Why Retailers Need an Omnichannel Strategy – Part 2: The Power of Mobile

In Part 1 of our series, we established the value in small businesses creating a seamless path to purchase across multiple channels. Now it's time to explore one of those channels more closely: mobile.

Smartphones have become one of the most vital tools to engaging customers – both online and in your store. To make the most of this opportunity, you have to understand how consumers use their phones differently in these unique situations.

Lead consumers to your store

A 2014 study by Google found that smartphones can help direct consumers into stores by providing up-to-date, local information.

Consumers who can use their mobile phones to check a store’s hours, location and inventory are more likely to head down to the store because they know they’ll find what they’re seeking.

And once they’re in your store, their phones will continue to be a resource for them.

Create an in-store resource

As explained by Localytics, mobile connects the online and in-store experience by providing an opportunity to have quick, easy access to information whether a sales associate is available or not.

In fact, consumers are becoming increasingly inclined to turn to their phones for help over store associates. The 2014 Google study reports:

  • 42 percent of brick-and-mortar shoppers turn to their smartphones to find information while shopping in stores.
  • 46 percent of those shoppers use the retailer's own website or mobile app.

This makes it increasingly important to have updated, relevant information available on your mobile sites or apps. Over time, more and more consumers are expected to see mobile access to information as a part of their in-store experiences. 

Know what shoppers are looking for

Consumers still enjoy shopping in stores. Today, they want their phones to help them do it.

A survey of smartphone owners conducted by Research Now and cited by MediaPost broke down what shoppers use their phones for in stores:

  • 57 percent search for coupons and other offers
  • 49 percent look for product information
  • 52 percent compare prices
  • 40 percent access social media

Get social in-store

In-store engagement with social media can help you boost brand awareness and engage customers.

Encourage consumers to post pictures with your products using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram hashtags. Both in-store and on the go, this can be a fun way to generate more interaction and exposure.  

In summary

A strong mobile presence is a very important piece of the path-to-purchase puzzle. Whether generating online sales, attracting shoppers to your store, or enhancing your in-store customer service team, a robust mobile experience can help increase revenue and loyalty, by bringing you closer to a sound omnichannel strategy. 

Thank you for reading Part 2 of our series on how retailers can benefit from an omnichannel strategy. Check back soon for "Part 3: Social Media" to learn how you can increase customer loyalty and satisfaction by embracing social media.