Bricks and Clicks: How Will Mobile Be Used Within Stores?

I’m back to talk about some interesting ways mobile strategies for etailers can be factored into improving customer experience online and in-store. If you didn’t see my previous blog post on the intersection of online retail and traditional brick and mortar, then check it out!

As mobile eCommerce grows into 2013, there are so many options and strategies emerging that make the most out of a mobile shopping experience and how to leverage mobile to increase sales in-stores. Most new ideas are focused on increasing shopper engagement in-store with mobile apps. Creating a great mobile shopping experience is step one in growing your mobile strategy, but what lies beyond?

In a recent article on TechCrunch, the stats are clear: retail mobile app usage has grown five times in the last year. And the growth of mobile is only going to become more relevant in the next five years. The article identifies five different categories of mobile shopping apps:

1. Retailer Apps
2. Price Comparison
3. Purchase Assistants
4. Online Marketplace
5. Daily Deals

TechCrunch reports that 27% of time spent mobile shopping is on retailers apps, which is up by 15% since 2011. With those kind of numbers, creating a stellar mobile shopping experience is the building block of a solid mobile commerce strategy. But what can be done to add to your mobile strategy beyond a stellar app or mobile site?

Mobile etail marketing – where bricks meet clicks (or taps)!

The two main categories of mobile app that aids the physical and mobile shopper are purchase assistants and price comparisons.

Price Comparison

Price Comparison apps function to use your smartphone’s ability to scan barcodes, price compare and find the nearest retailer! An example would be Google Shopper. Outstripping your competitors in savings in-store or online could be the key to conversion with these apps.

Purchase Assistants

Purchase Assistants are my favourite kind of mobile shopping app. They bring together creative marketing opportunities, branding and offer you the ability to show off your best assets –your products! A great example is Shopkick. Shopkick is mobile shopping meets Pinterest meets Foursquare – reward your customers for checking in at their local retail location while bringing them in the door with an outstanding display of much coveted products.  Shopkick is not super popular this side of the 49th parallel, but with the increased growth of smartphone penetration in Canada and the need for Canadian retailers to grow at pace with their customers passion for technology, there will be more apps on offer for building your mobile eCommerce strategy by engaging customers online, on mobile and in store.