Article as featured in <a href="http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=4d5e7b0e-5389-4f51-8daf-d77975901c5f" target="_blank">August/September edition of The Business magazine</a>.
"The staff at Jessops would like to thank you for shopping with Amazon"
That title was reported in a Jessops store shortly before the chain went into administration. It tells the tale of ‘showrooming’ – browsing in store and buying online – which has many in the bricks and mortar retail world vexed.
Here are a few suggestions on how to use mobile technology to your advantage.
Control the airwaves!
Encourage customers onto your own WiFi connection, and then use this channel to engage with them.
Here are a few tips:
- Make it fast
You’ll need to outperform mobile. The average 3G speed is around 7Mbps and the average 4G speed is around 15-18Mbps.
- Offer sign in options
Registering is a turn off, but many WiFi points offer features like Facebook login where free acces is given once the customer checks in to your Facebook page (which promotes your store too).
- Promote your website/app
Use this opportunity to drive customers to your website or app, which then makes it easier for them to find later. The right app can also be used to push messages and exclusive offers to the customers every time they visit, thereby driving loyalty.
- Promote your WiFI!
Print some nicely designed posters, place them in prominent positions, and offer incentives to use it. Their phone will remember the connection for next time too.
Chuck the Checkout
Why force customers to queue for 5 minutes when they can buy on Amazon in 5 seconds?!
With the right technology, customers could just scan and buy through their phone and either walk out, or leave somewhere secure to collect later. Imagine being able to promote your store with a ‘no queues guarantee’!
You might need some expert advice to do this really well, as you’ll need your stock database and payment system linking to your app or 3rd party barcode scanning app.
For a simpler option Paypal Here lets you take a card reader to the customer, who can pay using paypal from their own smartphone.
Be a friend, not a servant.
Today’s consumers not only know more about your products before they even step in store, they are also much more willing to self-serve. So why not let them do this (via your WiFi and app) and free your store assistants to become features of the store in their own right?
The iStore, Richer Sounds and Waterstones all promote individual with knowledge, taste or personality as part of the customer experience.
Information can be found easily online, so opinions become important, and if you like Dave or Davina that serves you, how much more guilty would you feel about putting the item back and buying it online later?!
Article by Alex Hodgson, Business Development Manager at One2Call.