Mobile is now making a solid place for itself, and retailers need to make sure that their strategies are prepared for this new kind of shopper that will use the device to gain information, who are prepared to leave a store after scanning a product’s barcode in order to find better prices online, and who will shop from the comfort of their own home without even heading out to a store’s physical location.
Some of the suggestions that have been made for these retailers to make sure that they are prepared for mobile commerce are the following:
• Have a mobile optimized site – a growing number of consumers use the mobile web in order to investigate a certain retail brand, and more of them are using this technique than are using mobile apps for this purpose. Research by Google has indicated that between 2009 and 2011, the number of mobile searches increased by almost three times, and that the figure continues to rise. Thirty percent of all search activity is performed from a mobile device. At the same time, though 79 percent of the top advertisers at Google had not optimized their mobile site.
• Have a strategy for managing scan-and-scram – consumers now have the ability to scan a product’s barcode while in a store and find out if there is a better price elsewhere. A strategy for this trend should be put into place. Lowe’s, for example, has armed its own staff members with iPhones so that they can provide better information and discounts to discourage the loss of customers who believe they have found a better deal at another business.
• Be tablet friendly – shoppers love the tablet experience, so providing them with a tablet-friendly app that will function as an enhanced catalog with clear images, detailed information, and the ability to zoom and swipe. Retailers should also get themselves ready for a tablet-initiated web experience in HTML5.