According to a Deloitte Holiday Shopping survey, customers will spend the same amount online this year as they will at brick and mortar merchants.
In order for these merchants to compete with the E-Commerce giants, they’ll need to create an optimized shopping experience.
A great way to increase your sales and optimize your shopping experience is to be as mobile friendly as possible. Smartphone usage is only going one direction, you guessed it, up. Surprisingly the majority of small brick-and-mortar businesses are overlooking the need to make the shift to mobile. If you are looking for ways to make the step, here are some suggestions to get you started:
Loyalty and Rewards Programs
There are plenty of reasons why your business should offer some form of loyalty and or rewards incentives. Nowadays, businesses are doing away with physical gift cards and are moving towards e-gifting. These digital cards can be accessed directly from a user’s smartphone. The more accessible these cards are, the more likely a consumer is willing to use them. They more likely their willing to use them, the more reason why they’ll be shopping at your store.
It may be worth spending the time and money developing a mobile application where shoppers can create and access a personalized account with your store. Loyalty points and rewards can be all stored in the app. The majority of shoppers will be carrying around a smartphone, so that’s all the more reason to put your brand and app directly in front of their face.
Personalized Shopping Experience
Online stores will typically send email offers and notifications to their customer’s based on past purchases. This same strategy can be implemented in-store. Again, this strategy works best if you have a custom built mobile application for your store. With the mobile app, you can offer specialized promotions, events, and new products catered to the exact user based on their past purchases or preferences. Some stores even offer beacons which can direct you to specific areas.
Another great feature to implement is the use of QR codes. Allow your customer’s to scan an item’s QR code through your app so they can learn more about it. If implemented correctly, this can save you tons of money since it reduces the need for a large on-floor sales staff.
Mobile payments are very quickly gaining popularity among merchants and consumers. There are plenty of popular payment solutions and payment platforms that offer a wide variety of mobile payment capabilities. Since you’re accepting payments in-store it’s best to find a payments platform that provides a fast POS system. The quicker you’re able to get your customer’s through the line the better.
Applications of mobile payments like Apple Pay allow users to hover their phones over your POS device for payment. Similar to EMV Chip Cards, contactless payments like Apple Pay are extremely secure. In addition, the receipt of purchase will be sent and stored on your online payment platform and the user’s smartphone. This will make accounting on both ends a breeze.
Especially with the holiday’s around the corner, it’s probably a good idea to gear up for some big sales. If you’re unable to implement all of these before this season, there’s always next year. Regardless, we can expect smartphone usage to keep going up, so make sure you’re store is optimized for smartphones so you can increase your sales!