Anyone who is in the retail industry knows that with the rise of social media and the near overwhelming presence of smartphones, mobile apps are changing the landscape of retail. In an industry that once had to push itself to move from traditional brick and mortar stores to some kind of presence online, retail now thrives online.
But it is so much more than simply a matter of finding the best payment gateway for your online store. Today you need to combine both website stores and social media stores to truly reach out and capture those new customers. Now that mobile applications are beginning to have an impact on how mobile users shop, it is time to once again adjust our thinking in the retail arena.
How Customers Win with Mobile Apps
While it is still in the early days of this new approach to shopping, mobile apps are growing in their ability to deliver what customers want. It can be a simple thing like allowing your customers to price shop between different online stores. It can also mean hooking them with reviews for products that tell them which version of that shoe or electronic gadget they want to consider purchasing.
So, for your customers, this ability to dovetail their shopping experience into one that is meaningful for them is just the start of how mobile shopping apps are changing the decisions they make while shopping on the go.
How Retailers Win with Mobile Apps
Now this may sound as if the very idea of a mobile app that gives all this power to customers is a bad idea for retailers, but that just has not proven to be so. As the mobile applications are developed with retailers in mind as well as shoppers, the smart retailer will add them to their marketing campaigns to reach out to new segments of the shopping population.
With these new apps, you can reach out to customers wherever they are and invite them to consider shopping from their couch, the train ride home or even while waiting in line at the grocery store. Today more and more we see how active mobile users never put that phone down and will engage with mobile applications to decide where to shop, how to shop and even if they want to buy at all.
In Store Mobile Apps Rule
One aspect of shopping apps that is beginning to take hold is the idea of shopping online in the store and then adding physical purchases to their online purchase to skip the entire in store checkout process.
This new application makes the physical store simply a part of the online experience and allows retailers to gain more precious inhouse real estate for display and to entice shoppers to consider complimentary purchases.
The Future of Retail
As the development of customer facing applications continues to grow, expect to see new and innovative ways that many retailers are going to be integrating the mobile experience with the instore experience. Apps that compliment the physical store with special sales available only to mobile customers, pickup services for online purchases and payment options on mobile for instore purchases will begin to blur the line between the two shopping methods. The future looks so bright for retail that we do indeed have to wear shades!