Is this the future of retail. Some really interesting ideas….
Mobile commerce has quickly advanced past a cut-and-paste of a retailer’s ecommerce site—it is a viable, independent channel that needs its own strategy, unique capabilities, and personality if it is going to be a valuable part in a retailer’s cross-channel commerce strategy. In the first Convergent Commerce Series Article, Cross-Channel Plan for Mobile Engagement, the growing reasons to integrate a cross-channel strategy incorporating online, mobile, brick-and-mortar and social were highlighted with a specific focus on mobile. The most effective mobile platform consists of a mobile optimized website, downloadable rich app, and in-store mobile engagement. Incorporating mobile into the overall marketing strategy is an effective means to increase consumer awareness of a retailer’s various channels. In doing so, retailers can attract more visitors, generate more sales, leverage their marketing and merchandising spend, gain insight into customer purchase decisions, and heighten customer relations.
It is important to recognize that while mobile is its own channel wherein consumers interact in a very different way than they do other mediums, it simultaneously links all commerce outlets between the customer and the retail brand. While on the go, consumers use their phones to browse products, perform research through ratings and reviews, video demonstrations and detailed product descriptions, share an item to Facebook and Twitter or email it to friends and family, and ultimately, purchase in as little as sixty seconds. In store, the mobile device and rich apps act as a store loyalty card and personal sales associate providing product details, demonstrations, consumer opinions, and special product and store offers.
There are many important features and functionalities that need to be enabled on a mobile optimized website and rich app in order to provide a convergent commerce platform that enhances the customer shopping experience both in and out of the store. These include:
Rich Product Images and Detailed Product Descriptions: A key feature of an optimized mobile web site and rich app is the ability to view rich and large product images from anywhere at anytime. Consumers can visually see what they are about to purchase in a mobile optimized format, and multiple images per product allow for an interactive user experience from all angles. The product information should be detailed and include variants such as color and size and the price range, if necessary, can include was price, now price, and MSRP.
Product Search: The goal of a product search is to get the consumer to where they are going in as few steps as possible, and so the search function needs to be designed to move the consumer from the homepage to checkout in as little as six clicks. The product search results, whether accessed by searching for product name, category, brand, or item number, should be easy to navigate and have breadcrumbs in place so the customer can easily see the path to return to a previous page or result. Once the customer finds what they are looking for, they should be able to buy it directly from their mobile device or search for Find a Store so they can buy it locally.
Find a Store: Enabled through a geo/zip store locator implementation, Find a Store converges the mobile and in-store channels by enabling consumers to quickly and conveniently access a retailer’s products and information across channels. The store locator makes finding a retail store or merchant vendor quick, simple and convenient. For the retailer, it eliminates customer abandonment based on direction hassles, calling frustrations and time-intensive, unnecessary steps. A one-touch store locator enables a seamless transition from mobile to in-store shopping, further converging retail platforms. In addition, it is through the Find a Store implementation that retailers can enable weekly circular promotions and deals directly to consumers’ smartphones, which broadens their distribution and entices customers to visit the store. The weekly ads, only redeemable in-store, show users local product-specific discounts at stores near them.
Mobile In-Store Marketing: When a customer walks into a retail store with the retailer’s branded rich app installed on their smartphone, they can open the app and click to “check-in” to the store. If the retailer has set up a campaign to be triggered by a check-in at that particular store, a rich message will appear that may be a store announcement, a specific offer, or simply a welcome message. While in the store, retailers can push notifications to consumers based on in-store events or announcements. Upon leaving, retailers can send customers a notification within the branded app that could include an invitation to an exit survey, a loyalty promotion, or even a simple “thank you” for visiting the store.
In-Store Product Research: Barcode scanning via a smartphone’s camera is an integral part of the cross-channel retail strategy and is one of the driving forces between the mobile and in-store channels. The retailer’s rich app implementation of barcode scanning empowers customers to access additional information about specific products, such as complete product descriptions, additional product images, ratings and reviews, add to wish list and registry, and even see a product video demonstration or receive an instant coupon for a special product offer. Additionally, the customer can view up-to-date availability and can order directly and immediately from their mobile device if the store is out of the size or color the consumer wishes to purchase.
QR Code Scan: A customer’s ability to scan QR codes within the retailer’s branded app and have them link to any number of offers or responses unlocks countless possibilities for making a retail store mobile-aware. Scanning QR codes cannot only generate insights into product preferences, but can also create an opportunity to serve relevant promotions. QR codes can be used in catalogs, in-store signage and even advertisements, all to drive product and promotion awareness within the retailer’s branded rich app.
To determine which mobile platforms— web site, app or both—will bring the most ROI for a retailer’s investment, brands should look at their customer base and commerce outlets. It is through the mobile web that consumers will initially interact with a retailer from a mobile device. Mobile web allows customers to benefit from a fast, easy-to-use interface for browsing, searching and buying while on the go. The retailer can then engage and transform the customer from occasional visitor to loyal customer by having them download the app for faster, more frequent and higher value experiences, whether they’re in the store or on the move. In doing so, the retailer can drive incremental sales, increase customer loyalty and learn more about consumers’ buying behavior to serve them better in the future.
Article from mobile retail blog
More online consumers are using Facebook on a regular basis to find information about their favorite retail brands, whereas fewer consumers are turning to blogs, forums, and consumer review sites than they were a year ago, according to a new survey from Compete.
Moreover, Twitter is less popular than Facebook for finding retail information, but Twitter feeds are more successful than Facebook pages at influencing purchase decisions among users, the study found.
Among various social channels, more online consumers report using Facebook to find information about brands, according to Compete, while the use of retail forums and review sites is down:
- 27% of surveyed online consumers visit official retail or consumer product Facebook pages at least once a month, up 3 percentage points (PPs) from the 24% who did so a year earlier.
- 23% read or post on blogs, forums, consumer review sites, or discussion boards hosted by retailers on a monthly basis, down 6 PPs from the 29% who did so a year earlier.
- 10% read Twitter messages from brands, down 1 PP from the 11% who did so a year earlier.
Below, additional findings from The Spring 2011 Online Shopper Intelligence report, based on a survey of 3,269 online buyers in the US.
Among those who visit retailers’ Facebook pages on a monthly basis, 56% say they do so to keep up to date on sales and promotions, while 29.0% do so to learn about a specific retailer.
Fewer consumers interact with Facebook pages for social reasons such to connect with others who like a specific brand (13.6%).
Influence of Facebook Pages
Facebook pages are influencing purchasing decisions: More than one in five online consumers say Facebook pages have been very influential (16.7%) or extremely influential (6.2%) in making a purchase decision.
Only 22.5% of online consumers say Facebook pages have no influence at all on their online purchase decisions.
Moreover, one-third (33%) of online consumers “like” six or more retailers or consumer products brands on Facebook
Thanks to www.marketingprofs.com
Stead and Simpson part of the Shoe Zone Group, who have 228 retail outlets in the UK has announced that C24, the hosting and application delivery specialist, has won its account to host and manage its internet retail presence and website disaster recovery. The solution provided by C24 will be delivered from a tier 4 data centre and includes website hosting, back-up, disaster recovery and 24 hour support. Stead and Simpson found in C24 a partner with the experience and ethos to manage their web presence successfully with maximum uptime.
“We are so please to add Stead and Simpson to our portfolio as it is another prestigious brand name associated with C24. This win just adds further to the credibility that we have and shows future clients that C24 are a hosting solutions company that they should seriously look at” commented David Ricketts Head Of Marketing.
Some of the presentation below is fantastic, we especially liked the ideas used by Adidas. The cost of bandwidth has seen this type of solution now being delivered from hosting environments. however still pretty clever taking the online and physical relationship to a new level.
- Real HWs of Late Night… Better Than Miami (stoopidhousewives.com)
- Crimson Sci-Fi Kicks – The Adidas Imperial Guard Sneakers Has You Marching to the Dark Side (GALLERY) (trendhunter.com)
In The Times yesterday was a fantastic article about Westfield‘s new shopping centre in Stratford City which lies next to the 2012 Olympic site. The development has seen massive interest from retailers and Westfield have recently sold 50% of the scheme; a year before opening, to the Dutch pension fund APG and the Canada Pension Plan investment Board for £871.5 million apparently giving Westfield a £150 million profit.
Although the information is interesting in itself, further statistics were released about shopping for online and offline shoppers. American retailers are working with web companies to develop even more creative ways of getting online shoppers into real bricks and mortar businesses, the reason conversion rates. Although online sales are growing faster than those of traditional shops 93% is still done in person and this is not expected to drop in the near to mid-term and the conversion rates also outstrip there online rates too.
Statistics recently released show that online conversions run at as little as 3%, compared to 20% in retail clothes stores, 60% in electronics stores and 95% in supermarkets, however online does influence as much as 42% of retail sales due to research undertaken before purchase. So the new push is now to look at developing strategies that allow customers to use their smartphones to shop online and in store at the same time, thus increasing conversion rates of in store shopping. It is clear that companies now need not only to reward shoppers with discounts/coupons on purchases but also rewards for simple browsing.
It would seem that organisations like Westfield now have a fantastic opportunity to deliver real value to their clients both online and instore, it is plain that shopping in the real world is not dead it is just that people are better informed.
- Westfield sells 50pc stake in its London 2012 Olympic shopping centre for £871.5m (telegraph.co.uk)
- Westfield sells 50% of Stratford retail (news.theage.com.au)
- Why property investors are buying up UK shopping malls (telegraph.co.uk)
- Westfield brings online mall to shoppers (news.theage.com.au)
- UPDATE 2-Westfield sells $1.4 bln stake in London complex (reuters.com)
- CPPIB gains stake in London mall (theglobeandmail.com)
- Improvements to Product Search for this holiday season (googleblog.blogspot.com)
- Compete Holiday Insights™ 2010 (compete.com)
- 67% Plan Black Friday Stops Ahead of Time, According to Persuadable Research Corporation (prweb.com)
- Online Ratings & Reviews: A Sure-Fire Way to Increase Your Revenue (blogs.constantcontact.com)
Contactless approaches tipping point 03/11/2010 By Scott Thompson
The total number of contactless transactions this year has crossed the one million mark, according to the latest data from Barclays and Barclaycard. Since January, there has been a 217 per cent rise in monthly transactions, with over 150,000 processed in September alone. There are now 42,500 payment terminals in shops across the UK. Whilst contactless transactions remain a small part of overall card payments, Barclays and Barclaycard say that increasing numbers of retailers and banks are committing to the technology, with card holders predicted to reach 12 million in the UK by the end of the year. Stuart Neal, head of payment acceptance at Barclaycard, comments: “The latest statistics on contactless payment show we are reaching a tipping point. The number of terminals has gone from 25,000 at the beginning of 2010, to 42,500 today, and this is before the big grocers like Co-operative begin their roll-out in earnest. At a time when every penny counts for retailers, contactless helps boost customer satisfaction and reduce queue abandonment.”
The above was taken from retail-systems.com and highlights the growth of this type of payment system, the growth is surely going to accelerate as more organisations adopt this payment method.