Leveraging Mobile Tech to Drive Positive Brick-and-Mortar Experiences
With more than half of smartphone owners using mobile devices to enhance their shopping experience, savvy retailers are leveraging smartphone capabilities to drive sales and increase shopper loyalty. OpinionLab, a provider of voice-of-customer (VOC) listening technologies and mobile feedback solutions, today unveiled five tips to help retailers engage with brick-and-mortar shoppers via smartphones.
“Smartphones are rapidly transforming the retail landscape and blurring the lines between online and in-store customer experience,” said Rand Nickerson, CEO of Highland Park, Ill.-based OpinionLab. “With many retailers generating greater revenues in the store compared to online, using mobile initiatives to incentivize in-store purchases will lead to improved sales. And, with millions of shoppers now engaging with retailers via mobile devices, brands have greater opportunities to listen, understand, and react to customer feedback through the mobile channel.”
OpinionLab’s patented methodology was developed to help brands collect, understand, and manage actionable VOC feedback across all customer touch points, including brick-and-mortar locations, mobile channels and apps, websites, and social-media properties. Based on insights generated from the feedback of mobile consumers, OpinionLab offers five essential tips to help brick-and-mortar retailers provide a more complete multichannel shopping experience.
Extend the aisle to keep customers engaged. Shoppers in the information age like to research before they buy, and 46 percent of consumers have used their phone to get product information while in a store. Put in-depth product detail at your customers’ fingertips, and you can mitigate their need to perform additional research and boost the likelihood of a purchase. Add quick response (QR) codes to in-store displays to draw customers directly to branded mobile sites that provide one-stop access to far more information than traditional brick-and-mortar aisles can provide: comprehensive product information, comparisons, and more.
Win the price war through exclusive incentives. Consumers today are shrewdly cost conscious, and 25 percent have used smartphones to compare prices while in a store. Take a proactive approach by pushing incentives through near-field communication (NFC) technology. For example, as a customer browses the outdoor furniture section, send an instant discount on patio umbrellas to his or her mobile device. Exclusive promotions appeal to savvy mobile consumers, according to OpinionLab, and highly targeted offers encourage customers to take action on special deals related to their shopping needs.
Embrace product reviews and demos. According to a Nielsen survey, 90 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trust consumer opinions posted online. Embrace this trend by making peer reviews and demos easy to access in the brick-and-mortar space. Keep shoppers in your brand backyard by linking them directly to reviews through QR codes on store displays and including store-made videos showing products in use.
Use games to engage and reward loyal customers. For the first time in history, the number of loyalty memberships in the US exceeds two billion, netting out to more than 18 memberships per household. That’s up 16 percent from the almost 1.8 billion memberships counted in 2008 (source: Colloquy’s Loyalty Census). Enhance loyalty programs by adding a social twist: invite shoppers to compare points with others or introduce customers via Twitter, Sonar, etc. based on buying patterns. Weave NFC or mobile geolocation technology in with such promotions to push special offers to shoppers who take certain actions, such as visiting a dressing room, filling a basket with $100 worth of merchandise, or spending a certain amount of time in the store.
Always be listening. Give consumers 24/7 access to customer service through their mobile devices and leverage social media to respond to questions and service inquiries via Twitter, Facebook, and the like. Most of all, make sure customers can send open-ended feedback directly to you at anytime, from anywhere using simple, opt-in mobile comment cards.
OpinionLab is the pioneer of real-time voice-of-customer (VOC) listening technologies. The patented methodology behind this page-specific, opt-in customer-feedback system helps many of the world’s brands collect, manage, and leverage input from engaged consumers. By inviting customers to share insight in their own words, at anytime, from anywhere, OpinionLab harnesses the collective intelligence of consumer voices, interprets that information, distributes it, and provides essential tools to make VOC data actionable. Consumers in 50 countries click on the familiar [+] symbol millions of times each month.