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More and more shoppers are merging their online and offline shopping habits. A recent study from RetailMeNot, Inc. found that, though 85% of Americans shop in brick-and-mortar stores every week, 69% prefer to use their phones in-store for reviews and 53% for coupons or promotions, in lieu of speaking directly to store associates. This highlights the need for brands to create integrative omnichannel shopping experiences for consumers — 87% of whom agree brands should prioritize seamless retail transactions.
“In-store retail is still the most important channel for consumers, and the role that mobile plays in the shopping journey is notable to retailers who want to reach in-store shoppers,” said Marissa Tarleton, CEO of RetailMeNot, Inc. “The mobile device is the number one in-store shopping companion, which is a marketing opportunity for retailers to drive in-store footfall [directing customers to specific displays], incentivize sales and understand online-to-offline behavior.”
Mobile Devices Are An Integral Part Of The Shopping Funnel From Start To Sale
Mobile is a highly-convertible channel, with a sale beginning at the moment curious shoppers pick up their phones for product searches or research. 78% of mobile shoppers complete their purchase within a day of beginning their searches. Mobile shoppers are also overall 57% more likely to visit stores and 51% more likely to make purchases. Providing convenient, unfettered experiences for consumers from online to in-store can be integral for brands looking to attract loyal and happy repeat customers.
Store Beacons And Other In-Store Technology Connecting Consumers To Retail Experiences Are On The Rise
The search for promotions and bargains has 66% of U.S digital buyers reaching for their mobile phones during in-store shopping experiences. 57% of shoppers check store prices through retailers’ apps while shopping, and six in 10 web users comparison shop on mobile devices while in store. These behaviors have driven 49% of retailers to expand in-store mobile experiences as engagement opportunities. Considering consumers own reliance on mobile, it’s no surprise they are more inclined to approach sales associates equipped with mobile devices, believing these associates to have more product and price knowledge. 66% of associates agree tablets would allow them to provide better customer service.
The adoption of beacons in stores is also set to increase significantly. Via a bluetooth connection, stores can directly interact with consumers using their mobile devices in-store. These communications may include targeted promotions and new stock notices.
The beacons also collect data from consumers that brands can use to assess future geo-targeting opportunities, measure consumer loyalty and track which marketing campaigns are successful. An estimated 400 million beacons are expected in be in use around the world by 2020.
Experiential Shopping Experiences Increase Positive Feelings About Brands
Consumers don’t differentiate their outlook of brands based on the channel, so successful interactions online or in-store are both helpful across the brand when creating positive feelings and encouraging loyalty. Brands are increasingly producing experiential retail — offering immersive, brand-focused experiences that highlight benefits of the brands and create seamless connections between digital and analog consumer habits.
Nike’s massive flagship store has overtly made the connection between on-and offline shopping. The six-story Manhattan store has stocked an entire floor with products based on local data of customer preferences, provides QR codes on many items for quick scanning to request a size or fitting and allows Nike Plus members to order online and pick up in the store. The Nike flagship also features items on every floor branded “personal” and “responsive,” establishing connections to what customers want via information provided elsewhere.
As brands continue to evolve to meet consumer habits, retail and online experiences are increasingly becoming one unified shopping experience. This evolution in retail offers marketers the opportunity to reach consumers at every point of the sale.