Metamorphosis of the retail industry
If you are a retailer and are reading this, then lesson numero uno — price in this marketplace has lost its significance. The world has moved on from brick and mortar to e-commerce and now, to mcommerce. The traditional definitions of retail no longer apply. Consumers have become more selective and targeted and hence their expectations have changed.
So, there needs to be a shift in the line of thinking to support your goal as a retailer — to provide the most differentiated and superlative experience to the mobile enabled consumer. The first in the series is to improve the in-store experience to the shopper who’s hopped many channels before getting to the store.
I came across an interesting white paper by Motorola on retail and mobility strategy and in this paper they talk about empowerment of consumer beyond the four walls. They talk about ‘mobile kiosks’ as a gateway of information which allows customers to do intelligent, informed and streamlined shopping. Imagine the traditional kiosk manned by someone to provide you information. And now, imagine that as a device available in your hands and with you all through your shopping experience. So whether it is scanning the prices, checking stock, doing self-checkouts or creating registries, it can all happen through a smart device.
Promotions for redemption
The smartphone is a strategic weapon in the hands of your consumers. The marriage of brick and mortar with physical store presence is considered to have enormous potential. For example, today you can enable a ‘check-in’ with a mobile device which will then enable you to provide customized shopping options and deals right to the phone for immediate redemption. This helps to convert the shoppers into buyers’ right there.
Stores are now migrating to digital payment platforms for customers who’ve shopped but do not want to stand in lines. Paypal for example, announced that it is expanding payment service to more brick and mortar retailers such as Radioshack and Dollar Stores.
Mobile optimized website and social sharing through mobile apps
Well, this is kind of a no-brainer I guess. Part of having a strong mobile strategy is to build a strong website which is optimized for mobile. But the other thing also is to provide ability for customers to share their shopping experience on social channels — after all, shopping is a social activity — isn’t it?
Remember, it is not about using mobile technology to automate processes, but opening up entirely new world of possibilities which customer never imagined.