Experiencing retail shopping with Mobile Technology

Mobile Technology Enhances the Shopping Experience

Mobiles are an important sales channel, and business conducted through them is termed m-Commerce. In addition, mobiles have a great impact on in-store retail, too. So it becomes imperative for retail shopping businesses to leverage mobile technologies and have a sound mobile strategy for the entire user journey.

The worldpay report ‘The Store of the Future and the Role of Omni-Channel Payments in Driving Business Growth’ says that 80% of smartphone shoppers use their mobile in-store to help with shopping. More than 50% of purchases are now influenced by digital information.

According to comScore’s Global Mobile Report 2017, mobile accounts for over 50% of the ‘digital minutes’ of users in 13 markets, and over 75% in Indonesia, India and Mexico. In India, 70% of Internet users access using only mobile. Worldwide, mobile accounts for 60% of the ‘digital minutes’ spent on eCommerce. In apparel as well as general retail categories, mobile audiences are now larger than desktop ones.

Mobile Audience

What makes mobility so powerful is that it doesn’t just offer a more convenient way to conduct the ‘same old’ business; rather it makes completely new things possible.

Here are some of the ways in which mobile technology has revolutionized retail-

Mobile Wallets
A mobile wallet is a virtual wallet that stores financial information and card data on a mobile device. A user can pay for purchases using these wallets, so no longer needs to carry a wallet or credit cards when shopping.

Location based marketing
Geo-targeting now allows marketers to communicate to shoppers based on their location, directing them to a store or offering specific deals close to them. Coupons can be sent out to users in a certain geo-fenced location. Geo-location tracking is also a powerful source of analytics about shoppers.

Customer communication
Shopping Apps enable instant and direct communication between the brand and consumers, and this is further enhanced through the user of AI powered chatbots, that make it possible to support a large volume of customer requests with less staff.

Barcode scanning for product and price information
Barcode scanning Apps help shoppers to get more information about a product by scanning the barcode on it. They can find the price without seeking out a store assistant, and also compare prices with similar products elsewhere.

Better customer experience in the dressing room
Trying on options in a dressing room is not always the most comfortable of experiences. Halfway through the selection, the shopper may want to get something more from the floor.

Fashion retailer Reformation solved this problem by providing digital screens where shoppers could select products and start a ‘digital fitting room’. Sales associates then stocked the actual fitting rooms with the chosen items.

Nordstrom offers a similar service, where shoppers find the products they have selected on their mobile phones
placed in dressing rooms.

Another retailer, Rebecca Minkoff, allows shoppers to request sales staff to bring additional items to dressing rooms using instant messaging on their phones.

Essential Aspects to be Considered When Building an App-

Strategy
You need to define how this mobile App fits in with the overall retail strategy and plan? What exactly will it do? What user numbers do you estimate and what impact on your revenues?

Design
Design that will deliver the best possible user experience is critical to the success and adoption of your mobile App.

Platform
Are you building for a particular platform – iOS or Android, or for users across all platforms. See http://www.smartsourcingglobal.com/the-native-vs-hybrid-face-off-which-wins-on-each-count/ for more information on this aspect.

Security
A sound QA process is needed to ensure that the mobile App performs as expected and is fully secure. The App will need to be tested for multiple devices across multiple platforms over diverse networks. Any risks from embedded spywares, viruses, Trojans, data privacy, data leakage, unsolicited network connections, etc. need to be mitigated. Security issues such as insecure file system, insecure data transmission, unsafe data storage, privilege access violations, etc. must be prevented.

Features
Planning for features that we saw above, such as push-notifications, barcode scanning, geo-targeting etc.

Conclusion-

With the right blend of strategy and technology, mobile technologies are now an intrinsic part of the buyer’s journey, right from information gathering to purchase and post-purchase.

The retailer needs to design Apps and other technology tools to provide the best user experience throughout this journey, and acquire and retain more customers.

We work with retail businesses to help them build the mobile commerce platforms and Apps that will make their businesses future-ready.