The role of mobile in the omnichannel retail strategy
Retail is constantly adapting to keep up with consumer behavior. Many of those behaviors are influenced and made possible by mobile devices. For retailers, this means that shoppers now have more touch points to interact with brands and make purchases on a daily basis. Today’s consumer not only interacts with brands in-store and online, but increasingly on their mobile device as well. Omnichannel retailing allows retailers to leverage mobile devices to get shoppers into the store, sell more products and strengthen brand loyalty. At its heart, mobile is the anchor of any strong omnichannel strategy because these devices are useful and ubiquitous among consumers.
Mobile is the fastest growing channel for both shoppers and retailers. With almost 144 million smartphone users in the US, and users expected to increase 18% by 2018, brands have more opportunities than ever before interact with shoppers. Among those owners, 79% also use their phones to shop. With statistics like those it’s hard to ignore the role of mobile in the omnichannel retail strategy.
These technologies are a win-win for retailers and shoppers alike, allowing mutual benefits for both parties. Mobile creates a new way of doing business for the average retailer. Now retailers have the opportunity to engage customers through coupons, contests, special events, social media, email campaigns and gamification strategies on the go. Shoppers can be reached anywhere, anytime and without being tied to a personal computer.
Mobile is also changing the in-store experience for retailers by engaging customers with in-store offers and alerts, price comparisons and mobile apps. This provides unique shopping experiences tailored to returning customers and strengthens customer loyalty. Shoppers like mobile channels because it puts them in the drivers seat and keeps them in charge of their shopping experience. They can curate their mobile shopping through apps directly built into their phone or tablet, check competitors, and read reviews of products before they buy the products they love.
All in all, in order to remain competitive, retailers will have to focus on mobile as a key channel to reach shoppers. Mobile technology has changed consumer behavior and expectations forever, giving them more opportunities to connect with retailers wherever and whenever they want. Shopping is now completely on-demand, and it’s good for everyone. With the digital transformation upon us, the retail environment has changed and it’s time to adapt.