Consumers are fast engaging with technological advances, with British smartphone use expected to be at 65.8% by 2017 (eMarketer). Many executives in retail are expecting customers to increasingly use them to engage with the ‘customer journey’ at retailers, by integrating activities such as searching, locating, scanning, couponing and even paying using their mobile device.
A report from Barclays Corporate suggests that mobile commerce will become the fastest retail growth channel over the next 5 years, increasing by 55% to an annual target of £19.3 billion within the decade. This seems to fit what we know about the increasing trend of online shopping activities.
Here’s another figure though. Mobile commerce is only expected to account for 5% of the total value of retail in the UK, with 84% of consumer spend remaining in bricks and mortar stores.
So what’s going on? Research done by Paco Underhill, a New York based environmental psychologist who studies buying habits. Shows that ‘more than 40 percent of shoppers walking out of stores have done some form of pre-shopping.’ There is a merging of the digital and the real worlds, and mobile commerce will augment, not replace traditional shopping styles. ‘We’re seeing things like… concept flagship stores merging into the offline. There’s a move from plain e-commerce to brand building’, says Michiel Kotting of Shopping.Com. It’s more about how you use the digital to influence the offline transaction.
Sales associates at Burberry’s use their App to build a picture of a customer, based on their purchase information and profile. When you walk into a store, the iPad wielding store assistant can offer you what’s in stock in your size, colour and fit; or even order it for delivery if they’re out. They’ll even deliver to a hotel if you’re travelling.
‘I expect customers to be demanding a more contextually sensitive in-store experience,’ says Rebecca Hornbuckle, retail designer for IDEO. ‘The value that they’re getting will be based on an experience.’
If you want to target your customer experience, then you’ll need the software to do it. Every brand is different, every retailer distinct, and Triangle can custom fit your system to you and your customers. Engage everyone on their own level with integrated software solutions in one easy to use package; or whatever you want: we’re here to listen.
Call us on 01477 571940 and have a chat. We have software engineers who you can meet face to face, sit down with a cup of tea, and talk about how to understand and meet your customers’ needs.