Airs Of Change: Retail Trade And Mobility
It’s undeniable. People’s consumption habits are changing. A change based on technology, and specifically on mobile technology. A retail change that is displacing the moment in which the consumer makes the purchase decision since it no longer occurs in the premises or establishment, but rather long before, in the process of “analysis of options” from the network from the Internet.
Google describes this fact very well through its ZMOT research project, which describes how consumers have advanced their zero moments of truth to a phase much earlier than the establishment’s visit, carrying out a detailed analysis of the products and their alternatives, as well as the comments of other buyers, which are a real buying lever.
The e-commerce data is overwhelming, with an estimated growth beyond 18% per year until 2017, as well as smartphone penetration data and its significant increase in Internet searches from these terminals, with a growth of more than 25% from the last year, according to data from the latest Eurobarometer.
For these reasons, and many others, retailers, retail, cannot operate on the sidelines, they must understand the change and establish strategic actions, on the one hand, to bring them closer to today’s consumer, and on the other hand, to even have the opportunity to generate disruptive innovation to obtain competitive advantages.
This need is not new, options and Retail trends such as show rooming or the understanding of the new user SoLoMo should make us understand this new reality. A reality in which we seek to improve our client’s experience before the purchase, during the purchase, and after the purchase.
Let’s not forget, it is just now, it is in these moments of change and relative chaos, when the real opportunities appear that must be taken advantage of by those who intend to lead their sector, as well as by those who do not want to lose market share and disappear.
I leave you some of the actions that each time, we will see on a daily and regular basis in neighborhood shops and department stores, from the perspective of the mobile approach:
- Ecommerce store. We will not be able to approach the user of today without this channel, Retail because the user is above all in this channel. Also, it must become the technological center of all our strategy, as we will see in each of the points that I indicate below. Thus, it is essential to have an online store presence to generate new sales, but also, to give buyers in the physical channel the possibility of making comments and recommendations.
- Responsive design. The design of both our website or online store must be adapted to viewing from mobile devices, both smartphones, and Tablets.Retail It must be said that the two leading online store platforms, such as Prestashop and Magento, have responsive templates.
- WIFI access. WIFI access for SI clients, but it is also not necessary; it would even be essential, request an email to give access to the network. In this way, we will have the email of potential buyers with which to carry out impressive email marketing campaigns.
- QR or BIDI tags. Consumers love information, like to know everything, and possibly know it before going to the store. Still, it is fascinating that we put QR tags next to our articles so that users can search for more information. A QR tag that should lead the consumer to obtain this information to our Web store first, and then to the websites of manufacturers and third parties. It is also more than interesting that in that information of each article, it is expanded with other related reports, or even with comparatives. If we also see that the comparatives are highly visited, we can put new QR tags that link directly to the comparatives.
- Development of an own App. This is a delicate topic because it requires an investment that can be considerable. However, increasingly, there are platforms such as Yepply or freelancers that allow us to have access to very professional developers and designers at exciting prices.
Some functionalities can be handy within our App in the strategy, such as:
- Our own QR tag reader
- Promotions and discounts notifications and alerts
- Personalized and immediate support and customer service
- Community building through redeemable points
- Electronic wallet
All these actions and functionalities are not recommended from the beginning. Still, we must go step by step, obtaining feedback from our clients on those functionalities that are most advantageous to them, and those that do not provide them with anything.
- Wallets or electronic wallet. Mobile payment systems are beginning to accelerate their impact on society. Commercial entities (such as the BBVA Wallet app), credit card firms, mobile phone operators, PayPal, and other agents, are beginning to see the profitable business in mobile payment, and this is because users are increasingly more willing to use it.
TPVs have started to appear that have an NFC chip incorporated that allows users to pay by merely bringing the mobile closer to the terminal. Technology must be transparent and secure so that it really has the impact we all seek.
- IBeacon technology. This technology consists of locating the location of customers within our store, carrying out a series of actions, such as, for example, sending them information about what they see, related offers, or even changing the physical billboard in that area. iBeacon can provide us with high-value information on what customers do in our store, what region they pass through, and in which section they stop most frequently.
All BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology smartphones allow two-way communication with iBeacon emitters. As for these sensors, there are companies (Estimote) that market them from € 5. Still, it is even more interesting, the investigations that large manufacturers of LED light (Philips, General Electric …) are conducting since they are incorporating iBeacon sensors in your light bulbs.
As you can see, we have an excellent opportunity to generate innovation within our traditional businesses, thanks to mobility.