The cell phone – friend or foe of the stationary trade?

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Anyone who has already decided this question for themselves and wants to chase every smartphone-loving customer out of business with a grim expression will probably not need to read on at this point.

For all those interested, however, some facts from US surveys ( The etailing Group : Path to Purchase Survey 2013) that very well reflect upcoming trends for the domestic market.

76% of the surveyed customers use smartphones to get information in advance about the business they want to visit. It is primarily about:

  • Business information (address, opening times, accessibility and navigation)
  • Information about the range (product portfolio, availability at the location)
  • Offers received directly from the retailer or seen as an advertisement

There are very obvious opportunities here to make the customer’s visit to your own business as easy and successful as possible. For targeted offers, own apps or independent customer card apps like mobile-pocket are a wonderful tool. But even when using smartphones in stores, product information, product reviews and other support offers for product search and selection play a greater role than the dreaded price comparison. But what about the dreaded “show rooming”, in which customers can buy the products they admire in the shop cheaper online?

In the meantime it has been shown that this trend is already declining strongly (see IBM study: How showrooming can help, not hurt brick-and-mortar retail), as more and more retailers adjust to customer behavior and incorporate the smartphone into their shopping experience. For example, location-based offers in the store, suitable product information and price matching guarantees can be used to easily prevent customers from escaping to other online shops. And since it should then be indifferent to the omni-channel approach, whether the customer ultimately purchases in their own shop, own web shop or even their own mobile shop, their own mobile solution should also be geared towards this. Regardless of whether it is a mobile-optimized page, special apps or your own m-commerce solutions, the most important functions from the customer’s perspective are always the same and are clearly listed here.

mobile cross channel needs

But is it really worthwhile to deal with the mobile trend “now” and to invest resources? In any case, many heavyweights in modern multi-channel retail are already doing this. To quote Gero Wenderholm, SEO Manager at Tchibo, for example  : “Mobile is not something that is yet to come. Mobile is already there. Those who do not operate the channel, the sustainability gambled his company. “. To support his statement, a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau may also be referred to, in which 42% of smartphone users left over $ 1000, but only 21% of non-smartphone users. Smartphone-oriented strategies are particularly relevant for addressing high-revenue customer groups.

With all this, however, it should not be forgotten that it is not about purely mobile-focused activities. The decisive factor is the integration into cross-channel access, in which customers can actually enjoy a seamless information, shopping and service experience via all contact points. Here too, for example, a Deloitte study shows that omni-channel customers spend 93% more per purchase than pure online shoppers. And a whopping 208% more than customers who buy directly in the store. Not least because all possible obstacles to buying can be easily removed from the world. Some best-practice examples from leading retail chains show the possibilities quite simply:

  • The model variant is not in stock in the store? Not a big problem if the store has direct access to its own web shop.
  • Despite extensive information search and an attractive price in the online shop, you are still not completely convinced or don’t want to wait for delivery? Picking up the goods in the store and getting a few tips from the customer advisor is a pleasant solution – provided the ERP system is able to provide information about the availability in all stores.
  • The voucher for the desired product that expires today is unfortunately at home? Also no obstacle if it is also available in the smartphone app, which also leads to the nearest shop with product availability.

Or as the author of this article alludes to the American election campaign slogan 1992, not very charming but tough: “It’s omni-channel, stupid!”   😉