Shopping has become a mobile affair and today’s shoppers demand a lot from mobile to meet their needs. Shoppers are looking for information, recommendations and price comparisons, but those are just the basics. As technology becomes more savvy, so do shoppers. It’s similar to car shopping really, you buy for the function but the amenities and added features are what draw you in and seal the deal. Mobile has to meet that same need today, as shoppers look for it to meet them wherever they are in whatever stage they’re at. Hence the birth of showrooming as one of the newest trends, where shoppers engage their mobile to compare prices on the same product at different retailers. Retailers are increasingly fighting to keep shoppers in stores and engaged in immediate point of purchase endeavors. A local Oregon car dealership, Dick’s Mackenzie Ford, tells shoppers in its commercial to check online and then come to their dealership. They claim that if you make the trip, they’ll make the deal. Attempts like this to directly combat showrooming are not unusual.
Target is now taking on competitors like Amazon in offering a price match guarantee
. Geared towards assuring shoppers that they are getting the best deal around, the process offers hope. However, utilizing it is not the most user-friendly process around. Customers must bring in a purchase with proof of current price or the original Target receipt and proof of current price to the guest services department. What’s wrong with this scenario? The last thing people want to do is wait in line and that’s exactly what they’ll be doing here. If Target’s going to combat the effects of mobile it’s also got to learn to utilize mobile. Customers are increasingly looking for added features with mobile, and turning this process into a mobile process would satisfy that urge. Just as virtual checkout has caught on, Target customers should be able to scan their purchase or receipt barcode and provide a link as proof of current price. Then the guest services team could virtually approve or deny these claims through email or through a store app. With mobile, convenience is going to win the day.
This has already been proven in a study by Latitude called Next-Gen Retail: Mobile & Beyond
. Smartphone users ages 20-59 from the U.S. and U.K. were included in this study, with 65% of them being dual owners (also owning a tablet). The study found that 20-29 year-olds prefer smartphones to laptops for transactions. It also noted that shoppers are increasingly expecting mobile to meet them with real-time offers. Location-aware communications make it more likely they’ll visit a store’s website or physical location soon, with 1 in 5 saying they’re more likely to make a purchase or a pit-stop at the store that day. As mobile rises to meet this, more demands come into view. 79% are interested in receiving digital content delivered to their mobile while shopping, 79% also want the option to virtually try on clothes while shopping and 86% want their mobile to alert them when they are near a store that’s selling recommended or sought-after items. 80% would also be interested in a digital wallet (which would also be great for virtual coupon delivery).
The largest current demand for mobile apps is access to coupons and comparison shopping, but that’s not going to last forever. There are places where mobile and retailers are falling short of customer expectations. Those who want to control the market and become what Facebook is to social media, but within the mobile shopping realm, need to take notice. It’s not enough to deliver mobile shopping apps that offer just the basics anymore. As needs expand you have to rise to meet those needs. The ones that start now will gain and retain more customers, not to mention set the bar for others. It’s time to get motivated and step up your game.