Can an in store mobile strategy save your slumping retailer sales? In very well might. Smart retailers have shown that the integration of other technologies, such as smart phone bridge shopping apps, into the shopping experience keeps consumers in the store longer so they can buy more and improves their perceived shopping experience to keep them coming back. When retailers differentiate themselves with the integration of these cool new bridge apps, they pave the way for consumers to talk about their experience with their friends and do a lot of your word of mouth marketing work for you. Further, the new social mediums allow these opinions and experiences to travel faster and farther than ever before.
- The mobile channel is an in store differentiation opportunity.
- Traditionally there have been 3 channels for retailers: catalog, physical storefront, and the website. Mobile today, however, is now arguably the 4th channel tying in all three.
- Tying in mobile to the in store shopping experience can really keep people in the store longer and really engage with the consumer. Some examples of this include the scanner and how we can now scan barcodes and make purchases from our mobile device.
- Bridge apps that are specifically designed to engage people in the store are going to become much more frequent.
- There are two kinds of apps in this space: (1) The ones with no brand affinity like price comparison shopping apps; (2) The ones with brand affinity. Apps that let you check into the store (with brand affinity) can notify the retailer that you are there. The retailer can then alert the shopper of deals on particular products on their mobile device. The experience allows the retailer to create a more engaging and enjoyable experience.
- Price comparison mobile apps have really been a threat to retailers. One way retailers can combat this threat is by negating these services to provide ” value over and above buying on price” according to Sikora. There are many ways and possibilities for retailers to do this. Some ideas include video feeds on certain products with the scan of a barcode.
- The key is to always have your brand on the deck of their smartphone and have opportunities for the consumer to learn more and engage with your products instead of compare prices.
Conclusion, branded in store mobile apps offer a way to do 4 major things:
- Integrate the rest of the channels (storefront, catalog, website) into one.
- Engage the consumer with your brand.
- Battle the other price comparison apps and reviews that pose a risk to your next sale opportunity.
- Differentiate from the rest of the retailers.
For more articles on the social shopping and mobile stay connected with The Social Capitalist SMO Blog for updates by subscribing. Last but not least, if you are a retailer, be sure to download the GS1 WhitePaper on “Getting Your Retail Enviornment Ready for Mobile”. Find it on the post on differentiating by integrating mobile in store.