The intersection between digital, social and physical experiences.
In last week’s post I talked about some of the things retailers can do to embrace today’s digitally-savvy consumers and lessen the threat of showrooming. Understanding your customers’ path to purchase and developing a digital customer experience strategy is key. So is mobile. It’s essential for retailers to embrace in-store mobility and design their mobile experience to include in-store features that provide real value while shopping.
Here’s an example of a shopping experience I had that illustrates the value that mobile can add.
I had a chance to do a little shopping the last time I was in New York and one of the stores I popped into was very memorable. The way the retailer integrated mobile into the shopping experience was brilliant. Every customer service rep had a smartphone in their hand and they had clearly been trained on how to use it to help customers embrace their products and offerings. Secondly, there were no large digital screens blasting images or videos, only iPads strategically located with the products.
The iPad app encouraged shoppers to connect with their smartphones to enhance their personal shopping experience. Features included a photo app that let me take pictures of products and mix and match them with other retailers’ products, it also included ratings and reviews, price comparison and local information. It even included a service help button which, when I was ready, told the staff via their smartphones that I needed help and where I was located in the store.
Finally, check out was handled right on the spot. And when I left the store, they pinged me to say thanks for visiting and asked me to give the service a thumbs up or down.
So, why is in-store mobile important? For one thing, customers are already using their mobile devices in your store. According to our AskingCanadians research, 40 per cent use their smartphones to take photos in-store and as I mentioned last week, nearly one in five Canadian smartphone owners use their phones to search for product recommendations while shopping.
The experience I had in New York demonstrates how a retailer can use the power of mobility to enhance the in-store customer experience. I truly believe that in this hyper-connected, customer-centric, technology-rich world creating a seamless in-store experience from beginning to end will depend on how well your business embraces mobile as an enabler for both your customers and front-line staff.
What could you do to improve the in-store mobile experience for your customers?