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Boston Retail Partners exec: Do not wait to tie mobile to bricks-and-mortar

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September 25, 2015

holiday marketing

Retailers must include in-store in their mobile efforts this holiday season to assist shopping within bricks-and-mortar locations and increase sales, an executive from Boston Retail Partners said during a Mobile Commerce Daily webinar yesterday.

Mobile opens the door for retailers to drive sales within the device, as well as in person and those that do not take advantage of this can miss out on substantial sales and connection to consumers. While doing so, retailers also need to be ready for the overload that the holiday season can cause on digital platforms as well as in-store endeavors and locations with Wi-Fi.

“One of the items that we are seeing in the upcoming season is something that has made a pretty good push in 2015 with some of the bigger box retailers and that is really adding a lot of in-store content to a mobile app,” said Ryan Grogman, vice president at Boston Retail Partners. “We really think retailers can make a huge gain by tying into that experience of having a smartphone and access to that data about a specific store on the app while you are shopping.

“So it could be items such as virtual maps for a customer who maybe does not want associate assistance and want to do it themselves, or or push-to-talk functionality for customers who maybe do want extra help but can not find an associate,” he said.

The webinar was sponsored by YP.

Holiday mobile marketing
An executive with iCrossing mentioned that marketers should avoid getting bogged down with distractions this holiday season while an onslaught of shoppers enters their stores and digital platforms. Notions such as shiny objects, wearables and hashtags within social media are an unnecessary worry during this time of year.

Instead retailers should focus on making sure the customer experience is seamless through multiple channels and in stores. The notion of the omnichannel experience includes search.

Marketers should be utilizing technology that can follow consumers as they travel through devices searching and researching products.

Also, expanding geo-fencing technology beyond the store location can really draw in a significant amount of shoppers through location based advertising on mobile. These consumers are out and about while on their devices and can easily be swayed to visit stores through relevant content based on location explained an executive from YP.

Data should be leveraged to determine how to best market to individuals to drive them to store locations and jump sales. Paying attention to how a consumer has interacted with the retailer in the past will be key to determine how to best reach them in the future.

Brands and retailers should also consider how the holiday season will affect their relationship with consumers afterwards. Marketers should be implementing efforts, which reward loyal consumers who visit their app often and spend more than the average customer to carry over sales throughout the year.

“One key aspect is to let the customer be in control how they want to be talked to,” Mr. Grogman said. “You need to give them the ability to opt in or opt out of certain emails and text notifications.

“You do not want to be a bully to your customer and you do not want to make them feel like you are infringing on their rights just because they took the time to maybe enter their information on your site,” he said. “You want to make them feel comfortable with how you are presenting their information back to them.”

Accurate information
Retailers must also be sure that the various information featured on all platforms must be accurate and optimized. Consumers are researching everything on mobile and desktop from products to store hours and locations.

Making sure that these channels have the most up-to-date information is key in driving sales and ensuring a positive brand sentiment.

“Make sure that the information you share between channels or in store is as accurate as possible and that how it is displayed is check and rechecked,” said Doug Platts, Vice President of Search Strategy at iCrossing. “The integrity of that data is going to reflect on your brand.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

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