4 Mobile Solutions Reshaping the Future of Retail

Mobile has evolved into an integral module to tackling everyday pursuits, as well as precipitating new opportunities in various marketplaces. In today’s era of retail, smartphones have persevered as the most profitable shopping avenue, accumulating nearly 70% of transactions.

While the rise of mobile shopping has instilled more choice, flexibility and better service among consumers, new solutions are continuing to penetrate the marketplace and sculpt the industry’s future. Technological advancements have unleashed this fast-growing desire in shoppers to have more control throughout the purchasing funnel. By grasping the evolution of these mobile trends, industry leaders will be better equipped to implement solutions that drive more transactions and proliferate brand loyalty.

The Rise of Intuitive Shopping Applications

For retailers, persuading consumers to download and use mobile apps has become the holy grail of shopping, as these consumers shop more frequently and uphold a nearly indestructible badge of brand loyalty. Many retailers are taking advantage of this trend to regain control of purchasing decisions. However, with a wide gamut of investments in mobile app technologies, it is imperative for these shopping tools to add substantial value to end users.

Before launching this integral component to a mobile strategy, first determine what value it will pledge to the consumer. Whether it will enrich the customer experience or instill a more on-demand shopping journey, ensuring the value proposition aligns with the desires of target consumers will establish a higher likelihood of profitability and brand allegiance.

Enhancing Smartphone Transactions

Mobile payments have evolved into one of the most distinguished trends among consumers, as new research predicts it will steadily grow by 62% in 2016 alone. As consumers’ shopping habits continue to progress, this retail innovation will fortify the omnichannel experience and influence a dramatic adoption rate. Additionally, the substantial shift will trigger a requisite for retailers to implement this approach to not only improve the buying journey, but also optimize operational efficiency.

Channels of mobile payments instill many benefits, as it correlates to industrious checkouts and employs the integration of loyalty programs and reward cards. Stores also are enabled to obtain more comprehensive reports on specific shopping habits. On the consumer side, a new level of protection is initiated specifically during widespread data breaches that plastic cards – despite the new enhancements – fail to enthrall.

Implementing Mobile Search Visualization  

Consumers harnessing mobile devices as indispensable shopping tools has elevated the demand for efficient and more personalized brand interactions. While this transition to mobile has also phenomenally increased the magnitude of buyer confidence harnessed by consumers, it has also allowed brands to meticulously investigate the new mobile frontier and infuse new tactics to dramatically convert sales.

One pioneering tactic is the implementation of top-of-the-line visualization tools. Industry trailblazers are incorporating mobile visual search technology that enables users to capture photos of desired products and search brand inventory for the same or similar item. With visual search enhancements creating a shift away from organic searches, they are also boasting more opportunities for direct response initiatives that strengthen conversion rates. Analogous technology is likely to evolve tremendously in 2017 through the inclusion of messaging amplifications and concierge platforms.

Incorporating Geo-targeted Initiatives

Mobile is allowing merchants to deliver a highly immersive shopping experience and become an extension of its storefront. With a large number of retailers continuing to enhance mobile in today’s hyper-connected world, a subset of these brands are employing geo-targeted marketing initiatives via smartphones to help stay aligned with the ever-moving preferences of shoppers. Although these location-based marketing strategies have been cultivated by brands previously, this ripe stratagem can inaugurate new engagement opportunities when executed appropriately.

While consumer privacy will always be a top concern, retailers need to be reluctant when employing these strategies. Instilling control within consumers and allowing them to opt-in to push notifications and GPS-enabled content is vital.

Target is one big-box retailer that has executed this strategy impeccably. By leveraging product location and customer data, among other variables, the company is able to push out personalized promotions to customers as they shop based on specific in-store location. Using the app, it enables customers to agree to have their movements tracked to receive recommendation alerts on their smartphone. This allows the brand is execute a pursuant approach by delivering timely, location-appropriate content.

Mike Bornhorst is the CEO of DirectBuy

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