Remote fast food orders to tourist info at your fingertips
How retailers are transforming customer experience
As we learned in my first post, digital consumers are increasingly demanding m-commerce solutions as they look to their smartphones to transform their shopping experience. To capitalise on this growing trend, retailers must evolve their proposition and understand consumer preferences regardless of which platform or physical outlet they arrive at. Here we look at four key considerations for how this can be achieved.
Using the mobile wallet as the catalyst
Consumers are typically using their smartphones to search through offers and promotions, but the rise of the mobile wallet is critical in encouraging people to actually buy through the mobile channel. This is because the mobile wallet makes the payment element of the purchasing process more seamless, as it links the customer’s smartphone with their bank details.The payments stage of the customer journey has traditionally put individuals off if it is not quick, simple and secure, but forward-thinking chains such as McDonalds and Starbucks are paving the way to combat this issue. For example, at McDonalds, you can now buy a burger anytime, anywhere on your smartphone, tablet or desktop and pick it up later in one of the 1,200 French stores; and Starbucks is starting to see traction from innovative payment methods such as ‘Shake to Pay,’ using its mobile app for swift payments. These developments are creating differentiation in the market, forcing other companies to re-assess their innovation in mobile payments and customer experience.
Enticing customers to use their smart devices to buy goods and services, however, is just the first step in driving an ambitious connected shopping experience. As we move towards the omni-channel approach, whereby customers can start the purchasing process on one channel and complete it on another, retailers must use more sophisticated targeting techniques to keep them in their ecosystem.Using data to better understand their audience and gain a single customer view will enable retailers to offer cross-selling opportunities and personalised promotions based on previous buying habits, and push them directly to their customers’ smartphones at the key points along the journey where they typically drop off. This is something we’re working on with Total Communicator Solutions. Together, we launched the world’s first Smart Destination mobile platform in Tenerife last year, using iBeacons to provide tourists with highly relevant information based on location and preferences from the moment they arrive in the area.
Man vs machine: Striking a balance
While data analytics has totally revolutionised the shopping experience, retailers must be careful not to overstep the mark. Of course, data provides them with a better understanding of who their target audience is, what they want, how they behave on the mobile channel and why, but knowing how to interpret and manipulate this data for best effect is critical to ensuring customers are not put off by irrelevant offers. So much of this process is automated today, but maintaining a human element is critical to ensuring the retailer understands the context around why an individual may be making a particular purchase at that time.
Marrying the mobile channel with the bricks-and-mortar store
As m-commerce continues to transform shopping on the move, revitalised high street stores are also taking advantage of mobile technologies to increase footfall. For example, some retailers are integrating interactive digital signs into their stores to transform the consumer experience, provide a more seamless payment process and increase engagement.It’s an exciting time to be operating in the retail industry as the mobile era takes hold. Those that take advantage of the techniques discussed here will be better equipped to address they are increasingly digital audience and provide a fun and intuitive customer experience.