Going Mobile: Important Factors Affecting the Retail Industry

A retail customer experience could mean different things. It could be the ever-changing “to buy or not to buy” decision process occurring in a customer’s mind while shopping at a brick-and-mortar store or online. It could also mean a customer trying to resolve an issue through a contact centre. 

All these channels now involve mobile technology to a certain extent. Mobile is part of the process, whether checking product reviews, comparing prices, receiving promotions via text, or purchasing cell phones on sale via a mobile wallet. Nowadays, mobile undoubtedly empowers customers like never before. 

How are consumers using their mobile phones? 

About 51% of consumers use mobile retailer applications at least once a week. Aside from that, 59.16% of website traffic is from mobile phone users. These numbers justify the heightened expectations for accurate, timely responses and a positive shopping experience.  

In the past, consumers believed everything a brand said, which convinced them to purchase quickly. When technology made information accessible to everyone, businesses had to adopt it. They must offer accurate and “expert-level” information to be niche authorities. 

The need for new approaches didn’t stop there. After that, brands again needed to adjust their strategies and invest in optimization. Accessing a business website is no longer enough. Since most people are on their phones for most of their day, businesses have had to make their websites and other content marketing materials seamlessly viewable on smartphones and other mobile devices. 

How can your business take advantage of mobile devices?

You can only beat your competitors if you capitalize on technology to improve your products, services, and customer service. When you’re in the retail business, attracting customers, retaining them, keeping up with their ever-changing expectations, digital payments, and supply chain management are a few of your primary concerns. 

By leveraging mobile technology, you can maximize your customers’ in-store experiences and expectations through the following:

  1. You can use it to analyze large volumes of data for better customer insight.
  2. You can also use it to empower your sales associates.
  3. You can use mobile devices to download cognitive-based applications to better engage with your customers. 

Data analysis 

Loyalty card-provided syndicated data, social media, multichannel interactions, transactions, and other customer-centric data have immensely helped retailers. It enabled them to create a constantly updated and consolidated database of customer preferences and behaviours.

If you want to leverage this voluminous information, you must have the tools to access and manage it securely in the cloud. Apart from that, you must also run meaningful analytics to help retailers create a more accurate and greater mobile interaction context that can enhance the customer experience.

You must know your customers’ locations in real-time to assess their recent purchase histories. Aside from that, it would help if you deliver accurate, personalized, relevant, and timely offers through a mobile device. You can use these to help you achieve your goal of improving in-store and mobile shopping experiences. 

For instance, by quickly accessing up-to-date cloud-stored inventory details, customers shopping for specific products on your app will be well informed. On top of that, they’ll find it more efficient to speak with your sales associate when they walk in-store. All these can forge a positive overall brand impression. 

Empowering your sales team

Equipping your employees with up-to-date mobile technologies allows them to improve sales, merchandising, customer service, and overall productivity. With mobile capabilities, your sales team can offer better and more customized customer service. They can check the availability of the products your customers want in real-time. They can find the locations of these products. 

They can also leverage existing customer data to match their mobile offer preferences. For example, your sales associate can seamlessly cross-sell, upsell, or curate targeted, tailored offers based on real-time data gathered while interacting with your customers in-store. This simple act can enhance the overall customer experience. 

Mobile technology can empower your sales associates to be the best customer advisors by allowing them to automate manual processes and streamline in-store operations. Picture your sales associates using an app that supports an in-store performance dashboard. Through this tool, they can track their productivity, analyze store maps to improve in-store foot traffic setup and prioritize exemplary customer service. 

Improving the physical and digital shopping experience

You can also use mobile devices to download cognitive-based applications to help retailers engage with their customers better. People now expect the brands they’re interacting with to know them, meet their expectations, and interact with them. 

You can access each customer’s interaction and learn from these cognitive-based apps to provide seamless physical and digital shopping experiences. These highly intelligent systems can even make retail data analytics more accurate. With natural language and machine learning algorithms, systems can help businesses make critical decisions based on enormous, fast-moving data. 

These systems are also highly adaptable, as they learn from every customer interaction. Hence, when you use it, you get real-time, updated insights you can use to improve the customer experience. 

Since data rapidly grows and customers interact through different channels, retailers can utilize cognitive computing to make customer relationships seamless. Businesses can also leverage these abilities to make informed recommendations based on consumers’ expressed needs.

Understanding the rise of mobile wallets, near-field communications, augmented reality, accurate inventory access, and comparison shopping can help your business be on par with the competition. When you acknowledge that mobile is making significant changes in how consumers and retailers interact, you can also plan how to cope.

Be Adaptable to Change and Make Your Business Thrive

As they would put it, change is one of the very few things in life that’s certain. You must constantly adapt to these changes if you’re a business owner. With more and more consumers going mobile, it’s best to look for ways to leverage this technology to your advantage. 

Use mobile devices to gather, analyze, and make sense of analytics data. Equip your sales team with mobile devices and applications to streamline customer service. And utilize cognitive-based systems to help you simplify customer engagement and interactions. These are just a few things you can do with mobile devices. Try it for your business, and soon you can add more uses to this list. 

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