now that customers are consistent in wanting a more personalised experience from retail brands. But where that personalisation should begin is a question brand’s need to be asking themselves.
Following the data will enable retailers to understand which aspects of personalisation they should address immediately. For example, with data, many questions can be answered, such as where are sales being lost? Where are customers engaging with a brand the most? Etc.
Brands first need to optimise current content and online destinations for mobile, then continue to move upwards – develop a mobile app, find a solution to connect all existing mobile properties to collect data for analysis and future innovation. Once this has been done, identifying the form of personalisation that develops the highest ROI will be easy. From there you’re able to begin building a plan to provide a personalised mobile retail experience for consumers.
Providing a Mobile Retail Experience Using Analytics
With mobile, trends can be identified much more easily. This is especially the case where path-to-purchase is involved. For example, with it, retailers can see what the role of omnichannel shopping carts are, and how they might be better synchronised across mobile and other platforms to streamline the shopping experience.
One of the greatest benefits that mobile presents retail is the ability to make the customer experience not just easier, but more enjoyable too. A survey carried out by UserTesting in 2017 found that “speed” and “ease of use” were two of the greatest differentiating factors among retail mobile app experiences.
It’s important to remember that when implementing mobility into your retail strategy that any new experiences need to offer innovation while also simplifying the customer experience.