Mobile devices are everywhere. If someone hasn't got a smartphone in their pocket or a tablet in their bag then they've probably left it at home by accident. Smartphones and â€˜smart devices' are used by nearly every household around, and that's only going to increase as smart watches begin to emerge.
But what does this all mean for retail?
You've probably already figured out and implemented a lot of measures already to help connect with this more fickle, mobile nation. Not only that, but you've got to try hard to make sure you don't spend too much time focusing on one side of your business, thus letting the other become weaker.
Luckily for you, here's five simple tips to help you create a better mobile experience for your customers.
1. Make Everything Convenient
In this world of high-speed internet, 4G connectivity and information on tap everywhere in the world, convenience is king.
People want everything in one place all at once. If you give them the option to do so, then why wouldn't they come back time and time again?
The first step on this ladder to convenience is the integration of a mobile wallet, or a place for them to store everything related to their shopping experience with you.
A mobile wallet or payments system would let them quickly pay for goods while they sit in their basket, or allow for spur-of-the-moment purchases to be made when they've left the house without their wallet on them.
Don't give them a reason or a barrier to making a purchase, make everything effortless.
2. Make it Personal
That isn't a threat to a customer complaint, it's a real way to ensure you deliver an unparalleled experience right to them. It also means you'll get even more delicious data to mull over and process – but this time it'll be targeted right at them and their interests, rather than sweeping generalisations from mass purchases.
Here you'll see how much of what they buy, thus offering them buy-one-get-one-free offers if they usually buy two of the same items. Perhaps their shops regularly exceed Â£50, you could give them a Â£5 or Â£10 off voucher next time they do that.
It might even be something far more complex, such as providing them offers to regional events or even seeing what they like on Facebook and providing relevant content. Although, such a feature would require Facebook linking.
3. Make Your Loyalty Programme Deeper
This ties in somewhat to point 2, but for many smaller businesses – such as coffee houses – rely on older methods of loyalty cards, such as stamp slips. Electronic cards give out even more information and are harder to lose, but it's still wholly possible.
With an electronic, mobile, system in place it's both hard to lose – as that would mean losing your phone – and it gives out data on a granular level, allowing far greater understanding of exactly what a customer wants.
4. Target Them When It Suits Them Best
Nobody wants an email full of offers and adverts when they're working away, nor do they want them when they're getting ready for bed or going to work.
There's only a few scant hours when you know customers are free and receptive, and a mobile app would be able to tell you when would be best to push information upon them.
By using their purchasing data, you can figure out the best times that would be helpful for them. Sending down a voucher or code a few minutes before they enter your store for their daily/weekly/fortnightly shop could just win their heart over and make them a customer for life.
After all, it's been proven that customer engagement is more important than customer loyalty.
5. Get Out There and Find Them
GPS and mobile data locations are stored in practically everything nowadays. Most smartphones embed location data inside a photo so it can be geolocated, and lots of apps do similar so companies can see where someone is making use of their programme. Why not do the same?
Doing so means you'd be able to throw out relevant location-based offers. You could check stock levels against their local store and push forward a coupon that works there, meaning it'll come through and there wont be any worries surrounding lost stock or an angered customer either.
Tailoring your rewards in such a way means traditional brick and mortar stores could do really well against the online behemoths, even if it is mostly because they can create a tailored experience.
Do you agree with these key methods for making use of mobile platforms?
Are you already making use of these methods?
If not, why not?
Let us know by leaving a comment with your thoughts below.
You might also be interested in this infographic on how to connect with mobile users.
The mobile market is unavoidable, and its growth is exponential too, that's why you've got to be on top form to make the most of it – something we'll be explaining, discussing and actively talking about throughout all of Europe's Customer Festival. You can register your interest for free too.