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4 Mobile Commerce Features That Can Boost In-Store Sales

Couple using mobile device to purchase online

With more shoppers turning to their phones for nearly everything, retailers should take advantage of mobile commerce features to convert mobile browsers into buyers.

Mobile commerce doesn’t solely refer to making purchases via a mobile device. It covers any mobile transaction of financial, information or retail services, such as online banking or bill pay. The skyrocketing growth of smartphone sales is a sure sign that more consumers will make mobile commerce a natural part of their buying decision process.

Here are four different ways that mobile commerce features can influence or enable in-store sales.

  1. Design a mobile-friendly website: Mobile websites function as a modern storefront in the digital age. Before entering your brick-and-mortar store, shoppers have likely browsed your mobile site for inventory availability, contact information, directions and more. If your mobile visitors aren’t able to easily navigate your mobile site or access your site content on their smartphone, they’ll likely leave your site. That’s why mobile-friendly sites are critical for retailers.
  2. Encourage or enhance digital couponing: Retailers can encourage customers to continually shop at their stores by making coupons more accessible via mobile devices.

    For instance, did a customer forget to bring in the direct mail coupon that expires today? If so, allow for the coupon to be redeemed when it’s displayed on a smartphone. Does your store offer multiple coupons for different items? Create a mobile app that enables customers to save all digital coupons in one app. Then at the checkout, customers can display a single barcode to redeem the discounts.

    The key, however, is to identify the best way to display mobile coupons that encourages customers to buy at your store. Customers will likely become frustrated if you require printed digital coupons in order to redeem the savings, so make sure your retail point of sale (POS) system is capable of scanning coupon barcodes from a smartphone.

  3. Make room for “webrooming”: Many retailers made changes to deal with “showrooming” — in which customers research a product in a store but buy it online — when that trend was on the rise. But now, retailers need to embrace “webrooming,” known as the practice of researching a product online but purchasing it in a store.

    Finding lower prices online was the driver behind the growth of showrooming. But these days, rock-bottom prices don’t always close the sale. Webrooming considers how multiple channels — web, mobile, social media — all play a role in influencing a sale regardless of where the purchase is made.

    Midsize retailers can make room for webrooming by creating a seamless shopping experience across all retail channels. For example, your mobile commerce site should include products that are only sold in stores. That way, your website is encouraging customers to obtain the product through in-store pickup, encouraging in-store sales.

  4. Guide shoppers in your store to the products they are looking for: Retailers are not only competing for consumer dollars, but also vying for shopping convenience. That includes empowering customers to locate or get more information about a product while in the store.

    It’s possible to provide that inventory visibility through mobile radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags or Bluetooth technology. With mobile RFID, for example, retailers can track inventory anywhere in the store. Each RFID tag is able to relay a gold mine of information, including inventory location and current stock level.

    With RFID technology, an appliance store employee could lead customers to a specific item, instead of pointing them to an aisle or an area of the store. For example, RFID technology could handily locate a refrigerator on a sales floor with certain specifications requested by the customer. Theoretically, a retailer could create a mobile app in which customers search for a product and a map displays the product’s location in the store.

    Many retailers don’t use RFID tags because they’re expensive, but the technology should become less expensive and more economical as time passes. That may be five to 10 years down the road, but when that time comes, some retailers may lose out on sales because they didn’t have the technology or infrastructure to evolve.

Retailers that want to increase mobile commerce features like these should dedicate time and resources to effectively integrate them in their operations. They need to make sure their retail management system can adapt to mobile trends in the years to come.

Author: Wm. Matthew Street, Solutions Consultant/Retail Product Lead at ArcherPoint

To learn more about mobile commerce for mid-market retailers, schedule a demo of ArcherPoint's Retail Management Solutions.