The Evolution of Mobile in Retail

Mobile retailing is rising rapidly a quarter of all online sales in the UK take place via smartphone and tablets and by 2018 this figure will be much more. Mobile retailing demonstrates the effect that technology innovation is demanding of retailers. This year retailers have stepped up their efforts by incorporating mobile into other parts of the customer journey, including order fulfilment, payments, and loyalty.

Mobile payments aren’t just likely but are expected as more and more people have adopted smartphones. Mobile banking (deposits, bill pay, etc.) is becoming more ‘mainstream’ for consumers, particularly for online goods and services. Google, PayPal, Apple, and Starbucks are all offering new mobile payment capabilities to keep up with demand. 

Retailers now know they need to move quickly to stay ahead of trends, provide targeted marketing and enable their customers to buy what they want, when they want, and where they want it, due to this there are now more mobile-only rewards and discounts. These include smart apps that deliver offers and deals straight to customers. Programs collect customer data and can tell you what your customers ordered, tested and bought, as well as when they last came in or redeemed an offer.

There has been a change in consumer experience with an increasing emphasis on mobile technology which has motivated retailers to adopt new solutions that adds to their in-store offerings.

There are many ways retailers can take advantage of the increase in consumer mobile dependency in the physical store environment. Graham Charlton (Editor in Chief of the Econsultancy blog) wrote in his article 10 inspiring uses of mobile in retail, some examples include,

  • Customer Reviews- Customer reviews in-store, for example direct links via a QR code next to the product takes smartphone users to the store’s own ecommerce site where they could find customer reviews. This would perhaps keep the potential customer from going to another store.
  • Pay in Store App- The ability to pay in-store via a mobile app is hugely convenient, although for those of us that have wandered for ages around an Apple store looking for a counter to pay, we may need steering in the right direction.
  • In Store Only Offers- Offering in-store only incentives via mobile, limited time-critical discounts or coupons for example, can drive footfall and retain those who may be prone to showrooming.
  • Free Delivery/Click and Collect- Consumers may perceive this to be the advantage of online shopping, but this helps bring the online to offline, with free delivery, price-matching with online stores and click and collect, this can all add to a richer in-store experience and drive traffic to brick and motor stores.

Find out more about our Mobile offerings here