Retailers that operate out of physical shops are increasingly using mobile marketing techniques as a direct result of the fact that the people they see shopping in their locations often have smartphones or other mobile devices in their hands.
As this makes much of their target market able to access the mobile web and retail apps, this opens up a tremendous opportunity to retailers who are keen to increase the frequency of trips that the customers make, as well as the amount that they purchase.
Since customers that have smartphones can use the device at any time – including as they shop – retailers can use their own mobile strategy to intercept those shoppers while they are headed to make a purchase at another merchant’s store, or while they are already inside the doors of their own shop.
Furthermore, many retailers are using their own mobile devices – primarily tablets – to provide employees and shoppers that don’t yet have smartphones or tablets access to all of the information they would have available through e-commerce, but within the brick-and-mortar store. Leading the way in this effort are companies such as The Disney Store, J.C. Penny Co. Inc., Nordstrom Inc., The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Recreational Equipment Inc., Old Navy, and Things Remembered.
But these techniques are only the start. Apps for a customer’s own mobile device are being developed by many retailers to help a customer shop while they are in the store, to make the experience easier, more pleasant, and more productive.
Some companies are providing Wi-Fi within their walls and are including their entire stock online on their mobile app to make it easier to search through the inventory and find what is available – even if they haven’t yet spotted it in person.
Others have handheld mobile checkout devices for their associates so that customers can checkout wherever they wish, instead of having to be walked to the cash register.
From bringing the customer to the shop, to assisting with the in-store experience, and even adapting the point of sale, retailers are finding virtually limitless potential to the use of mobile devices.