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Besides accounting for the sale of $159 billion worth of retail merchandise in the US via specialized retail apps, smartphones are a dominant tool for shopping worldwide. More than 59 million shoppers use their smartphones to shop for around $1.7 billion worth of products during U.S holiday retail sales.

And…
…people who shop through mobile devices make 21% more purchases than those who don’t. By 2016, smartphones will generate $628-$752 billion of store sales.

Retail mobile app development is driven by the ever increasing number of consumers – existing as well as potential. These consumers are armed with smartphones along with an access of internet which leads to the huge demand for mobile shopping solutions.

In the present market scenario, successful retailers are those who are succeeding with mobility.

Amenities with Mobile Retail

People don’t go shopping; they are shopping.

The buying process is continuous with mobile retail. It has become the driving path for purchases, engagement and affinity.

Retailers leverage mobility to enable omni-channel integration in four key areas:
How Retail is Leveraging Mobile
The increased adoption of mobile by shoppers due to decreasing barriers to use has improved functionality for retail applications. It has also exponentially increased the number of mobile devices within the retail industry itself.

The reasons retailers establish a mobile presence, along with increasing sales, are:

  • Cost-effective marketing
  • Data for better customer relationship management
  • Enables customizable marketing
  • Helps measure return on investment (ROI)
  • Combines traditional retail, social media and native mobility
  • Creates a more relevant and tailored shopping experience
  • People spend more time and money shopping through mobile than a desktop

It’s also a proven fact that once people start using their smartphones for shopping, they use them a lot more.

Moreover, mobilized solutions also helps retailers deliver insightful, detailed customer profiles to have a more meaningful interaction. Retailers analyze these profiles to satisfy the needs and desires of consumers, leading to increased sales from higher quality points of contact.

Mobile Retail Revenue: Sales Funnel + AIDA Model

Having a sales funnel means starting with a lot of potential customers, but that number decreases as you take them through each step involved in making a purchase.

All the retail sales funnel strategies have an element of the AIDA communication model to pitch and engage potential customers.

Consider and implement each aspect of the mobile shopping experience. Doing this takes the customer through a predictable journey from product introduction to sale:

  • Attention – get the attention for a product
  • Interest – move central interest to that product
  • Desire – create a desire for the item
  • Action – the final action is the sale or purchase of the item by the customer

Glocalization & In-Store Mishaps

After the globalization of retail through the internet, glocalization became the next big sales tactic to reach customers.

Retailers with a global reach understood the need to focus on local shoppers, giving them store-specific information. With updates sent to customers’ mobile devices, localized chains can:

  • Attract more customers to specific stores
  • Make products, services and special promotions adaptable to different locations

While interactive mobile retail apps help customers shop, save, compare products and prices, and search for product locations, some retailers have made major mishaps with customer-unfriendly practices like:

  • Blocking cell phone signals in stores
  • Using proprietary barcodes that won’t allow customers to check prices at competitor stores

These things annoy customers to the point it actually drives them away. Instead, they prefer glocalized retail solutions that allow them to make smart decisions. Even if you lose the sale of one product, the increased customer loyalty will pay off exponentially.

8 Reasons to go for Retail Mobility

According to Swirl’s CEO Hilmi Ozguc, “Retailers have a huge opportunity to use mobile to create value for shoppers by delivering personalized content and offers where and when they matter the most.”

Mobility helps consumers locate stores, make payments, receive notifications and avail coupons, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. The sky’s the limit for all the services that can be availed from retail apps, but here are our top 8:

  1. Consumers have become more impulsive with shopping, and mobile purchases are really easy to make.
  2. More than 56% of US consumers say they made a purchase in response to marketing messages delivered via mobile e-mail.
  3. The time spent on retail grew by 104% to 17.1 billion minutes in 2013.
  4. Tablet and smartphone use doubled to 500 million visits this year.
  5. Almost 82% of mobile media time is via apps
  6. Mobile internet will take over desktop internet by 2014
  7. 192.5% increase in mobile browsing traffic in the last two years
  8. Redemption rates of mobile coupons are 10 times higher than coupons distributed in other ways.

What Shoppers Expect

Shoppers are becoming more and more demanding for tailored, highly individualized service from retailers.

This can be difficult to figure out how to provide, but Hointer’s did a great job. Their mobile app allows shoppers to put a virtual cart within its app by scanning the QR codes placed with every item of clothing on display.

When the customers are done selecting and are about to go to the fitting room, they specify it within the app and are directed to one of Hointer’s private stalls. The items from the virtual cart are already delivered in that fitting stall via an automated picking system in less than 30 seconds.

After the trial, if the customers want to make a purchase, they swipe their credit card and walk out. There is no queue or hassle.

Retailer Innovation

Mobile retail strategists believe a bigger opportunity lies in using mobile to enhance the in-store experience rather than simply enabling consumers to shop via their smartphones. Retailers need to innovate, discover the technologies and simplify things for their customers. ( http://click-labs.com/mobile-and-retail-report/ )

How have you seen how mobile apps for the retail industry are improving in-store shopping experiences? What do you think about it? Tell us in the comments.

Click here to read more about our mobile solutions for the retail industry.

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