Last year was a banner year for mobile. Mobile search overtook desktop for the first time, heralding the smartphone as the connected digital device of choice. We also saw further market penetration for new mobile platforms such as wearables and mobile pay.
A study by MasterCard found that eight out of 10 consumers now use a computer, smartphone, tablet, or in-store technology while shopping.
Forrester also predicts that cross-channel retail sales with reach $1.8 trillion in the US by 2017.
The mobile device is increasingly becoming an essential part of the customer’s shopping journey. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons, NFC and QR codes are the latest proximity technologies on offer to retailers, providing an opportunity to engage with customers via their smartphone.
Retailers are increasingly experimenting with mobile to facilitate click-and-collect. Sam’s Club [Walmart], use mobiles to send notifications whenever an order is ready for in-store pickup. Nordstrom in May 2015, started testing a service that lets customers text or call their Nordstrom associate as they near the store. The store employee will head down and meet the customer outside, so they don’t even have to get out of their car.
We anticipate that more retailers will also adopt social selling solutions such as Soldsie (selling through comments) and Like2Buy (user generated content galleries). Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all released buy buttons in 2015, and while none of them gained widespread adoption, we can expect social networks to continue investing in social commerce.
We also expect that users will continue using social networks to discover and talk about products, so retailers should keep investing in their social media initiatives. Forty-three percent of social media users respond that they have purchased a product after sharing or favoriting it on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter.
42% of customers will conduct research in-store
When a customer starts looking at their phone in-store, studies have shown that 42% of customers of them may be doing in-store research, to help them find the perfect product. Using mobile to improve the in-store experience can help to convert these shoppers. Cosmetics brand Sephora’s app gives consumers easy access to product reviews and ratings, allowing in-store shoppers to access this information before deciding whether to buy. Similarly Macy’s mobile app also lets users scan product barcodes in-store, so that they can view online reviews, promotions, and more.
On lien stores can offer more choice of unlimited products but users tire of endless searching. Retailers that seem to be winning, whether on line or on premise are the ones that ‘curate assortments’ i.e. who carefully select the top styles, show the top models, or a showcase of ‘good, better, best’ instead of trying to stock every color, or every single SKU.”
71% of those shoppers who research in-store say it’s an important part of the experience
Retailers need to keep up with this trend and provide customers with the in-store mobile technology they need. More retailers are now able to appreciate the ROI of their mobile strategies , and the majority are looking to further their investment in mobile. Innovations include: beacons to send coupons, information and offers to customers’ smartphones, while they shop. According to a report published by Eagle Eye, beacons will be used to distribute around 1.6 billion coupons to smartphones annually by 2020.
Starbucks, recently streamlined this process by updating its app’s barcode screen to show available rewards, offers, and coupons. to ensure users won’t forget that they have a redeemable reward and they don’t have to pull up a separate screen to redeem the offer.
Omnichannel shoppers spend more money
The key focus for retailers in 2016 will be omnichannel. No matter what industry you’re in or how complicated your operations are, bringing online and offline together is important in every facet of your retail business.
To attract consumers who spend more, it turns out that an effective mobile strategy is key . In 2015, IDC research found that shoppers who buy on and offline have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who only shop via one channel.
Omnichannel strategies will also drive more retailers to adopt cloud-based apps, because these solutions enable them to scale quickly, work from anywhere, and get real-time insights into various aspects of their business. Maintaining an item file, accurate inventory levels, and managing a pricing system between channels is one of the foundational roadblocks for a lot of retailers who are not necessarily managing their stores and their online business with the same platform.
In 2016, we’ll see more small and medium retailers adopt single-view and cloud-based tools. Since these businesses are a lot more nimble and aren’t usually tied down to large, complicated legacy systems, they’re in a great position to switch to omnichannel technologies.
Omnichannel retailing introduces a lot of complexities, not just in terms of operations and order fulfillment, but also when it comes to fraud prevention.
65% of retailers believe they lack the tools to effectively manage omnichannel fraud.
By 2019, 9.1% of all retail sales will be made on mobile
The rise of mobile commerce isn’t set to slow down In their report, ‘The Future of M-Commerce’, Barclay’s predict that 9.1% of all retail sales will be made on mobile by 2019, in comparison to the 3% of retail sales that were made on mobile in 2014. This figure equates to sales of around £32bn. Retailers who don’t invest in mobile will miss out.
Nearly half of shoppers say they are more likely to visit mobile-orientated stores
It’s a common misconception that consumers will abandon bricks and mortar stores in favour of online shopping. However, a report by VoucherCodes.co.uk and Centre for Retail Research found that 44% of consumers would be more likely to visit mobile-orientated stores, making it clear that mobile commerce is actually driving shoppers back onto the high-street – and into your retail store.
40% of consumers feel that the mobile experience could be improved
The same report also found that 40% of consumers feel that the mobile experience could be improved, suggesting that retailers could be doing much more to cater for mobile shoppers. This echoes how many retailers feel about the importance of improving the mobile experience, with 66% saying that investment in mobile would help them to drive growth.
51% of consumers expect transactions to be easier on mobile
Shopping on mobile is about convenience. Consumers want to be make purchases on-the-go, without the hassle of switching to a laptop or computer – and this requirement raises the bar for retailers in terms of mobile usability. Ensure that your mobile website offers a seamless customer journey– particularly because 40% of people will switch to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.
Frictionless shopping has always been an objective of omnichannel. In 2016, we anticipate companies will further explore ways to reduce friction in the shopping journey. We can already see signs of this happening. The Amazon Dash button, for instance, makes re-ordering possible with literally just a push of a button.
Millennials are the most coveted audience among brand advertisers and retailers, and this year they grew to be larger than even the baby boomers. They are also the demographic most driving wearable device adoption, owning 50 percent of that market. Other industries have developed wearable interactions that bring utility, convenience and delight to customers – from ordering Ubers to updates on changing airport gates. Retailers have only scratched the surface to this point
Awareness of mobile payment has risen 10 percent in the last year but adoption has only gained one percent. Even with the slow growth, we are starting to see the category give rise to payment agnosticism. Retailers understand that they need to accommodate the transaction any way their customers want to pay, and that the walled garden may ultimately not work for them in future. This trend will only continue in the coming year as the benefits of mobile pay are more fully realized.
PayPal, recently rolled out the PayPal Here Chip Card reader. PayPal’s device is compatible with iOS and Android devices, and is built to accept both EMV and magnetic stripe cards, as well as NFC payments such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.
Similarly, Mercury, is a payment solution that equips retailers with the hardware they need to accept EMV cards as well as mobile payments. There’s also Poynt, a smart terminal that supports several payment technologies including magnetic cards, EMV, NFC, and QR codes.
As retailers increasingly adopt these payment solutions, expect more stores to start accepting additional payment types, most notably EMV cards and mobile payments.
Loyalty and promotions?
According to a study by MasterCard, only 18% of respondents considered promotions as important. The study also found that “in choosing a retailer, omnishoppers prioritize value, track record and convenience, over loyalty rewards.”
3% of people expect to do more mobile shopping in future
It’s simple: the ability to easily shop on mobile is what consumers want. A worldwide study by Latitude found that 63% of people expect to do more mobile shopping over the next few years, with 77% of smartphone users shopping regularly on their mobile, even when they’re at home.
Retailers will use mobile devices
In 2016, we anticipate the continued adoption of mobile devices such as mPOS systems and in-store tablet. A merchant using mobile technology well is cookware retailer Borough Kitchen, which runs Vend on their iPads.A tablet-based POS system improves the customer experience and speeds up. During their peak hours and the holiday season add new tills by switching on additional iPads to reduce queues and ring up sales much faster.
Mobile devices are just the beginning. In addition to using mPOS systems and in-store tablets, some retailers (particularly larger merchants) will likely look into ways they can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) in their locations.
A study by McKinsey found that the uses of IoT in retail could have an economic impact of $410 billion to $1.2 trillion per year in 2025. That may be a long way off go, but what are your competitors doing now?
Big data and video analytics will clarify and add value to the personal shopping conversation.
Ask us about TCPOS, and Microsoft Dynamics Retail.