The world has gone mobile.  Millions of consumers now prefer to buy online.  When they do buy in-store, they often use their smart phones to

  1. Discover new products
  2. Find bargains
  3. Locate areas of the store of interest
  4. Use mobile coupons
  5. Share purchases with friends
  6. Discover new trends on social media sites

With the growth of smartphones, mobile commerce and shopping through wireless handheld devices such as cell phones or tablets has the potential to grow even more in the future.  Shoppers are demanding more services that are centered on mobile devices.  Retailers have the opportunity and challenge of providing customers with services and apps that consumers can use.

Mobile Payments

New developments in mobile commerce such as faster mobile payments, social retail and one-click purchases have profoundly changed the way customers shop. Smartphones have actually connected shoppers with brands spending more time looking for the best deals or researching brands. Mobile has become a central part of the shopping and customer experience and physical retailers are increasingly looking to mobile applications to enhance the involvement of shoppers and other measures of performance.

Augmented Reality & Mobile Window Shopping

Mobile has changed the way people research purchases. Traditionally shoppers did their own product research at home before deciding on a purchase. Smartphones have changed this paradigm with the ability to gather information anywhere they go.  Mobile shoppers can shop in places that they have never shopped before. They can research products on the spot and decide on a purchase instantaneously. The rise of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality on Apps has transformed window shopping.

Mobile Customer Journeys

There has been an increasing concern in high street stores that mobile would eat into the brick and mortar retail space because shoppers can hunt for bargains by comparing prices on their smartphones while in store.  But, some retailers are learning how to adapt and harness developments in mobile technology to pull more customers into traditional stores. In that respect, Mobile and physical experiences can coalesce into one seamless experience. For example one store in the U.K. allows customers to pay for items using their PayPal account.

Mobile Digital Transformation

Using mobile in the right way could also provide customer loyalty benefits. Shoppers are beginning to favor retailers that allow them to use their mobile devices to shop.  Physical retailers can use mobile phones to bring relevant information to customers. Enabling Augmented Reality on mobile devices in store can give consumers additional information. Mobile coupons can drive foot fall by giving customers more enticement to visit physical stores.

Omni-Channel Strategies

Retailers can also better measure the effectiveness of their campaign in real-time. If a retailer’s electronic point of sale system is showing a slow day in sales, the retailer can launch a campaign quickly and send coupons to customers to be redeemed instantaneously.

Retailers have the potential to create proprietary apps to enrich the mobile shopping experience but they have the opportunity to understand that this specialized apps are different from the basic mobile technology like e-mail and search. Retailers also engage customers in social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The nature of the products being sold could change shopping behavior. Price comparison, searching for mobile coupons could be more important to shopping categories, while for restaurants ratings and reviews may be more important in engagement and sales.

About Mobile Retail Market Research

Mobile Retail Research provides data, insights and strategies to boost revenue and engagement.  We conduct Qualitative, Quantitative and Strategy Research.  Qualitative Market Research includes Online Focus Groups, Customer Insights, Mobile Ethnography, and Mobile App Testing.  Quantitative Market Research include surveys.  Strategy Research includes Competitive Analysis, Market Opportunity, Market Sizing and Channel Intelligence.