Using Mobile To Enhance In-Store Experience

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Craig Smith  |  Founder & CEO

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you’ve probably noticed traditional sales greetings and friendly verbal outreach land on deaf, headphone-clad ears more than once. Take advantage of customers who prefer engaging with their phones over anyone with a name tag by introducing mobile-based interaction for shoppers and staffers. Smartphones open up a world of personalization possibilities, from sending out location-based beacons to consumers’ devices suggesting the perfect shoes to go with the skinny jeans they’re lingering by, to enabling team members to pull up customers’ previous purchases to make their own recommendations. Either way, you can get creative with optimizing the familiarity of mobile for your market in stores.

Many omnichannel retailers are already working on implementing this technology for their staff, according to an April 2014 study by the e-tailing group. More than half of businesses with both online and physical stores reported that they use tablets on the sales floor and 14 percent reported using Bluetooth. Most are taking advantage of digital to locate inventory across stores and to send e-receipts to customers.

If you decide to dip into this new trend, it may be best to ease shoppers into it as studies show most are not yet quite comfortable with such an intimate retail experience that reaches right into their pockets. Only 28 percent of American smartphone users find personalized recommendations based on their location within a store to be “acceptable,” according to an April 2014 report by PunchTab.

You can still integrate the magic of mobile in your brick-and-mortar locations without creeping out customers, if you stay focused on the employee end of things. Giving your sales team handheld devices is a great way to expedite non-disruptive communication between associates, provide more interactive sales pitches for products, and offer alternative payment options like PayPal and Google Wallet. As customers continue to shop with cell phones in hand, introducing more mobile-based interactions may be a great way to forge quicker connections and, ultimately, conversions.

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