There’s an interesting piece this week from Mobile Marketing Daily about how mobile apps are figuring into the new in-person shopping experience in malls. We all know that mobile devices have become a keystone of many American consumers’ shopping strategies – and indeed became so long before retailers were taking aggressive steps to capitalize on this activity. In the early days, many brick and mortar stores feared the rise of showrooming and in-aisle comparison shopping. But things have changed on that score and one of the keys to making in-store mobile activity work FOR your business is leveraging your data advantage.
Many research studies show that the majority of customers are using their phones while in stores — at least some of the time. But it’s not just for price comparisons. They are seeking advice, visiting a retailer’s site for more info, taking selfies to get opinions on a new outfit, keeping track of their kids as they wander, or getting the best deals via iBeacon-triggered coupons. Wi-Fi is increasingly expected inside stores.
Today’s retail customers are constantly connected and that has made them savvier about price comparison and information gathering. They’ve also completely reset expectations for engagement with, or about, a brand. Radical shifts in consumer behavior are shaking up the industry in profound ways. Far from creating only problems, however, these new customer dynamics are creating more opportunities for savvy retailers to drive connection and sales.
When a retailer understands its customers, it has many means to compete for a sale. While price shopping is certainly more prevalent these days that in decades past, we know that “fit” with a customer can often trump rock bottom pricing. When a retailer can provide the information that the consumer seeks, and present them with a solution for their specific needs, they not only create an opportunity for a sale – they also help cement a bond that can contribute to a profitable long-term relationship with a customer.
Ultimately, what makes all this possible is data – mobile app and mobile web data that reveals preferences and intent. When a company takes a holistic approach to data by combining mobile data with PC web, site visitation, CRM and other types of first party data, they can capitalize on opportunities – in the aisle and everywhere else, around the clock.
What’s unfortunate is that most companies – even those that consider themselves very progressive with regard to data-driven marketing — don’t yet have the means to understand customer behavior in apps. Which is sad because they could easily remedy the problem.
Missing in-app customer signals might not sound like a huge deal until you realize that according to comScore 52% of connected customer time takes place. You hear that and all of a sudden the need for understanding in-app behavior becomes quite clear.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can start collecting mobile data and uniting it with all of your other first party customer information, and then leveraging that for real competitive advantage, please get in touch.
In addition, we have a whitepaper on the subject available now for free download. Click here to get it.
After all, what better way is there to live the adage, “the customer is always right” than to understand and act upon all the signals they are sending you and your team.