Are You Using Mobile Retail Solutions To Meet Your Customers’ Needs?
With the rise of cross-channel shopping, consumers have retailers at their fingertips. Mobile retail solutions like smartphone apps enable customers to access nearly all the same services available when shopping in a store, including inventory information and the ability to make purchases.
Modern, tech-savvy consumers expect to browse inventory, find deals and receive product recommendations across multiple shopping channels. Apparel retailers in particular should take advantage of this mobile shift in consumer behavior. Mobile technology enhances what every retailer seeks to do, which is fulfill customers’ needs better than their competition.
Apparel retailers looking to embrace mobile retail solutions should start by developing retail loyalty programs that evolve with mobile technology. While loyalty programs are considered a best practice in maintaining a strong customer base, many retailers don’t have a loyalty program. The first step in creating such a program is determining what should drive it. Should customers earn loyalty points or dollar coupons? Or should the loyalty program combine both earning methods?
With a help of a retail ERP system, retailers can develop the ideal loyalty program that evolves with their growing business and mobile technology. After earning buy-in with a loyalty program, retailers will be in a great position to get the most out of their customer contacts using mobile technology.
Traditional retail loyalty programs on mobile platforms have been used to track customer loyalty points or purchase history. But now, many mobile apps offer the same capabilities as an e-commerce website. For example, air travelers no longer need to print out tickets or flight itineraries. They can use their airline’s smartphone apps to purchase tickets, display e-tickets at the gate, review flight statuses, review reward points and receive alerts.
In addition, mobile technology is helping retailers to be more efficient in catering to their most loyal customers. When retailers push coupons or discounts to a specific group of their mobile app users, those customers are able to redeem store offers and purchase through a mobile app without visiting a store or e-commerce website. Mobile apps also can empower customers with real-time inventory information at nearby stores or provide directions to the nearest retail location using geo-tracking technology.
To help retailers get started with mobile technology, some systems come standard with a customizable retail app already optimized for various mobile operating platforms. This helps retailers save money and time when implementing mobile retail technology.
Still, when it comes to mobile apps, retailers must dedicate the necessary time and resources to create a solution that will best fulfill customer needs. Retailers that make a minimum investment and adopt a “see how it goes” attitude will likely end up with an app that creates more work. For example, if the mobile app isn’t integrated with their retail ERP system, retailers will only be able to process mobile orders if they’re manually re-entered into the system. Retailers need to integrate business processes with any mobile app deployment to be successful.
Mobile technology has made multi-channel shopping a staple in a changing retail landscape. That’s why it’s critical to implement mobile retail solutions that better serve your customers’ needs.
Author: Thomas Nielsen, Consultant at ArcherPoint
Thomas Nielsen is a presales consultant with ArcherPoint. For nearly 20 years, Thomas has held leadership roles in private industry and within Microsoft Dynamics NAV Partners including Tectura and AVF Consulting, working exclusively with retail organizations and specializing in Dynamics NAV and LS Retail installation across Europe, Asia, and Australasia. Thomas holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Administration and a Master’s in Information Technology. He is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and a Certified LS Retail Consultant.
To learn more about using mobile retail solutions, schedule a demo of ArcherPoint's Retail Management Solutions.