No longer a simple means of communicating with friends or catching up on the news, the smartphone now influences all facets of daily life. The smartphone’s impact, however, is especially palpable in retail, with users engaging with their phones throughout the entirety of the shopping experience. From online shopping events to in-store mobile deals, the smartphone had, instead of supplanting traditional shopping, made it an even more integral part of the 2014 holiday season.
In-store Apps Attract and Retain Customers
Consumers appreciate anything that makes the average shopping trip more convenient. With the help of in-store retail apps, shoppers can quickly find the items they desire before completing the check-out purchase in record time. Functional in-store apps convince shoppers to leave the comfort of their homes and head to local department stores. More importantly, these apps keep customers engaged while shopping on the merchant’s website, thus reducing the risk of scoping out in-store items before purchasing similar products from alternative online retailers. Exclusive deals for app users are also effective, with shoppers promised additional app-based discounts proving more likely to complete significant purchases.
Social Media and Shopping
From the branded shirt to the Facebook check-in, shoppers have long influenced the retail habits of their friends and family members — and they continue to do so today. The modern retailer’s multi-faceted approach to smartphone shopping includes a combination of in-store apps, online shopping deals, and social media targeting. Facebook users are encouraged to let their friends know exactly where they are completing their holiday shopping. Later, users share photos and reviews of the items they have purchased, thereby convincing their friends to follow suit. The next step is for retailers to integrate social media usage with in-store apps, thereby achieving a well-rounded mobile marketing approach.
Retail App Optimization and Mobile Marketing
Retail applications attract consumers to stores and convince them to spend more than they would if they visited without their smartphones. The usefulness of the in-store app certainly does not end there, for once a given shopping app has been added to a customer’s mobile device, the retail provider is able to track the individual’s purchases, use of mobile coupons and more. The valuable information gained through this tracking process allows the retailer to target consumers with ads that reflect their shopping history. The result? A more engaged customer base, eager to embrace the smartphone’s takeover of the shopping experience.