Since as much as 50% of smartphone users use their phones instore today, mobile on the high street is clearly going to be a key element of retailers’ success or failure over the next five years.
However, as well as offering significant opportunities for brands to bridge the gap between online and the high street, mobile makes it easier for customers to be more promiscuous.
The chart below is taken from a Toluna/Econsultancy survey from May last year found that 19% of 2,000 online respondents had used their mobiles to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping.
Search is the intrinsic enabler for promiscuity, and as Google continues to release new innovations, the ease for competitors to steal your customers will only grow.
So how do you avoid your customers switching allegiance?
The answer is actually quite simple – provide them with a truly compelling proposition when they are instore that incorporates mobile.
A compelling proposition isn’t just an offer, although price can be a key factor for many. The most compelling proposition is typically a combination of the following:
1. Richness of information
Consumers using mobile instore typically search for additional product information and reviews, or additional store locations.
Giving them access to this information within the store itself is imperative; by providing them with easy access to everything they may need without having to leave the store you can protect your sales.
2. Added value
Price matching and flexible delivery options all make the customer feel more in control. Tap into this and you will see your returns increase significantly.
For example, make it easy for them to arrange delivery to another store or their home if they are not able to buy the product whilst in-store, and consumers will not be tempted to go elsewhere.
3. Quality customer service
Customer service, which is essentially responding to customer needs, has always been and will continue to be the central tenement of customer loyalty.
In its simplest terms, customer service is about giving customers choice and freedom. Mobile addresses both these needs.
Indeed, as John Lewis has shown through the introduction of free Wi-Fi in-store, mobile can seamlessly integrate into your existing customer service programme.
A truly compelling proposition will ensure that, no matter how easy it is to find a cheaper alternative on mobile or otherwise, consumers will continue to invest their money with you.
So rather than asking yourself whether to go mobile or not, take another look at your proposition and ask yourself this – if I were in my customers’ shoes, what would I do?
There's more advice on the ways retailers can appeal to mobile users instore in our piece from June of last year.