Over the past couple years, mobile technology advances have drastically changed the way companies make sales.
With the steady increase of smartphone users in the U.S., retailers have experienced more showrooming from customers. Showrooming occurs when an in-store shopper utilizes his or her mobile device or tablet to enhance their shopping experience. Consumers can check product reviews, compare prices, or find out more about a product through their mobile device. Currently, over 70% of consumers are showroom shoppers.
When showrooming became a hot topic in 2013, brick-and-mortars felt the effects. In-store sales suffered, as consumers preferred to purchase online because of lower overhead costs. New mobile technology truly hurt some businesses that were not familiar with the digital world.
However, some companies found ways to utilize digital technology in their marketing efforts. These companies are now leaders and innovators in omnichannel marketing.
This integration of technology in brick-and-mortars adds an extra dimension to a shopping experience. The implementation of a digital element makes a shopping experience easier, more convenient, and rewarding for the shopper. We have determined some entities that are innovators and leaders in today’s omnichannel marketing:
Those who frequent eateries like Chili’s or Red Robin may be familiar with the digital waiter, Ziosk. Ziosk converges customer service and technology via tablet, to create the ultimate dining experience for consumers. Customers can place food orders, request drink refills, play interactive games while waiting, and select a tip amount – all with a quick touch of a tablet on the restaurant’s dining table. Ziosk gives customers a quick, easy dining experience by eliminating unnecessary wait times for waiters and checks.
Ziosk’s omnichannel practices have led to major success. It serves 25 million guests each month, and has been implemented in eateries across all 50 states. Ziosk eliminates most cases of human error, and gives waiters more opportunities to focus on creating a positive environment for their guests. The innovation also shortens table turnover time, as orders are submitted to kitchens almost instantly through Wi-Fi. Customer satisfaction also increases for Ziosk users. According to Ziosk CEO Austen Mulinder, the average tip amount increases with Ziosk, reflecting a happier customer base.
With the introduction of showrooming, the smartphone app Shopkick is a brick-and-mortar’s best friend. Shopkick creates an omnichannel experience without the retailer actually having to do much.
The app rewards its shoppers simply for walking in the doors of a participating retailer. Shoppers receive “kicks,” the app’s currency, which can be redeemable for gift cards or donations to charity. If a shopper makes a purchase, he or she receives even more kicks. Shopkick also alerts its users about special in-store promotions.
Shopkick increases store traffic, encourages brick-and-mortar sales, and rewards its users by simply going into retailers. And because in-store purchases account for 90% of the total market, emphasis on entering a brick-and-mortar can majorly improve sales.
McDonald’s is revamping marketing by integrating iBeacon into its dining experiences. This beacon technology comes from the provider Piper. Customers will now receive coupons, timely alerts, information about employment opportunities, and customer surveys when they walk through a franchise’s doors.
Changes to McDonald’s marketing strategy come after noting the growing market of millennials. This omnichannel implementation has been successful thus far, because of the high millennial demographic. Jack Pezold has owned and operated McDonald’s franchises for more than 40 years, and recognizes the importance of adding a digital element to the dining experience.
“Everyone is looking at their phones, millennials especially, and that’s where we’ve decided to engage,” Pezold said. “We know our customers and Piper’s beacon solution allows us to cater to their tastes, preferences and behaviors, making it easy for them to get more value and enjoyment out of their McDonald’s experience.”
The month after McDonald’s integrated new technology into its marketing, the company experienced up to 8% sales increase for some products. Over 18,000 offers have been redeemed through mobile as well.
Whether you’re thinking about implementing a new app, or employing a service like iBeacon, adding a digital element to your marketing strategy can be a huge asset. Become a marketing hero and set your company apart from others, by implementing technology in brick-and-mortars for a digitally enhanced shopping experience.