95% of millennials say they want brands to court them. Over half say that text messages have an influence on their shopping behavior - Accenture 2015
More than two-thirds of all internet usage is from a mobile device, so it is hardly surprising that retailers recognize the opportunity to enhance the shopping experience by implementing mobile-based omnichannel strategies.
In 2015, figures show that a whopping one-third of total ecommerce sales came from mobile, which is expected to grow 2X as fast as online sales. By shifting focus to mobile, retailers are creating further enhancements to the consumer experience, both online and in-store.
We know that consumers want a range of options when they shop; by providing real-time assistance through mobile devices, retailers are able to enhance existing interactions and impact sales.
According to the 2015 E-Commerce Survey, twenty-five percent of retailers say a new or upgraded mobile site is a top priority, with a further twelve percent saying the same of a mobile app.
While mobile users already use a plethora of apps, consumers might not utilize a retail app for security reasons or space restrictions on their device - especially if they don’t anticipate high usage in the beginning.
Using Mobile Data to Improve the Consumer Experience
Mobile apps allow retailers to capture useful data from their customers; however, consumer adoption is crucial. Removing the barrier between the consumer and the expertise they need to make informed purchase decisions shows that retailers are rolling out initiatives that align with consumer habits.
Easy-to-find information on products that doesn’t force the consumer through a registration process or requires constant searching through multiple layers is still lacking on many mobile sites.
It is becoming increasingly necessary to implement a mobile strategy; if a consumer is undecided on a purchase, they need to know the retailer has put in place the necessary means to assist them in the moment of truth.
Six percent of retailers can identify a customer by their phone when they enter the store. This is expected to rise to thirty-nine percent by 2017. Identifying the customer when they enter the store (brick and mortar or online) will enable associates to provide a personalized service to that individual, including sending personalized messages directly to their device.
Mobile users are more tolerant of these types of interaction, especially as they become more common. They see the impact on their shopping experience, especially as retailers are using the data collected to continually improve what they can offer today’s consumer.
Incorporating an Optimized Omnichannel Experience via Mobile
Proper communication between retailers, brands and their various departments further impacts the overall consumer experience. Although simply having a presence is important, offering quality targeted content and a high-end service is the most effective strategy for mobile shoppers.
There are many lost opportunities happening with omnichannel. Not arming consumers with the best tools to become more informed about specific products and stock levels only prevents them from finding the best product for their specific needs, resulting in a negative consumer experience and a lost sale for the retailer.
Today’s smartphone user has a constant and unlimited source of information at their fingertips; they can research products while in-store before committing to a purchase, and compare other products on different sites. Creating an accessible way to answer consumer questions, to deliver an exceptional in-store and online shopping experience, is more important now than ever, as consumers turn to their smartphone instead of a store associate when shopping.