Leverage Mobile as a Gateway to Omnichannel Retail
In the immortal words of Bob Dylan, “The time’s they are a-changin,” and the average customer’s buying journey looks much different than it did in years past. Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is one of the primary drivers of this evolution. Customers are often introduced to brands on their mobile devices – whether that happens through social media, peer recommendations, or search engine results. Simply put, mobile is the way of the future. Google reports that 53 percent of all teens and 43 percent of 25 to 34-year olds prefer to make purchases via mobile device and this number is only expected to rise.
Statista projects that mobile sales will reach 669 billion dollars in revenue this year, but even customers who don’t make their final purchases via mobile still use their devices as an essential touchpoint along their path-to-purchase. As a result, retailers have to build their websites, marketing plans, and social media accounts in way that engages customers with their brand. This is much less difficult to do than it sounds, so let’s go over three ways that retailers can create a mobile presence that encourages customers to continue their product research – functioning as a gateway to a profitable omnichannel experience with their brand.
- Impact sales with multiple digital touchpoints
In a 2017 study by Forrester and NRF, digital touchpoints were found to impact 49 percent of retail sales. It’s then safe to surmise that if a retailer provides a mobile experience that customers find unsavory, up to 49 percent of that company’s profits can be lost. Even if a retailer has a presence on multiple channels, however, if that presence is inconsistent or differs greatly from platform to platform it can result in customers dropping off at each phase of the browsing journey. Because of this, consistency is key when working with multiple touchpoints. This refers not only to consistent branding initiatives including logos, background colors, the brand voice, etc.; but to consistent marketing initiatives which reflect a customer’s product preferences and past purchases, as well as instantly registering and updating product selections to reflect only what is available for purchase.
- Measure omnichannel success by customer experience
The word “omnichannel” refers to a seamless purchasing journey. As soon as digital technology begins to detract from the individual customer’s experience, the purpose of that technology has been negated. Murph Krajewski got it right when he wrote in Forbes that, “The purpose of omnichannel begins with a customer.” This means retailers should have a strong presence wherever their customers want to browse, it does not suggest, however, that retailers indiscriminately invest in all of the newest tech that hits the show floor. The usefulness of most retail technologies can be measured by each customer. By measuring each customer’s click path, engagement rate and whether or not they make a purchase, retailers can get a birds eye view of where their store is excelling and where they may need to buff up their current operations.
- Increase browsing through mobile recommendations
Sales made on mobile are beginning to eclipse those on desktop for many top-tier retailers. According to Shopify, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 mobile sales accounted for 30 percent of total sales and 46 percent of total sales came from a mobile device. In the current market, there is a big opportunity for retailers to reel in customers through sending personalized product and loyalty messages to customers via their mobile devices. Whether that messaging is most beneficial through text, email, or social media depends on how that individual customer prefers to receive information, as well as where they are in their consumer lifecycle with a particular company. NectarOM gives retailers the opportunity to send personalized recommendations through one centralized database to each individual customer though their browsing platform of choice. With NectarOM, retailers can provide customers with a data-based omnichannel journey which truly mirrors their unique path-to-purchase.