How Mobile Data Can Change Your Retail Strategy

Google’s Our Mobile Planet report showed mobile shoppers spend 25 percent more on average than traditional shoppers. Retailers need to embrace this new era, and embrace the fact that 80 percent of shoppers carry around an Internet-ready device at all times. Furthermore, 78 percent of shoppers use their smartphone while in a store. A mobile website or app is a great start, but to capitalize on mobile shoppers, you must discover who they are and what they’re doing.

Scan and Run

It’s been called showrooming—a smartphone user scans the barcode of an item to see if they can get the item cheaper on Amazon. A brick and mortar store can’t be surprised by a consumer who wants to save money and time if there’s a long checkout. These shoppers are not a lost cause though. A comScore report found the average amount of time to receive online goods is 7.2 days. And, 78 percent of those polled say they choose the least expensive shipping option available, according to Internet Retailer. In our impulsive world, consumers still prefer to pay less and wait longer. Combat this trend by benefiting from smartphone usage yourself. Offer discounts through email or app notifications. Expect consumers to price check and don’t set premium prices on goods that are widely distributed especially if they retain value over time. If you’re able to offer exclusive products not sold online, make it happen.

Checkout Overhaul

A Yankee Group survey last year found 32 percent of companies with 500 or more employees are already using mobile POS and 29 percent plan to convert in the next 12 months. Retailers need to plan now as the checkout process is transforming. First, focus on customer service with your checkout process. A bad experience may be enough for a customer to switch to online shopping for good. Conduct surveys to find out what your customers desire and apply it to the checkout process. On the technology end, research firm IHL Group found mobile POS sales reached $2 billion in 2013. Integrated with several of the new breed of POS systems, ShoppinPal allows customers to browse a your store’s items, order ahead to have items ready for pick-up, and redeem rewards and self-pay on their phones so you keep their business. Take advantage of mobile POS and the value-driving mobile shopping solutions that work hand in hand with these point-of-sale systems.

Big Data, Big Strategy

Online retailers got a jump on big data by collecting information from ISP addresses. Now, brick and mortars can use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology to obtain valuable consumer information. Retailers can find what areas of a store a customer visits, how long they stay and their reaction to digital offers. This is all done without compromising the users security i.e gathering phone numbers and contacts. This data can be used to form a strategy that gives the customer a personalized and one of the kind experience. If one area of a store gets heavy traffic but low volume of purchases, decipher whether the issue is pricing or display. Analyze purchase history by integrating POS data into Quickbooks. This allows customers to be treated like VIPs when they are offered relevant deals and suggestions. Return customers should be given the most attention, these are the dollars that stores can keep away from their online competitors.

If you offer customers a personalized experience whether it be on though mobile or face-to-face, they are likely to come back for more.

Beacon Technology: What does it mean for retail stores?

Beacon technology will potentially revolutionize the customer retail experience. It brings a new dimension to interaction between you and the customer. So what is Beacon Technology? Well, it works on Bluetooth low energy (BLE) – which is used by a low frequency chip that is found in devices like mobile phones. These chips communicate with multiple Beacon devices to form a network.

iBeacon is a version of BLE software made specifically by Apple that was released with IOS version 7. In Apple’s case, this software pushes notifications to users as they walk around an Apple Store. But this is just the beginning; soon, independent developers and companies will be coming up with software tailored specifically for the Retail niche.

Before we get to why this matters and what’s in it for you, let’s quickly get out the way what some of you are thinking– What’s the difference between this new Beacon technology and that thing you read about awhile back…NFC?

Well, when looked at through the retail lens, NFC works only when your device is very close to the NFC tag to read the information– 10 cm or less. Whereas beacon technology can work within 70 meters of a beacon device. No scanning necessary. In addition, this system can pinpoint where your customer is in the store– microlocation– and relay specific information for them.

Cost factor

Each NFC tag costs approximately 10 cents due to it containing silicon which basically means 10 cents for every product. This represents a significant and recurring cost to small retailers– although it could make sense for small retailers with higher ticket items. On the other hand Beacon technology requires a one time significant investment in devices that broadcast information to smartphones. Estimote sells 3 devices for $100 which can be used in a 10-20 meter area. With time and competition, these devices will cost much less and will become more affordable.

Who are the big players?

Estimote: This is perhaps the best known of the players to use BLE for beacon technology. Their devices, which are in the testing phase, are small. Estimote integrates with many mobile platforms including iOS7.

PayPal: PayPal produces a USB device that is compatible with several POS systems: Vend, Leaf, Erply, Leapset, ShopKeep, Micros, Revel, and NCR. PayPal Beacon detects a shopper with the PayPal app on their smartphone (only if the shopper has enabled it), which then pulls up the customer’s photo on the merchant’s POS system for verification before the sale. If the shopper also enables automatic check-in, the complete experience and payment happens without even taking your phone out of your pocket.

Apple: Apple’s incorporation of this technology will probably be what gives it the biggest boost. As mentioned before, it’s IOS 7 software has the ibeacon technology built in. It is unclear if Apple itself will produce and sell the hardware for ibeacon technology but other manufacturers’ products will be easily compatible with it.

So what does this mean for Retail?

Analytics: The BLE technology will give retailers a greater insight into customer purchases. For example, retailers will be able to tell how much time a customer spends in each part of the store – and how they navigate the store. This is valuable information that can be used to optimize the in-store experience and increase revenues.

Loyalty: In the not so distant future, we will begin seeing this technology used to create powerful 1:1 offers for customers– on the spot (literally). This sort of customized targeting could, for example, use the customer’s purchase history and favorited items to come up with product-specific offers when they approach that item on the shelf. We all know these types of offers would convert very well!

Customer Service: You can expect a revolution in customer service alright. Imagine that as soon as a customer walks in to the store, your sales staff will know their name, what product categories they shop most, the items they browsed last time but didn’t purchase and what their spending habits are. Using this information, retail stores can create a better shopping experience and offer superior customer service.

Retail Mobile Technology Trends in 2014

After a rapid year of change in 2013 in the retail and technology arena, what can we expect in 2014?

2014 will be the year where small businesses will have to level up and fight the goliaths that are the big box and online retailers. Online vs. Offline will see a higher level of competition, as the stakes will be greater. In addition there are changes on the marketing front that small business owners need to be aware of. Read on to find out what we’ve learned and what’s in store for the New Year.

1. Merchants will focus on delivering the best user experience

2014 will see consumers move to retailers who provide a smooth and pleasant experience for their customers. Mobile apps of particular companies continue to add features that create more personalization. For example, Domino’s released an app that allows customers to save their favorite food items and coupons and in addition track pizza delivery. This has saved me more than once when I was too lazy to go to the trouble of figuring out what toppings I wanted or deciding on the thickness of my crust. I simply chose the pizza I had last time. Done.

2. The mobile wallet will demand innovation and value to grow

In 2013, the smartphone user base grew to over 50% of the mobile handset market in line with previous predictions. But mobile wallet systems have failed to take off. Why? The number of players in the field and the rapidly evolving technology is making consumers as well as retailers hesitant to invest time and money into any particular system.

But we’re putting our money on the mobile payment tools that continue to innovate and provide value above and beyond the payment. Take for instance PayPal, who implemented an order ahead feature (working with eat24, an online platform for food delivery from your favorite restaurant) that decreases wait time for customers. It’s all about value creation and making the user experience a streamlined, hassle-free and fun experience. And on a not-so-side note, I actually used this feature recently while out with friends, and must say it is pretty nifty.

3. Mobile commerce will see growth in 2014

As retailers come face to face with quick shipping and competitive pricing from online stores, it will become super important to face these challenges. It will be a decisive year for small retailers.

Ever checked product reviews on your smartphone while deciding to purchase something in store? You’re not alone. In a recent survey, 66 percent of respondents reported using their smart phones in stores to compare prices, search for deals, check with family and friends about their choices, and read product details and reviews.

Some have reported making purchases from cheaper online merchants right there in the store. Yes, it kind of leaves a bitter taste when a customer walks in, checks out the product, price shops and walks out. That’s why it’s time to step it up.

In 2014, retailers will have to battle this by bringing out their own improvements and invest in mobile apps that wow customers, create loyalty and allow leveraging technology to increase sales. One example of leveraging technology is knowing what product your customer checked out but didn’t buy while in the store, and enticing them to complete the purchase with a deal emailed to them or pushed to the app. This is just one of several features that ShoppinPal provides.

4. Data driven marketing will be a key strategy for local businesses

A study that was just released by the Direct Marketing Association found that data driven marketing was the way for local businesses to compete effectively. Their findings were that small businesses and innovation were the biggest winners in the data driven marketing economy. DDMI Executive Director Rachel Nyswander Thomas stated, “Data also gives small businesses a leg up in matching of products to customers. Data-intensive market insights are now more accessible to mid- and smaller-size enterprises than ever before” With this new information companies are quickly getting on board with local marketing campaigns and small business may finally get the edge on their larger competitors in 2014.

How to Profit From Mobile Commerce in 2014

Don’t let the ball drop on your profits in 2014. The new year marks the beginning of a rapid upward trend for mobile commerce. A recent study by Juniper Research estimates that the value of mobile commerce transactions conducted via mobile handsets and tablets will exceed $3.2 trillion by 2017, up from $1.5 trillion in 2013. For small to medium-sized businesses lacking big box store-front presence, mobile commerce helps put otherwise “niche” shops at the forefront of the local marketplace. With mobile usage trends sky rocketing like never before, it’s increasingly important that business owners not only have a mobile presence, but provide users with the ability to make purchasing decisions on the fly. Make sure your business is ready to profit from mobile shopping trends with these easy steps:

Optimize Your Website for Mobile

A website that’s easy to view on your computer is important, but how does it look on your cell phone or tablet? A study by the Pew Research Center shows that in 2013, 61 percent of adults use their smartphones to browse the web. Of those users, 21 percent only use their mobile devices for web browsing, rather than using a traditional device like a desktop or laptop. If your mobile site looks like a condensed version of your desktop site, you will lose your audience fast. Companies like DudaMobile can quickly create an easy-to-use mobile site from your desktop version for free. No more excuses to not be up to speed with the times! With a mobile version of your site, you can get back to running your business.

Make Purchasing a No-Brainer

Whether your customers are purchasing in-store or online, a speedy check out is a must. Having the right mobile payment processing tool will make or break your profits. Intuit provides mobile credit card processing for swiping cards from your tablet or smart phone just about anywhere. Receipts can be conveniently e-mailed and your transactions can be easily accounted for with Quickbooks integration. For mobile shoppers, adding the e-commerce payment processing option allows your customers to quickly and securely make purchases online.

Do You Have an App for That?

Apps help make the mobile browsing experience easier, faster and more direct. If you really want to stay ahead of the game, provide an app for your business that creates an enhanced shopping experience, making your mobile app the go-to place to shop. You don’t need to be an IT wiz to create an app. Check out options like ShoppinPal that provide an engaging mobile shopping experience for your shoppers. Integrated with leading point-of-sale systems like LightSpeed, Vend and Quickbooks, ShoppinPal allows shoppers to discover your store, scan barcodes in your store, read product information, see recommended items, and pay by phone. This solution also provides an analytics and marketing tool to increase loyalty with mobile offers and in-store “check-in” specials that can help drive foot traffic.

Keep an Eye on the Trends

Technology never takes a break. A Juniper research study estimates that 250 million debit or credit cards will be used for contactless payment in 2014. What does this mean for mobile? Even though the contactless payment trend hasn’t taken off in the US yet, it has become a hot item in the UK, sparking creation of mobile contactless payments like Quick Tap (only available in the UK). Quick Tap allows customers to scan their phones in place of a credit or debit card, creating a switch from paying with plastic to paying with mobile.

Biggest Challenges for Retail Stores in the Digital Age

Technology has revolutionized the way things operate and what customers expect from retailers. Shopping in-store is still an experience shoppers love, but with technology and the immediate nature of the Internet, the modern customer tends to expect a better shopping experience inside and outside the store. This understanding is causing retailers to search for new ways to engage these consumers across all channels to improve engagement and boost profits. However necessary it may be, going digital has its challenges for retailers.

Fear

40% of retail executives said the biggest challenge they face in leveraging business information is their ability to improve the cross-channel customer experience. Balancing between emerging digital trends and preserving the core brand across all channels can be a scary task.

Some retailers fear creating a digital experience and how it will mesh with existing branding if it’s not executed well. Don’t be afraid, but embrace the possibilities to strengthen your branding and excite your customer base by reviving the brick & mortar shopping experience. Leveraging both what works in online shopping and brick & mortar shopping can help create a super-sized shopping experience for the customer.

Showrooming

In the Digital Age, more and more retailers are fighting the “showrooming” problem. Some visitors use brick and mortar stores to view products, compare prices with competitors while in-store and buy them online later. Best Buy struggled with this problem for a long time and it majorly impacted sales. To combat it, they offered in-store price matching for deal savvy shoppers.

Smaller retailers can’t always afford to go this route and match every price. As a small brick & mortar store, ask yourself what you are offering that’s so distinctive that customers will want to buy from you? If you can’t answer this question, you might be in trouble. If you’re lacking a compelling angle or specialty, find one.

Almost half of the shoppers who comparison shop with their phones inside brick & mortar stores still end up at the cash register. What can you do to keep more of these sales inside your store? Whether it’s browsing e-commerce stores, buying from price comparison apps or using an app that you offer to your customers, shoppers will continue to pull out their phones while in your store. As Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly put it, “once customers are in our stores, they’re ours to lose.”

Privacy

Some retailers and customers reach a standstill when it comes to privacy. Retailers want to better understand customer behavior and gather as much information on them as possible. Most customers want to do everything they can to protect their privacy.

Recently, I went through my personal email, counted how many retailers had my email address and were regularly emailing me. The number I arrived at shocked me. In the course of shopping in-store or online, 108 retailers have my email address and fill my inbox with email blasts on a frequent basis. To answer the question probably on your mind, no I don’t have a shopping addiction, but everyone is asking for your email these days. Getting spammed by retailers too frequently is annoying. Once a customer realizes the hassle of giving it out too freely, it’ll be hard for anyone to get it. Some people will participate in anything on the chance they’ll get a better deal, but be mindful of customers who will choose to opt-out of your programs in the future if you abuse their inbox.

Don’t focus on knowing everything you can know about every customer. Request only necessary personal information from your customer. ShoppinPal only requires a customer’s email address to use our mobile commerce platform. Use customer email addresses wisely and don’t repay them by overloading their inbox. Eliminate extra digital sign-up steps. Make it easy for your customer to maintain privacy while participating with your brand across channels.

Accessibility

Free in-store Wi-Fi is a feature most consumers are coming to expect. It’s especially desired for retailers offering in-store mobile solutions or mobile optimized websites. It sounds like an easy feature for retailers to provide, but actually it isn’t.

A lot can go wrong when installing Wi-Fi in a store or office. One retailer was shocked to see its original estimate of a few million dollars rise to more than $100 million because its IT department lacked experience to gauge the costs. Putting Wi-Fi into a large commercial environment involves a series of complex design decisions and requires planning and coordination. That’s why every brick and mortar retailer hasn’t done it yet.

One of the biggest challenges facing our digital world is security. Retailers must diligently protect and monitor personal customer information. There’s over $166 billion in e-commerce, and it’s a challenge to protect sensitive information against security threats and fraud.

One of the best approaches to protection is layered security. There are many threats and avenues being used by fraudsters. One technique used in layered security is device recognition. Device recognition is the ability to know with an incredibly high degree of certainty that the computer or smartphone or tablet is one that is authorized to access an account or protected service. This method can help catch suspicious transactions before they take place.

Effectively Using Data

So you’ve got all this general customer data… now what?

According to Oracle, 93% of retailers said they believed their organization is losing revenue opportunities, as much as 10% of revenue per year, by not being able to fully leverage the information they collect. Just simply having data will have no impact on your organization. You have to have a data strategy to use analytics effectively.

Mobile provides more digital data than any other channel from in-store browsing, purchases, push or email notifications, wish lists, product searches, etc. As you examine this data from customers, strive for new personalized ways to improve engagement. For example, one retailer found that personalized promotional offers have a 29% higher unique open rate and 41% higher click rate than non-personalized offers, so the retailer enabled its mobile app to send customers personalized discounts. Use analytics to learn from your customers and be willing to adapt.

Technology can create some challenges for retailers, but how you leverage technology to solve them will define your business success and your bottom line.

How Stores using Vend POS Boost Retail Sales with Mobile Commerce

It’s no secret that the reason ShoppinPal’s mobile commerce solution offers such a rich mobile shopping experience for a store’s shoppers… is the blood, sweat and tears we put into integrating our software with retail POS systems. Although it’s simple and speedy for a retail store to get ShoppinPal up and running, our initial behind-the-scenes work of integrating with a POS system is no easy task. So, we carefully select the POS systems we work with. One of those integrations is with Vend POS. Vend is a cloud-based POS and inventory management system that’s won over retailers all across New Zealand, Australia and the US with its ease of set-up, flexible customizations, and great customer support. The Vend team has been excellent to work with, and we’re incredibly excited to have aboard our retailer customers that use Vend in their stores.

With ShoppinPal’s integration with Vend, retailer’s using Vend POS can instantly have a mobile-optimized storefront (even if the retailer doesn’t have an existing e-commerce store) that allows for quick and easy product browsing and mobile payments designed specifically to sell more through social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest and location-based apps like Yelp and Google Maps.

Retail stores approach ShoppinPal to solve various pain points: foot traffic, basket size, deals & rewards, mobile payments. Although the retailers may initially fall in love with one feature, what they find is that ShoppinPal is a robust mobile commerce platform for retail stores that will make their shoppers love them. Here are the ways retailers use ShoppinPal to boost retail sales:

Give Shoppers What They Want

We can’t deny that shoppers have more options than ever when it comes to finding items they want to buy. Everyday we hear stories of how ecommerce giants are affecting brick & mortar retail. But often times making the purchase online at Amazon and eBay just to save a few bucks isn’t enough of an incentive. The physical store still has advantages over online pure plays, but the physical store has must adapt and reach shoppers through other channels, specifically mobile. Just think if you could own that shopper’s mobile experience by offering them benefits to stay engaged with your products in your store? We believe one of the most important first steps to mobile for retail stores is making it easy to view a store’s products and detailed descriptions, and that’s made easy with our integration with Vend POS.

40% of shoppers consult 3 or more channels before making a purchase. Give them another channel when they’re deciding where to spend their money. 80% of smartphone owners want more mobile-optimized product information while they’re shopping physical stores. Give shoppers with they want.

Give Shoppers Instant Gratification

One of the reasons shoppers choose to buy locally instead of shopping online is the ability to have their order in their hands that same day. Who wants to wait several days for shipping? Many large retail chains, such as Best Buy, Walmart, Home Depot, Toys R Us, Nordstrom and Target (to name a few) now offer the ability to buy online and pick up in-store.  So, not surprisingly, one of the most popular features of ShoppinPal with retail stores is the ability for shoppers to buy on their phones on the go, select the option for in-store pickup, and swing by the store to get their merchandise that same day.

Recommend Products to Shoppers

This is your chance to not only offer a great service to your shoppers, but also increase the chance they visit your store and buy more (whether they buy through their phone or come into the store) as they engage with your mobile e-commerce store enabled by ShoppinPal. Let’s say a shopper is browsing in your store’s products on their phone. Where do they start? You don’t have an associate to guide them if they aren’t yet in the store. So ShoppinPal acts as the guide by giving them quick views of the most popular items in your store as well as sale items. If they want to see all your in-store inventory, they can easily do that as well. By talking to your POS system, ShoppinPal displays all of the item’s information similar to an online shopping experience complete with the image name, image, price and description and automatically generates your stores’ most popular items by crunching your store’s receipts data.  ShoppinPal’s recommendation system also accesses a retailer’s receipts data and instantly displays smart product recommendations right on the phone depending on what products they like as they browse. This is a great opportunity to add value to the shopping experience while driving more sales during the same visit.

Let Customers Pay by Phone

More and more shoppers are starting to complete purchases not only on desktops and tablets, but also on their smartphones.  ShoppinPal makes this easy with a mobile payments platform that lets shoppers order ahead and pay by phone, and the orders instantly show up in your Vend POS system. All that’s left to do is for the customer to flash their e-receipt and you verify the order number and amount once they arrive at your store. For shoppers that don’t want to pay on the phone.

If a customer wants to pay with cash or swipe their card the traditional way, we support that too. They can still submit their order away from the store via ShoppinPal and choose to pay in the store. The order still shows up in Vend, but instead of that being a closed order, it stays open and the associate completes the order when the shopper arrives to pick up their order.

Give Customers Deals

Customers love a good deal, and with ShoppinPal merchants can create and promote deals on particular items that are automatically applied to a shopper’s order when purchased through a store’s specific ShoppinPal store url or product-specific url. Simply select a product, the appropriate dollar amount or percentage off, the duration of the deal, and you’re finished. This is easily configured in ShoppinPal’s Merchant Center, and our retail customers find the product-specific promotions quick and easy to enable.

If you want to learn more about how ShoppinPal helps retailers that use Vend POS, email [email protected]. If you use another retail POS system and want to know if ShoppinPal is compatible, email us. We look forward to hearing from you and can’t wait for you to join our group of ecstatic retail customers!

The Impact of Retail Analytics for Brick & Mortar Stores

The future of brick and mortar stores in the digital era is uncertain. Competitive retailers of all sizes are merging technology with their existing shopping experience to maintain a place in their market while competing against popular online retailers.

Online retailers revolutionized e-commerce and the shopping experience by monitoring each customer’s complete shopping process through consumer analytics and tailoring the shopping experience to an individual customer’s likes and habits. Online retailers gather this information only by observing simple facts, such as how long a customer spends viewing a product, how many items are eventually purchased off an individual customer’s wish list and how often sales result in more purchases.

In this digital age, the needs of the average customer are evolving with common technology. The average digital age customer is:

  • Savvy: Customers are researching purchases more than ever these days. Information is readily available and most shoppers can make easily informed decisions on important purchases. Modern shoppers set the bar high and expect a seamless shopping experience. Also, they aren’t afraid to engage with a retailer post-purchase based on any feedback they might have.
  • Mobile: The modern shopper can window shop 24 hours a day and 7 days a week from anywhere in the world. Their mobile devices are a constant extension of their limbs. Technology allows customers to multi-task now more than ever and places endless information at their fingertips. Your customers will use their mobile web to compare prices and product reviews with other retailers while shopping in-store. Your customer expects things to be immediate and can be constantly distracted because of technology.
  • Social: Social media has given the customer a public platform to be heard. Some have bigger audiences than others, but each individual has platform to perpetuate their feelings, influences and beliefs to others online. Social media is built on sharing and most modern customers are afraid to unleash a good or bad review on social media. Social networks influence purchasing decisions every day. A recent study found 40% of social media users have purchased an item after sharing or “favoriting” it on a social network. This social, sharing culture doesn’t just drive online sales, but in-store sales as well.

Often, shoppers will browse a lot of different items and won’t purchase many of them. While internet retailers can analyze that shopping process, basic brick and mortar retailers are left in the dark on how the customer arrived at the register with specific products. Mobile shopping technology enables these retailers to effectively and directly influence customer behaviors based on shopper browsing history, wish lists, purchases and deal redemption.

Brick and mortar stores don’t have to miss out on this type of observational information. Allow your customer to engage with you throughout the entire in-store shopping experience on mobile. Offer your customer a mobile experience, either through a site or app. By engaging your customer on mobile, you can capitalize on useful consumer insights and retail sales data you would miss out on otherwise.

By analyzing products customers browse, add to their wish lists and actually end up purchasing, retailers can better analyze conversion success rates. If customers desire a lot of your products but aren’t purchasing anything, you’ve got a problem. With retail analytics, you may easily derive an informed solution and close more sales.

Often, brick and mortar stores accept paper coupons, or even scan coupons on a smartphone at the register. Without insight into other customer habits, retailers can’t get a complete view of a customer’s decision-making process. Offer customers deals through a mobile program and you can better analyze what offers are effective. Understand which customers are motivated by what offers.

In-store retail analytics also help you recommend products to your customers. Online retailers are dominating with intelligent product recommendations. Product recommendations based on browsing history help spark interest in other products, bringing “impulse” purchases to another level and increasing profits.

Mobile consumer analytics means power for retailers. You’ll have the power to implement effective solutions for real business problems that impact revenue and profits. While online sales grow, brick and mortar retailers need to revive their customer base with mobile perks and harness consumer insights to provide the best possible in-store shopping experience. Your business depends on it.

Wanna keep in touch? Sign up for our newsletter and updates!

Mobile Commerce World 2013 Recap

Retail mobile commerce sales in the US are expected to reach $109 billion by 2017, according to a recent eMarketer study, which brings to light many opportunities and challenges for retailers. To help these companies come together to discuss, debate and learn, the Mobile Commerce World conference made its debut in San Francisco June 24-26 with an action-packed schedule of keynotes, presentations and panels as well as an exhibition floor full of innovative companies leading the way for the growing mobile commerce market.

Much of the agenda was broken into conference tracks, such as mobile retail, mobile payments & wallets technology, mobile commerce technology integration, and security & privacy for mobile commerce, which allowed attendees to take a deep dive on particular topics.

We heard from some of the biggest names in mobile, sharing experiences and strategies of how to best take advantage of mobile commerce today and in the coming years. Some of the more interesting discussions came from Wendy Bergh, VP Mobile & Digital Strategy at Walmart; Mike Finley, VP & CTO of Hosted Solutions for NCR; Bill Gajda, Head of Global Mobile Products at Visa; Patrick Gauthier, Head of Emerging Services for PayPal; and Nicolas Franchet, Head of Retail & E-Commerce at Facebook who shared how mobile technology is changing Facebook’s business.

The conference also included an innovators pitch session, bringing attention to startups focusing on mobile commerce. A couple standouts included Dsg.nr, the “Polyvore for home decore” where shoppers can create interactive design boards to redesign rooms in their homes, and Placed, who aggregates and analyzes the paths and places people visit in the physical world, providing retailers with actionable insights into consumer behaviors.

There was no shortage of great retailer success stories and viewpoints, case studies, exciting retail solution providers and innovative startups at the 3-day event. The spotlight shined on ShoppinPal throughout the conference as well. The first day of the event we sat down with Lou Covey of New Tech Press, who wrote an article on some of the highlights from Mobile Commerce World.

ShoppinPal CEO, Sriram Subramanian, answers questions from a packed house during his presentation on analytics for brick & mortar retail stores.
ShoppinPal CEO, Sriram Subramanian, answers questions from a packed house during his presentation on analytics for brick & mortar retail stores.

On Tuesday Sriram, ShoppinPal CEO, led the way with the first of many enlightening talks in the Solutions Theatre. His presentation “Turbo Charge Brick & Mortar Sales with Shopper Analytics” highlighted the challenges brick & mortar retailers face and how the right mobile shopping app can help solve some of those problems and increase shopper engagement and loyalty. Sriram explained how managers of physical retail stores can benefit from actionable analytics similar to ecommerce stores, including items browsed, wish list activity, conversion rates and even abandoned carts.

Sriram also joined the panel during the “M-POS and the Implications of EMV” session along with Brian Kilcourse of RSR Research, Richard Mader of NRF’s Association for Retail Technology Standards, Leslie Hand of IDC Retail Insights, and Cathy Medich Smart Card Alliance.

Mobile Commerce World put on a great event, and we look forward watching next year’s conference explode as acceptance and innovation continues to grow in the world of mobile commerce.

Wanna keep in touch? Sign up for our newsletter and updates!

Mobile Loyalty Program: Right Deal for the Right Customer

Using old marketing techniques, retail stores used to anticipate and advertise for mass appeal. By utilizing modern technology, retail marketing doesn’t need to be a guessing game anymore. With a mobile shopping app and analytics, stores can provide targeted products, promotions and offers to each individual shopper.

Branding & Engagement

In a recent Maritz survey on loyalty programs, the average customer is enrolled in 7.4 loyalty programs, but are only actively engaged in 63% of the programs they’re enrolled in. 91% of the nearly 6,000 U.S. consumers surveyed said they would download an app for a program they’re enrolled in. Also, 73% of smartphone users in this survey said they’d like to use their mobile device to interact with their loyalty programs.

For loyalty customers, the biggest opportunity for retailers is in mobile communication, since mobile can add relevance and context. When a shopper taps into a retailer’s app in-store, the retailer has the opportunity to provide location-based information and offers in context.

One company that excels at this type of relevance and mobile engagement is Cinemark Theaters. This theater chain uses their mobile app to boost customer loyalty and offer incentives to solve a common theater issue. Cinemark rewards moviegoers who don’t use their device during movies by sending them concession deals within their app at the end of every movie. Customers that want free or discounted popcorn, soda or candy will not only choose to attend their theaters, but also won’t text and disturb others during the movie.

Customers will engage with retailers when provided the right benefits and rewards.

Intuitively Predict What a Customer Needs

In a study by RetailMeNot and the Omnibus Company, they found 51% of shoppers are more likely to buy products in-store if they were given a location-based mobile coupon.

Not every deal will be attractive to every customer, which is a main reason online retailers have had the success they’ve had. Many online retailers track what customers search for, products they like and what they actually end up purchasing. Basically, they a 360 degree view of the shopping cycle for each customer. From this information, online retailers can personalize recommendations and sales with more products likely to interest a specific person.

Through ShoppinPal, brick and mortar retailers can easily harness this business advantage for themselves and utilize it in-store. For retailers, it’s all about supplying the right content at the right point in the shopping cycle. Sometimes, it will mean the difference between a completed transaction and a customer who walks out the door with nothing.

Cater to the Individual

Every consumer needs or loves something. Stop marketing to the masses and focus on the individual consumer. Technology has leveled the playing field and made this strategy possible.

A lot of mobile shoppers are deal hunters. These consumers are looking for the right deal or the right sale at the right time on almost anything they buy. Rewarding this type of customer with personalized deals not only gives your business a competitive advantage, but it’ll also help secure a sale.

Some customers visit stores on occasion just to browse and not to purchase on that visit. These visits can end productively for retailers if they seize the opportunity. As they browse, customers will see things they might want to purchase on a later date. ShoppinPal’s mobile app makes it easy for customers to remember exactly what they were interested in last time they visited the store. Customers have the ability to add to their wishlist inside the mobile app while they browse in-store simply by scanning the item’s barcode.

Supplying timely deals within a mobile app can not only motivate consumers and help close the sale, but can provide retailers with special insight into each individual customer. Analytics gathered from shopper behavior inside the app – whether it be from items viewed, products added to shopping lists, or deals redeemed – help you understand your customers’ shopping habits and motivating factors.

Loyalty programs have to remain relevant with their customer. Give your business the opportunity to take actions supported by shopper analytics. Instituting these changes and focusing on engaging customers as individuals will result in a more loyal customer base.

Wanna keep in touch? Sign up for our newsletter and updates!

ShoppinPal Presents at Mobile Commerce World

ShoppinPal will have a major presence at the Mobile Commerce World event, which begins June 24 in San Francisco.

At the event, thought leaders from around the world will gather to talk about the impact mobile has made on how businesses and customers interact through payment, content and products. Attendees will learn from established retail and commerce brands how mobile technology has radically changed the way they both do business and push for innovation, while featured startups like ShoppinPal will explain what they are doing to transform the mobile commerce landscape.

The three-day conference is expected to draw more than 1,500 attendees with more than 50 sessions and over 110 experts. Keynote speakers include executives from Walmart, Visa, Discover, Facebook and Groupon.

ShoppinPal CEO Sriram Subramanian will discuss how retailers can use in-store shopper data to add value to the customer experience at 1 p.m. on Tuesday with his presentation “Turbo Charge Brick & Mortar Sales with Shopper Analytics” in the Solutions Theatre on the expo floor.

For a sneak peek at some of the insights Sriram will share, download our Analytics Overview.

Shortly after Sriram’s talk on brick and mortar mobile shopping analytics, he’ll be on the panel of the “M-POS and the Implications of EMV” at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

ShoppinPal will also be demonstrating its brick and mortar mobile shopping solution to visitors to the expo floor. Look for us at booth 30.