Why Bricks-and-Mortar Stores Need to Embrace the Mobile

Bricks-and-mortar businesses have been losing ground on their online counterparts for years now as they are undercut by cheaper prices and more convenience for consumers. However, one advantage they can offer customers is the unique experience of having a physical location to display products and an opportunity to interact with staff.

The growing competition from online retailers means that the in-store experience and general customer service has never been more important for brick-and-mortar stores. Offering the consumer a seamless, interactive mobile experience is a vital way to do that.

In this digital age, where the smartphone is playing an increasingly significant role in influencing consumers’ spending habit, it’s essential that brands meet the high standards that their customers now expect of them. Digital wallets and close-proximity marketing are undoubtedly going to be part of the future of the customer-retailer in-store experience.

Making use of a dynamic mobile wallet pass has the potential to offer consumers a omni-channel retail experience that they desire. The many features of a digital wallet, including coupons and loyalty cards, allow the customer to incorporate their smartphone in to their shopping habits, whilst providing them value and creating brand loyalty.

The emergence of ibeacon technology which can be used in conjunction with mobile wallets, further underlines the potential to offer better, more relevant in-store experiences for customers and increases store traffic by enticing customers in to the store.

As a result of better access to a wider range of products and easy price comparison, the shift of power has switched to the consumer, as old-fashioned brand loyalty is disappearing, but for bricks-and-mortar stores embracing the changing nature of shopping habits is a must, with smartphone usage at the forefront.

 

First we had brick-and-mortar stores, then transactions moved online, and now Joe Pergola, vice president of sales and marketing at POS software and hardware provider AccuPOS, says location is even less important with the latest mobile payment options. “The museum gift shop eventually will have an event outside in the courtyard, and they want to bring some merchandise outside and sell it,” he offers as an example.

You can read more about Online Payments: Money Goes Mobile here.

Why now is the right time to incorporate digital wallet passes in to your marketing plan

Get ahead of the game and take advantage of the huge marketing opportunity that digital wallets have to offer. That’s definitely the message if the recent roll out by major companies of digital wallet and iBeacon technology is anything to go by.

We’re rapidly expanding towards a future where smartphones will be even more inextricably linked to every aspect our everyday routines. Current consumers desire more channels to access brand’s content and require fast, convenient ways to do it.

The non-payment side of digital wallets such as Passbook and Google Wallet is still nascent in terms of brand adoption, but as smartphone users are becoming more in sync with its functionalities brands should look to move their tickets or coupon and loyalty campaigns to more dynamic digital smartphone versions. Companies such as Starbucks, Major League Baseball and American Airlines have been leading the change to digital wallets and reaping the benefits as a result.

Digital wallets form an important part of the current trend of new mobile technologies which are all focused on creating unique and innovative experiences for customers whilst paving the way for a more seamless transition between the physical and the digital worlds.

Real-time communication channels such as iBeacons are challenging brands to give more relevant information to their customers and provide opportunities to influence consumer spending whilst in-store.

iBeacons are set to play an important role in all brand-to-customer interactions in the near future, especially for retail stores in the fight to win back market share from online competitors with digital wallets at the forefront.