With one third of ecommerce sales already happening on mobile devices, I thought I would share some of the most important things happening in the mobile retail space right now. What are online retailers working on that will help them stand out from the competition?
Mobile First Retail
In 2015, there is absolutely no customer interaction that can’t be done through a mobile device. Whether you’re in-store at a kiosk, at a POS device or clienteling application, a mobile device can really perform all of these customer interactions. It can also be used inside the store for inventory checking, employee interaction, and more.
For this reason taking a “Mobile First” approach to designing all customer and employee touchpoints will add a level of consistency that will aid retailers in maintaining a strong brand image. Too often digital retail touch points are built in silos at different points in time and offer no consistency of look and feel, data and user experience. Designing for the mobile device first will offer retailers the opportunity for symmetry not only for mobile websites, but in-store apps such as kiosks, clienteling and POS. When customers are familiar with ways of shopping it is no secret that they will buy more and more often.
Single View of the Customer Through Improved Data Integration
A lot of companies are now starting to achieve some of the key elements around data integration and unification of the customer experience in retail. However, the cost and complexity has stymied many others from achieving the promise offered by true Omnichannel retail.
To give you an example, LTD Commodities, a large catalog retailer out of Chicago, is currently creating a single view of all of their customers. To accomplish this they leverage (a) data from customers that have been shopping with them offline for half a century, (b) combined with data from what’s happening in their online channel, and (c) purchasing additional data to understand the customers even better.
As you can understand, it’s a huge undertaking. The output will help build a long-term view of the customer and, in this example, create browser behavior predictive intelligence.
Solutions providers are constantly trying to keep pace with what the industry is asking for. One of the ways they do this is by ensuring that their base framework and REST services makes it possible to share data back and forth between systems for consistency.
Customer Personalization Using Data
Once you’ve accomplished the above single view, it’s time to put it into action. You will probably want to ask yourself questions like where are my customers coming from and what are they really looking for? How do I provide them with the right product, at the right time and with the right offer to drive conversion and maximize margins while maintaining a great customer experience?
There will be customers coming from all directions; direct traffic, search, affiliate channels, email campaigns, promotions, and other places, which means that everyone is trying to ensure they are collecting the right data.
Many companies are already working on automating the personalization part by using data optimization to help drive personalization rules. When done right, it will enable them to display dynamic content across the page based on segment; different types of rich content such as articles, cross- and up-selling of products (that are in-stock and that the customer may want to see based to their cart), and more.
These are just a few of the methods that companies are using to get ahead in mobile retail right now. Contact us to find out how your company can better leverage mobility and stay ahead of the competition.
Scott Todaro, Sr. Vice President, Sales & Marketing DMI, Commerce Division