Between near field communication (NFC) and QR codes, retail shopping is transforming.
All it takes is a quick tap of an iPhone or Android and customers are introduced to the next generation shopping experience. The perfect augmented shopping experience combines the appeal of online shopping and traditional shopping. While consumers are quickly embracing the augmented shopping experience, retailers are missing the mark.
“The ability to instantly get reviews and price comparisons while shopping has completely broken down the business model of physical retail stores,” wrote Michael H for PhoneArena. “Some stores have tried to embrace the change, but most are trying to avoid it.”
Don’t fall into the head-in-the-sand trap. Here’s how to perfect the augmented shopping experience.
1. Make It Mobile
79% of smartphone owners don’t leave home without their trusty mobile devices. 77% of them say they use their smartphones while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. There’s no denying that mobile is more popular than ever. However you choose to augment the shopping experience in-store, be sure it’s mobile-friendly.
2. Forget An App
Sometimes marketers have tunnel vision when it comes to mobile. Mobile doesn’t have to mean going through the motions of creating an app. In fact, the last thing customers want to do is load an app every single time they walk into a store. The perfect augmented shopping experience is quick, easy and intuitive.
3. Offer Product Insights
59% of smartphone owners use their mobile devices to search for product information. In fact, 23% specifically carry their smartphones so they can comparison shop. Still, 64% won’t look beyond the first page of Google for that information. Make it easier for them by highlighting product specs, ratings and reviews right away.
4. Push Targeted Offers
What’s great about the augmented shopping experience is that marketers can push promotional offers, discounts or targeted information to in-store customers. If a customer is getting information on a new luxury item, like a nice watch, he might want more specific manufacturer information. When marketers know what customers are looking at, they can push targeted information that gives the consumer more incentive to buy.
5. Embrace Video
Pamela Vaughan, in an article on HubSpot Blog, indicates that there will be 169.3 million online video viewers this year. The perfect augmented shopping experience embraces the widespread popularity of video. As the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube integration is vital. Help customers choose between products with demo videos, review videos, promotional videos – the possibilities are endless.
6. Social Still Reigns
The very best augmented shopping experiences pay special attention to social media capabilities. They make sharing with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ easy. They make leaving in-store comments and reviews on products even easier. From a list of her must-haves to a review of her latest purchase, spreading the word needs to be seamless.
7. Real Customer Service
Think of the effects of live chat on ecommerce websites. One marketer, Jonathan Volk, used live chat to increase sales by 300%. Now imagine that same concept applied to in-store shopping. When a product is scanned, a live chat offer request pops up. It sure beats having to search high and low for a product expert. Augmented shopping experiences, like Zaptap, can revolutionize customer service.
The augmented shopping experience is here to stay and more popular among consumers than ever before. Embrace the changing retail landscape and learn to perfect your experience! Your ever-evolving customers will thank you.
Yan Simard is the founder and CEO of Zaptap, a platform which creates augmented shopping experiences complete with in-store promotions and custom real-time notifications for consumers. Used by brands and agencies, Zaptap helps brands create a richer experience at the point of purchase decision. Follow Simard on Twitter @ysimard.