As we start to look toward the fourth quarter holiday season, we are confident that all the multi-year trends showing growth in mobile engagement and sales will continue and we’ll be able to write a post next January detailing the impact and vitality of the mobile platform.
So let’s take a minute and instead talk about one of the sharper edges of the double-edged sword of mobile retail: the impact of the mobile-empowered shopper.
A recent study sponsored by Google found that two-thirds of shoppers looking for information in a brick-and-mortar environment could not find exactly what they were looking for. And while this has always been something of a problem for retailers, one of the things mobile has done is significantly raise expectations for the accuracy of their product information and the ease with which they obtain it.
Or, as the study explains, “Today’s consumers… want information throughout the shopping process. Stores that ignore this preference risk losing customers.” In fact, almost as many people look for information in-store as look for it before they visit (79% vs. 87%). Compare this to 35% that look for information after a visit and you see why the need to have an impact in-store is so great.
And during the holiday season, this consumer expectation broadens to include finding the best possible price amongst the myriad sales and promotions and (for those of us who tend to out our shopping off until the last minute) making sure that they can get the physical product in their hands, immediately, without paying a premium.
The challenge our retail clients face is finding ways to not simply accept but embrace this new dynamic, delivering content and experiences that encourage customers to use their mobile device to optimize the in-store experience.
Here are some key facts to remember as you plan your 4Q programs:
- Ensuring local search results delivering item availability and local store information help drive customers to you instead of e-commerce sites
- And 75% of those who find local information in search results are more likely to visit the store
- Fear of an item not being in stock is the number one reason for people not visiting a store during the holiday season
- Despite the wealth of knowledge available online, customers still expect stores to be more than just a place to transact a purchase.
- Almost two-thirds are specifically looking for inspiration or for more information
- The number one purchase motivator is a sense of exclusivity, achieved through personalized coupons or exclusive offers and promotions
Be sure to check our next post, where we will specifically address way to make sure your mobile app is ready for the demands of the holiday season.