Yes, video killed the radio star. And “reality” TV killed that video store. And eCommerce was supposed to tear down the brick-and-mortar, but it hasn’t, at least not yet. Sure, it’s certainly created some serious competition, but that just means you have more of an impetus to up your game. You’re not only competing with the other storefronts, you’re competing with two billion smartphones.
As a brick-and-mortar store, you have to deal with certain challenges that your eCommerce brethren don’t have to worry about. You deal with limited shelf space and backroom stock, which means that you can’t offer the same amount of selection and you can’t keep unlimited backup for popular items. And you certainly have a larger upfront cost.
But Amazon doesn’t have to be your competitor. Still 61 percent shop in-store and, with consumer buying power back up in a lot of places, this just means more shoppers overall.
You still need to create an amazing customer experience or else we’re out the door and opening an app.
Our Google reflex isn’t a bad thing for your brick-and-mortar. First, you don’t have to be exclusively on-site—why not play around with selling online too? Or start to take advantage of our mobile world to create brand loyalty and drive foot traffic your way.
In fact, your competition probably already does, as Forrester says 91 percent of all U.S. retailers have some sort of mobile strategy in place.
So what can you do to maximize your mobile impact to create a better customer experience while keeping costs down? Here are some tips to get your store into the mobile groove.
Increase customer retention with mobile loyalty marketing
We all have it—two stacks of cards, one in our wallet for our favorite stores and another somewhere at home for the pile of loyalty cards we always forget. That’s because pretty much all stores have some sort of loyalty marketing campaign or should. But in a world where we are moving toward paying with a flash of our eyes or touch of our fingertips, loyalty cards seem so 2006. Why not incorporate that right into your app so you save on plastic and you can reach your clients any time you want to remind them of your cool sale. Plus, you can use this app to offer exclusive deals because, well, everybody wants to feel special, right?
Influence buying behaviour with location-based marketing
This is definitely a situation where you win by thinking globally, acting locally. By installing very inexpensive beacons around your store, you can create a location-based marketing campaign built on buying behaviour patterns and big data. Try a marketing tool like the MOCA Platform to trigger personalized push notifications when a specific customer subset goes to a certain part of your store. MOCA is also a great way to learn about how your clients move around the store, so you can redecorate and organize to arrange the store in the most optimal way for foot traffic.
This should be obvious because it’s a free way to advertise to your clients. Trade deals for Facebook likes. A great way to capture virality is by offering discounts to those that take a selfie with something in your store and post it on Instagram or Twitter with a certain hashtag. Now public record, you can now use these photos for any branding and marketing.
Wait! Wait! Just one more thing!
Especially in oppressive summer heat, we all are guilty of walking around a store just to cool off. If you use a location-aware marketing strategy like beacons, you know when they haven’t visited your checkout and are on their way out the door. When you have all the analytical information about where they are spending the most time, you could trigger a popup of 20 percent off that specific product. Similarly, if your store is in a mall with beacons around, you know when a loyal customer is in the area and can send them a personalized pop-up to remind them to stop on by—in this case, offering a free popsicle with purchase could cool them off while warming their buying intention—all while allowing you to develop co-marketing relationships with your favorite ice cream place.