The Power of Mobile: Creating a Remarkable Retail Experience
August 23, 2012
Shoppers are already looking at their phone while in-store. But what if the power of mobile could transform the in-store experience into something extraordinary, as well?
According to a recent Empathica study, 55% of consumers turn to mobile to price-compare products. And Williams L. McComb, CEO of Fifth & Pacific Companies, pointed out in Forbes “while some claim that mobile is the end of retail, it’s far more likely mobile shopping apps will make brick-and-mortar retail destinations even more valuable.”
Here are 5 ways retailers are using mobile to make the in-store experience more interactive:
1. Shopkick – What if your customer’s shopping experience was like a game where they completed tasks and earned points that they could then trade in for gift cards and other rewards? That’s what Shopkick has been doing with several big retailers like Macy’s, Target, and CVS. Customers scan products to receive points (“kicks”), and some stores even reward the user just for setting foot in the store.
2. Sonic Notify – If you’re a big fan of futuristic technology like Marty McFly’s hoverboard in Back to the Future, Sonic Notify is by far the coolest way to engage customers in-store (and it’s real!). While building your app, include the Sonic SDK technology. The company will provide you with audio that you can play in-store (for example, your store radio station). It’s inaudible to humans, but it triggers notifications and updates on the phone of anyone that has a Sonic SDK enabled app. Pretty cool, right?
3. NM Service – Wish you had your own personal shopper? Neiman Marcus has partnered with Signature to create an app that not only saves time and streamlines the shopping experience like one, but also allows associates help customers like one, too. Customers can have clothing placed in the dressing room ahead of time, make appointments, and see which associates are on the floor. Associates can use the app to view shopper history (online and in-store) to tailor their suggestions and to be notified when a “preferred” customer arrives at the store.
4. PickN’Tell – Shopping alone can be hard, for no other reason than the absence of that honest opinion you need when you’re not sure if a cut is flattering or not. PickN’Tell helps you feel like you have your friends with you. Stores partnering with the app contain in-store displays such as technology-enhanced mirrors in dressing rooms, where users can take a photo or video of themselves. Once it’s sent to friends, they can provide instant feedback. Shoppers also collect points and prizes for various stores.
5. Instagram – This past spring, customers were invited to Ted Baker stores in NYC and the UK to try on pieces from the spring collection and pose for an Instagram photo in a designated photo booth. The photos were sent to illustrators who recreated the photos that inspired them the most. Winners received digital and signed original copies, as well as their photo posted onto the Ted Baker Facebook page.
With the abundance of useful mobile technology, making your in-store experience stand out is a no-brainer. Customers aren’t putting down their smartphones anytime soon. Meet them in the middle, engage them, and bring them back to the physical experience of shopping. Be unforgettable, and your customers will not only share, but keep coming back.
Have you ever used in-store mobile technology?