As the digital era continues to grow at a rapid pace, consumers’ expectations regarding retail experiences on mobile devices continue to skyrocket as well. The days of offering a bare-bones mobile site have long since passed, replaced with a time period in which shoppers expect new technology integrations, interactive experiences, and instant gratification wrapped up in one fell swoop.
Retailers must place a major emphasis on adaptability and evolution in this era, particularly when aiming to dot their I’s and cross their T’s with mobile shopping, channel-less brand experiences, and order fulfillment.
Mobile shopping magic: Nowadays, mobile shopping must be tied to a retailer’s social media outlets in order to reach a wider swath of customers and exert a larger branded influence. Retailers’ Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat channels are prime vehicles for rolling out curated, engaging advertisements that feel less pitchy and more aspirational. If users scroll past a post featuring a fashion blogger donning a new pair of wedges for spring, they expect to be able to shop those shoes within a ten-second-timeframe – courtesy of links to site content within the brand’s social media bio.
Retailers with the necessary resources for new technology investments may also want to experiment with augmented reality tools that enable consumers to snap a selfie of themselves and virtually try on a product, such as a pair of sunglasses or a lipstick. For those that don’t have the funds, adding a social media share button to each product page is a useful feature to have, particularly for those shoppers that prefer to employ the opinions of friends or family before making a purchase.
A channel-agnostic approach: The plethora of ways in which brands can leverage mobile to promote their products or services continues to grow each year. If a smaller-scale retailer does not have the budget to redesign its mobile site or invest a mobile app, for instance, it can instead allocate some funds and brainpower to creating content for its social media channels. Meanwhile, brands with more resources can afford to establish a strong presence across social media, the mobile Web, and the app stores—ultimately resulting in a channel-less approach to marketing. One of the biggest marketing benefits enabled by mobile? The ability for companies to cherry-pick the platforms best-suited for their audience and their needs.
Instant gratification and fulfillment: Quick order fulfillment is another must-have for retailers in the digital age. Consumers expect to be able to track their purchases as they make their way to their doorstops through a variety of means – emails, push notifications, text updates. Not only do brands need to ensure they have enough fulfillment centers in their most populous areas, but they also must offer shoppers their pick of tracking method. The rise of Amazon has given way to a mindset that anticipates fast delivery and real-time tracking notifications. Another aspect in which Amazon has excelled? Round-the-clock customer service in case a customer has a question about a package’s current location or shipping status.
Ultimately, keeping up with consumers’ rapidly evolving expectations regarding shopping experiences should be at the top of retailers’ priorities. With ecommerce and mcommerce sales set to continue skyrocketing, brands cannot afford to resist the ongoing mobile transformation of retail.
Are you ready? Download your copy of the Mobile Retail Report and learn what the current mobile customer journey is like and why retailers are not making the grade.