Retail Isn’t Going Anywhere

By the Editors

In an interesting new study, we get some valuable insights into the point of sale market. Retailers have taken a hit in the last several years. First online selling and e-commerce were growing rapidly and with the advent of mobile devices, more shopping is shifting in that direction. Yet the study has encouraging news for retailers: 93% of the retail market is still happening in person. In reality, physical retailers aren’t going anywhere. Instead mobile is presenting numerous opportunities for stores to adapt and better meet the needs of consumers. Here’s a closer look at the mobile trends to watch for and how retailers can make the most of them.

Mobile payments

Today our payment options are simple: cash, check, or charge. But increasingly, consumers are demanding increased convenience. For payments, this will come in the form of the mobile wallet. Mobile wallets allow customers to pay for purchases just using their smartphones. Starbucks is already piloting a program based on this technology. While the technology is still in its infancy, it will be a trend to watch.

Location-based marketing

One of the facts about mobile consumers that make them so appealing is that they are often very likely to convert. When a mobile consumer is looking for information on her smartphone about a restaurant, she’s often researching an option to act on immediately. Location-based marketing taps into this by using techniques such as geo-fencing to target ads toward customers in your area. A specific coupon can be sent to a customer as they walk by a store, encouraging them to take action.

Mobile market research

The ability to get feedback from your customers on the move is incredibly valuable. Do you want feedback on a transaction immediately after it occurs? Mobile market research allows you to put QR codes at checkout stations for example and allow customers the opportunity to give you real-time input. Mobile market research increases the likelihood that customers will respond to your survey and that they will share and retain critical details.

Augmented reality and branded content

Mobile has the potential to create a branded, guided experience for shoppers. We’ve explore Wal-Mart’s efforts in this area for example. Augmented reality apps can be used to help guide customers through a store, give them the opportunity to access and unlock content based on location, and scan items to find out cost, in-stock status and more. Branded apps connect customers to your retail experience in a meaningful way and keep them coming back for more.

Build loyalty

Trends such as showrooming, when customers look at products in a physical store and then buy them online, are initially worrying to retailers. But showrooming can be overcome by excellent customer service, loyalty programs, and incentives to take action immediately such as a discount or a bonus. In the case of showrooming, poor customer service comes at a high cost! By overcoming a showrooming experience, you’re far more likely to become a priority shopping location for that customer. After all, you persuaded him or her to buy at your location through excellence.

Mobile trends are changing the retail landscape, but brick and mortar stores aren’t going anywhere. Instead, now is a fantastic opportunity to get to know your customers better and find out how you can most effectively serve their mobile needs.