Today, we live in a world that is entrenched in mobile technology. Smart phones, tablets and wearable devices are playing larger roles in consumer lives than ever before. We use these devices for everything; to socialize, listen to music, shop, and interact with the businesses we love. As smart device ownership is steadily increasing, so is its influence on the consumer marketplace. Currently, one in five adults around the globe own a smartphone and that number will continue to increase. While this presents almost unlimited potential for businesses to interact with customers in new ways that positively transform their experience many businesses may be falling behind.
Retailers like Wal-Mart have begun to embrace mobility with their latest mobile app, and are using it to transform their traditional consumer experience and create a more interactive retail environment. Wal-Mart customers can use the app to be notified about in-store offers, create shopping lists, be shown prices and store locations, refill medications and soon utilize a self checkout feature that allows them to scan items in-store and check out with their phone in one simple step. With 50% of their customers owning smart phones, they realize that these customers are looking to enhance their shopping experiences through digital channels. Wal-Mart customers enjoy the ease and benefit of pairing a mobile app with their shopping experience, but it’s not just the consumer that benefits with these innovative mobile applications. Wal-Mart has found that customers with their mobile app are spending 40% more, and making two more trips to retail locations a month, on average compared to customers without the app. Moreover Wal-Mart is not alone in its success.
Research shows us that mobile solutions drive sales, increase customer loyalty, enhance employee productivity and improve customer service. Companies like Wal-Mart have recognized the impact that mobility can have on their customers, but they’re ahead of the curve. While businesses have been interacting with customers through digital means for some time, the mobile environment is taking off slower than many may have imagined given some of the impressive results. While larger companies have started to take advantage of the new mobile landscape, most companies are falling behind. Currently, only 8% of companies are using mobile technology to transform the customer experience, and even less are “mobile-mature” or taking full advantage of this opportunity.
So, why are the brick and mortar businesses so slow to catch on? These mobile opportunities also present challenges for many traditional businesses surrounding data security, device management, and ROI on IT integration. These seem to be serious deterrents for the adoption of mobile technologies. However, despite these obstacles, businesses cannot afford to ignore the consumer desire forever. Mobile strategies need to be considered and implemented if companies want to continue to compete for customer satisfaction and loyalty. Mobile is transforming the way people interact with businesses, and it’s on track to become the primary marketing strategy for brands and retailers alike.
Mobility allows consumers to interact with businesses in new ways that make them feel more connected, engaged, and in control of their experience. Consumers want a personal experience, and mobile is making it possible. We know that most consumers are looking for a mobile answer to their consumer needs, and if businesses they traditionally rely on don’t embrace mobility they will be left behind.