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.

Retail Marketing: Drive Foot Traffic To Your Store with Location-Based Apps

Location-based apps have revolutionized the way consumers shop and the way merchants are discovered. They connect shoppers with the nearby stores and deals they’re most interested in. Pulling up an app to scout out a store or virtually checking in at a new location has become all but second nature for the smartphone-armed shopper. For smaller shops and niche outlets, location-based apps have the ability to transform retail marketing efforts by affording shop owners the opportunity to connect with a large existing user base.

Why Location-Based Apps?

Location-based apps are a powerful way to drive local foot traffic to small retail shops. Location-based apps such as Foursquare and Yelp have loyal, and quite sizeable, followings that make it easy for retailers to tap into. Yelp’s mobile app, for example, had an average monthly user base of 10.6 million during the final quarter of 2013; Foursquare states that it has a total of 45 million users under its fold.

You may not have created or claimed your store listing on any location-based apps yet, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t getting noticed as a result of their large user bases: most likely, your shop is already listed on these apps and you are already seeing some foot traffic and even sales as a result. Claiming your store could drive a lot more traffic to your showroom. Let’s take a look.

How to Leverage Location-Based Apps to Drive Your Foot Traffic

There are two main angles of approach when it comes to leveraging location-based marketing to generate buzz for your business. The first key way is going through the steps and “claiming” and managing your listings. The second key way to leverage location-based apps is through advertising or offering deals.

Claiming Your Business

Claiming your store is free – and vital – to do. Think of this as the virtual equipment to rolling out an open sign or turning the lights on. When you claim your store on a location-based app, you can provide important information, supply key photos and respond to reviews. To get started claiming your store on location-based apps, Search Engine Journal has some very clear instructions that make the process easy to understand. Once you’ve claimed a few, claiming more will become easier as you get the hang of it.

Managing your listing

Creating or claiming your listing is just the start. Now it’s time to optimize your listing in order to attract customers to your store. Make sure you add high quality images that show customers what your store is about and what type of items they’ll find when they arrive. Stay on top of your reviews and comments for each location-based app. If customers leave a positive review, thank them. If they are disappointed, apologize and tell them how you’re addressing the issue.

One other key part of managing your listing is to add your store’s website url. This is crucial for shoppers to see what products you have in  your store. The url you share through location-based apps must be optimized for mobile product browsing and mobile payments.

Advertising

Location-based apps allow businesses the opportunity to advertise targeted messages that reach your desired audience with ease. For example, with Foursquare, your ad displays not only when a user is nearby your store, but it also only displays to people that are most likely to shop with you based on their past check-ins. With campaigns such as these, you can start small and set a target budget (an amount you are willing to pay). Your ad will then be displayed to the app of choice’s targeted audience until you have reached your target budget. You can then decide to add more money to your budget, based upon the results you receive.

Deals & Coupons

One way that location-based apps maintain such an active user-base is through providing their users with reasons to keep coming back – and a key way to do this is through offering deals and coupons. Some location-based apps allow businesses to offer a check-in deal which rewards users for “checking-in” through the app and sharing this check-in with their friends on social media. The check-in deal is a strong way to build up word of mouth and buzz while enticing more customers to stop by and see what you’re all about. Another way to reward customers for shopping with you is offering a deal or coupon that can be purchased in advance.

Which Location-Based Apps To Focus On

There are new location-based apps coming out seemingly every day, and others dying… seemingly every day. For developers, it’s a scramble to create the biggest and best app to appeal to the largest base of users and and be at the top of this SoLoMo (social-local-mobile) revolution. For this post, we will focus on a few of the big names so that you can really maximize your results.

Yelp

Yelp has over 53 million monthly unique mobile users and offers several different advertising solutions to make themselves attractive to businesses – and you may want to take advantage of their service. You can purchase ads, featured search result listings or offer a deal that Yelp sells for you in which they keep 30 percent of the deal’s purchase price.  Yelp will also sell gift certificates for you (for a 10% charge). To find out more about Yelp’s options, visit their advertising home online.

Foursquare

Using Foursquare is a great way to reach a very social userbase of 45 million. Advertising on Foursquare depends upon how much you want to spend, and how many people you want to reach. It’s possible to create an ad campaign with just a few dollars – or to spend thousands. To connect with Foursquare, contact their business outreach department.

PayPal

With over 7 million active mobile app users, Paypal is becoming a more and more popular way to not just pay online, but also inside brick & mortar retail stores. Although known to date as only a way to pay on mobile, PayPal continues experiment on ways to add value beyond the mobile payment functionality through order-ahead, customer loyalty programs, and many cool features to come with PayPal Beacon, including hands-free payments without shoppers even having to take the phone out of their pocket, and tailored offers to encourage repeat visits.

Facebook

Not quite the “location-based app” but Facebook’s pretty powerful for helping businesses maximize their retail marketing efforts, mainly because they have a gazillion mobile users, or at least 1 billion mobile active monthly users at last count. Facebook’s Nearby Places tools is essentially their version of Yelp and allows users to search for nearby places, check in to local merchants, and write reviews. They no longer offer check-in deals, however you can create an online offer for free, and then you have the choice of paying Facebook to help you promote the offer. Beyond that, you can choose targeted ads and set your budget for as low as $5. Be sure to stop by their page all about advertising solutions for local business.

Let’s Sum It Up

Location-based apps for retail stores are really what you make of it. You can start small and get your feet wet by getting familiar with the many location-based apps and claiming your store (remember – it’s the digital equivalent of turning your lights on) and keeping your listing up-to-date with photos and responding to comments and reviews. Once you’re comfortable, move on and create a free offer over at Facebook and see what results that nets for you. If you’re interested in going beyond that point, you can start looking into setting a conservative budget to see how this targeted kind of location-based marketing works for your store.

Retail Apps + Toy Stores: A Match Made in Parenting Heaven?

From marketing via Instagram and Pinterest to location-based deals and targeted rewards, today’s niche and small retailers are getting creative. If you own or manage a shop that sells products kids and parents love, it’s time to think outside the toy box.

Big box stores offer the masses of overtired and overworked parents some serious appeal in terms of convenience – moms and dads can buy everything from computers to diapers in the same location. If you want to appeal to the parent shopper you’ve got a challenge – but not one that can’t be overcome! Shopping apps bring a lot to the sales floor and keep a toy store relevant with busy parents.

Retail Apps Offer Parents Sanity

Think about your average parent. They’re usually rushing from job to pre-school to birthday party to dinner: if they’re not cleaning spaghetti off the walls, they’re safeguarding the electronics from juice-crazed toddlers. Sometimes, parenting can feel like trying to manage a house full of frat guys (minus the alcohol). Needless to say, sanity can be a struggle for moms and dads, and as a result, they naturally gravitate toward anything that makes life a bit easier. The tired parent is an untapped market: send personalized purchase ideas and give moms and dads the ability to self pay from their phones (when they have a flock of kids in tow) and you can create an extremely loyal customer base.

Retail Apps Offer Parents Deals

Penny pinching has become a cultural phenomenon. From deal sites like Groupon to tv shows about couponing, shopping has become a serious business for a lot of us. Folks watching their budgets so closely is not the worst thing ever if you adapt and find ways to engage them: shoppers are more willing than ever to look around for a good deal. Shops that embrace the right retail app can keep their savvy parent shoppers in the loop on special prices and great buys. From offering customers check-in deals or even product-specific discounts, small business owners that utilize shopping apps can lure customers in with the power of a good, old-fashioned deal.

Retail Apps Offer Personalization

Check-in deals. Shared shopping lists. Mobile payments. Shopper analytics. Retail apps are an excellent way for stores understand their customers and enhance the shopping experience for busy parents. Retail apps also offer stores the powerful ability to target customers based on preferences. You know how Amazon offers personalized recommendations based on past purchases and browsing histories? Shopping apps do too, which is one more reason a parent will want to shop your store instead of passing it up to shop with the online giant.

When the ease of digital shopping is merged with real-time benefits, both the shop and the customer wins. Bottom line? If you sell parent and kid-friendly products, from nursing aprons to science sets, a retail app is a great way to drive sales while offering parents the stress reduction and convenience they crave.

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.

Brick & Mortar Stores: Get an Edge Over Online Retailers

The world of online retail first caught the brick and mortar store’s eye back in the 90’s. Suddenly, customers could order the perfect gift for their mom’s birthday, have it wrapped and delivered without leaving the comfort of their own home. Seductive product descriptions and artfully photographed products charmed customers who fell in love with this new, and decidedly modern, way of doing business. We felt special. We felt cared for… Fast-forward twenty years and the love affair with e-commerce continues and shows no signs of slowing down. According to the 2013 3rd Quarter US Census Report on E-Commerce, online sales are up 17.5% over the same period in 2012. Our email inboxes are flooded with special offers from online stores crafted just for us; our phones keep us connected to the latest and greatest deals 24-7.

With all that online retail has to offer in 2014, why do customers still venture out to shop at brick and mortar stores? A few things… When things go right with e-commerce, it’s a dream. But when they go wrong, it can be a big headache. The gift you ordered Mom never arrived and getting through to an actual human being seems harder than climbing Mt. Everest. If you’re unhappy with an item, returning it requires phone calls and interrogations by customer service agents. Long wait times at the local post office don’t exactly sweeten the deal. Consumers are ready for a change and now, more than ever before, brick and mortar shops can get an edge over their digital competition.

Customer Service Counts

The process of checking off boxes and filling in forms to buy that gift online simply doesn’t draw customers in or encourage that they stop and look around your store for more treasures to buy. Look at Apple, for example. Steve Jobs pushed for brick and mortar stores during a time when most electronic retailers were heading for the digital hills. Jobs believed that service and connecting with customers would drive Apple’s sales. He was right. Even during tight economic times, sales at Apple stores are consistently high. Customers roll up to the genius bar to get the real-time, real-world customer service that only brick and mortar stores can provide. Customers are starting to get it; customer service counts.

Customers Want Rewards

These days, customers are used to getting rewarded for spending money. Like Super Mario, we want to rack up rewards throughout our shopping quest. Online retailers have a lot of tricks up their sleeves here; they have a wealth of data on us through purchase and browse history, they give us easy-to-use coupon codes, simple loyalty programs. Brick and mortar stores are starting to implement more innovative ways to reward their customers. Best Buy, for example, recently revamped their loyalty program that hooks its customers up with loyalty points just for checking in to the store using their phone in addition to points for purchases. For brick and mortar stores, rewarding shoppers can be easy, whether it’s utilizing loyalty functionality built into your point-of-sale system, offering your shoppers a mobile app that handles rewards, or both.

Customers Avoid Hassles

With all the technology today, customers are busier than ever and have less time for hassles… Waiting for a purchase to arrive. Trying on clothes that don’t fit. Back to the post office. The paperwork. Repackaging boxes. Those things alone are enough to make a digital shopper turn local. Brick and mortar stores like Nordstrom really stand out for their customer service initiatives. If you own a brick and mortar shop, be sure to offer a return policy that takes the hoops out of buying and returning. A clear and friendly policy will do your business wonders.

Customers Like Instant Gratification

Amazon Prime is as close to instant gratification as most online customers, who are used to instant emails, instant photos and instant learning, can hope for. Brick and mortar shops, however, are the real deal. No waiting, no back orders, no delays. Brick and mortar shops have an easy-to-grasp philosophy: you see it, you like it, you buy it, you take it home the same day. We live in a fast food culture where we want things when we want them, not tomorrow. Big box stores such as Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Home Depot and others have taken the bull by the horns here: they’ve launched site-to-store initiatives that enable customers to pay online and pick up their purchases later that day. And this capability is not just for the retail giants; many small and mid-size retailers are launching mobile order-ahead capabilities allowing shoppers to pick up their items in-store that same day. By offering added convenience that blends modern technology with the convenience of traditional shopping, brick and mortar shops can capitalize on the digital customer’s need for instant gratification – to great success.

Let’s sum it up. Brick and mortar shops are poised to give online retailers a run for their money in 2014 by highlighting the in-store shopping advantages and merging old-fashioned customer service with modern technology. When the customer conveniently picks up their purchase on the way home from work, a friendly smile and a physical shopping bag puts brick and mortar stores back at the head of the retail pack. Later on, the brick and mortar store can ensure a repeat visit from a loyal customer by sending the shopper a digital thank you and a reward to stop back in. Old-fashioned customer service blended with modern technology sounds like a delicious recipe for retail success, doesn’t it?

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!

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!

Using Mobile Retail Analytics to Stay in Touch with Shoppers

Shopping in stores involves a lot of looking — browsing without buying is an accepted part of the shopping experience. But what if you could follow up with shoppers after they’ve left your brick & mortar store to find out why a particular sale didn’t happen?

Using ShoppinPal’s dashboard, store owners can pinpoint exactly which products customers browsed the most. Store owners can then use that captured  “intent data” to follow up with shoppers via email.
Using ShoppinPal’s dashboard, store owners can pinpoint exactly which products customers browsed the most. Store owners can then use that captured “intent data” to follow up with shoppers via email.

Today, store owners have no idea why a shopper might pick up an item in a store and then put it down again without buying it. Although some good guesses might be:

  1. Not enough information (or recommendations) on the item
  2. Long line to checkout at register
  3. Desire to compare prices elsewhere
  4. Not enough incentive to purchase

Step One: Give customers what they want.
With the lines continuing to blur between traditional retail, mobile, and e-commerce, store merchants are exploring new ways to anticipate and address shoppers’ needs. For store owners implementing mobile commerce apps like ShoppinPal, this means offering shoppers who are “just looking” a way to learn more about a product he or she may be interested in using their mobile phones. It may also mean using mobile technology to show related items and offer product recommendations, offer rewards and incentives to purchase while customers are physically in the store, and allow them to checkout using their mobile phones.

Step Two: Follow up on captured shopper intent data.
But after you’ve addressed your customers’ immediate in-store needs, there will still be those customers who choose not to buy — even after expressing interest in a particular product. For those customers, your best bet is to follow up with them after they’ve left your store. This is where the retail data you’ve collected using mobile app technology becomes invaluable.

As store shoppers check for product information on their mobile phones, or check for customer rewards or product recommendations, that data is automatically captured and made available to the store owner. We call this “shopper intent data” because it captures a shopper’s interest in a particular item. It can help you as a store owner gauge that shopper’s intent to buy at a later date — and can also help you pinpoint why the in-store sale didn’t happen.

Once you’ve captured intent data, it’s relatively easy to follow up with shoppers by creating highly targeted email and mobile offers just for them (see example below).

Highly targeted mobile marketing for retailers

These email and mobile offers might include discounts for an item browsed in store, special offers for similar items, or customer rewards good for their next in-store purchase.

To learn more about capitalizing on shopper intent data, download our Analytics Overview.

Step Three: Test and learn from your campaigns.
Over time, you can use retail analytics (such as ShoppinPal’s analytics dashboard) to determine which email and mobile offers are effective and which ones aren’t. The more you know, the more you can refine and target your offers to specific customers and customer groups.

The idea is to give store shoppers a reason to make a return visit — so they can make that purchase after all.

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

Leveraging Mobile Commerce to Build a Loyal Customer Base

The role mobile commerce plays in retail has become an important topic over the past year. Recent studies have confirmed that shoppers are increasingly using their cell phones in stores to help them make buying decisions. And this means that retailers must come up with new ways to keep customers in their stores – and keep them coming back.

What is customer loyalty?

There are many ways to view and define customer loyalty. We view it as a strong emotional connection between the shopper and a particular merchant or brand. In fact, loyal customers act as brand advocates, often convincing their friends and family members to become loyal customers too.

When a loyal customer thinks of a particular merchant or brand, it’s not a question of whether he or she will buy from that merchant again, but when. The value in building a loyal customer base is obvious – you don’t have to spend months or years trying to convince customers that your products or services are worth buying. Loyal customers are already convinced – they’re just looking (or waiting) for the right price or product incentive.

So how can you as a retailer build customer loyalty?

The key is to combine the best of both in-store and online retail experiences. Loyal customers will want to know that they’re valued, and be instantly “recognized” whether they’re in your store or browsing your store online. They also want the ease of online shopping while physically in your store. And, they want to enjoy the overall shopping experience – so much so that they look forward to their next in-person visit to your store.

Think about your own experiences with brands you trust. What is it these brands have in common? Here’s our short list:

  • Rich in-store and online experiences with helpful sales interactions
  • Accessible product recommendations and reviews
  • Easy-to-locate items
  • Smooth, fast checkout
  • Hassle-free returns
  • Personalized rewards and offers

Mobile technology is a great enabler for this. Give your customers a way to interact with your store via their mobile phones while physically in your store, and you instantly create an enjoyable, convenient shopping experience customers will seek out again and again.

For example, one of our customers, a high-end beverage retailer in New York City, uses mobile technology to help their in-store staff offer recommendations to shoppers based on products they’ve purchased in the past. Customers can access their past receipts on their phones, and the staff can take a quick look at those past purchases, get an idea of that shopper’s taste preferences, and offer personalized recommendations. It’s an experience that can’t be replicated online. And one that gives shoppers an incentive to keep coming back.

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