Earlier this year, Walmart launched its Scan & Go feature for its Walmart app. Customers can use their device to scan items as they put them in their cart and then pay by phone at a self check-out station. As more and more shoppers enjoy this new way of shopping in Walmart, other retailers are wondering how they can offer the same Walmart scan & go experience to their customers without breaking the bank.
ShoppinPal is a similar mobile commerce app for retail stores and a great fit for early adopters across a range of retail verticals, such as gift and novelty, home furnishings, sporting goods, and even department stores. Retailers stand to gain the most by tying into the ever growing smartphone populace.
Analyzing the Problem
Even with Walmartâ€™s emphasis on dominating through its brick-and-mortar presence, they are embracing mobile technology to recover their declining in-store retail sales. On May 16, Walmart reported its first same-store sales drop in seven quarters and only a slight increase in profit. However, quarterly online sales soared.
So, Walmart, like many other location-based retailers, studied its customers to determine why in-store retail sales were suffering. It found one-third of Walmart.com traffic comes from mobile visitors.
Its discoveries matched the lessons that ShoppinPalâ€™s team has learned along the way — customers want mobile access to some of the best online shopping features (convenience, mobile check-out, personalized offers, etc.) if theyâ€™re going to shop in-store.
When Walmart began piloting its scan & go app at a small number of locations, we were busy deploying ShoppinPal with the “Pay at Counter” experience across several boutique retailers in U.S. along with consumer analytics and remarketing features that enabled them to continue the conversation with their customers, even after they had left the store.
The mounting empirical evidence shows that consumers care about more than just paying on their phone and skipping the line — it’s about making their life easier with every aspect of the shopping experience.
We realized this early on and focused on all those other little things that make for a perfect shopping experience, such as the ability to see product recommendations, save items on shopping lists or gift registries, and easily receive and redeem check-in rewards and personalized offers.
Adapting to Smaller Retail Stores
What if every small and midsized retail store could spec out their own mobile experience a-la-carte and have it ready in a matter of days and not months without any of their own IT effort? That’s exactly what weâ€™ve done for our customers. We are changing the world of retail and providing equal access to this kind of mobile integration to brick & mortar stores of all sizes.
Some small to midsized businesses may believe this technology wonâ€™t apply to every brand or make assumptions that their customers wonâ€™t find the same advantages in a mobile experience that Walmartâ€™s customers are enjoying. However, consider these trends — smartphones account for over 60% of all mobile phones sold in the US. In a 2013 Pew survey, 72% of smartphone owners reported using devices while shopping in stores. The Starbucks app now has over 4 million engaged users per week. All of these are strong indicators of the untapped potential of mobile technology to turbo charge brick & mortar sales.
Mobile integration is a huge opportunity for brick & mortar stores to drive people back into stores and successfully compete with online retailers by offering shoppers a richer in-store shopping experience. Continue to promote the benefits of in-store shopping (immediate delivery, easy returns, try before you buy, etc.) and combine that with mobile features to provide the customer a better, streamlined shopping experience.
We canâ€™t all be Walmart in size, but ShoppinPal has made it easy for every retail store to have a Walmart-sized strategy!
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