UPDATED 06:56 EDT / JULY 10 2013

4 Ways Local Shops Can put Mobile Trends to Good Use Now

Are men more inclined to shop using their mobile device?  Or just like in the real world, do women dominate the virtual shopping sphere?

According to Nielsen’s “Who is the Mobile Shopper?” report, as of Q1 2013, 84 percent of mobile consumers have used their devices to shop within the past month, which is up by 5 percent compared to the same quarter from last year.  Some of these mobile shoppers even stated that they do their online shopping mostly on their mobile devices than on their PCs.

The report also stated that consumers below the age of 45 are more active mobile shoppers, and those with more disposable incomes tend to make purchases while on the go.

As for which gender does more of the mobile shopping, it’s women, who reported a 50 percent affinity last year that was unchanged this year.  As for men, they dominated the mobile shopping scene last year at 56 percent, but are now down to 44 percent.

Mobile + showrooming hurt in-store sales

 

Though mobile commerce seems to be a positive turn, it’s actually hurting in-store sales.  In a report from Business Insider, it was stated that brick-and-mortar stores are in danger because of showrooming, or the act of people going to the physical store to check the items out then buying the items online.

Last year, JC Penny reported a 32 percent decline in same-store sales because of showrooming, and it is expected that the numbers would just get worse as more people embrace mobile shopping.

But what does mobile shopping have that real-life shopping doesn’t offer?  For many, it’s the ease of shopping anytime of the day, wherever they may be.  While others say that real-time price comparison is what attracts them to mobile shopping.

In any case, mobile shopping is proving to be huge threat for brick-and-mortar stores.

So what are retailers doing to get with the program?

4 Ways Retailers can put Mobile Trends to Good Use

 

There are apps now that deliver real-time promos to consumers right on their mobile devices.  Consumers just have to be at the right spot, like a few feet away from a retail store, to receive relevant notifications.  To get the discount or free item, they just need to present the promo code or the message they received.

The purpose of this method is to get people back in retail stores, hopefully enticing people to buy more items from the shop.

  • Rolling stores

Trua Shoes, an eco-friendly, cruelty-free maker of casual women’s footwear, is bringing shoes directly to consumers via a shoe truck.  This way, people won’t have to go out of their way to get some comfy shoes, they can just buy them right outside their homes.  The shoe trucks contain the stocks and people can get in to have their feet fitted with the right size of footwear.

“It may seem like something crazy and new,” Daniel Yeh, one of the founders of Trua Shoes, stated, “but when we talk to customers, that’s a lot of what they like. Our typical customer is someone who leads a fast-paced, busy life. Being able to grab a pair of stylish shoes on the run, without having to find parking at a mall, it makes the Trua Mobile Store a fun, alternative way to shop.”

  • The power is in your hands

Launching a mobile shop may be a tricky feat for others so retailers are implementing the next best thing.  They’re bringing mobile devices into brick-and mortar shops.

In a recent survey, it was discovered that 91 percent of the large chain operators believe that equipping their staff with mobile devices can help them  better interact with consumers.  Tablets are the top choice for a mobile companion in retail shops with 42 percent of the retailers questioned already have tablets  in their stores, while 50 percent said they plan to adopt them within the next two years.

Though this route may sound appealing, 58 percent of the retailers who participated in the survey felt that mobile technologies are still too expensive and only a quarter felt they were a cost-effective way to serve their customers, 42 percent felt mobile technologies had some way to go to be robust enough for commercial use, with 33 percent saying they would be more likely to adopt more of them if they cost less, and more than the 8 percent stated that the mobile devices needed to be more reliable.

  • It’s in the cloud

As for other retailers, the cloud is the answer.  Recently, Q4 Mobile announced RetailSphere, a cloud-based suite for retailers  that delivers services such as in-store retail, e-commerce, mobile and social technologies, that are all designed to change the way retailers interact with consumers.

RetailSphere integrates seamlessly with backend CRM, ERP and accounting systems, and offers powerful tools such as secure Mobile, Social & eCommerce, Store Check-In, Location-Aware Couponing, IQZone, IQCart, IQVending, Augmented Reality Shopping (QR Codes & NFC), Tablet Catalogs, Deal of the Day Coupons, and Quick Response TV, which can all be accessed easily via a dashboard equipped with powerful analytics.


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