Friday the 13th – a day of superstition for Western cultures. Whether you believe in this or not, many people will arrange their lives and activities to conform to the fears that this unusual day inspires.
If people are superstitious, are retailers superstitious too?
Lots of stores, big and small, will keep a talisman somewhere – a lucky waving cat, a stuffed monkey, or the store’s first piece of paper money earned, taped to the wall. Or, maybe a photo of opening day – something prominent to keep the good spirits close at hand.
Superstitions are rooted in fearing the unknown. For retailers, one of the great unknowns is the invisible power of the Internet – especially mobile technology. With that being said, here are thirteen "superstitions" of modern mobile commerce, and the debunking of each.
- “Mobile Commerce a Money Pit.” Response: Actually, it makes money – a ton of money for many. Customers use your native mobile app when they want deep engagement with you. This leads to far greater conversion and loyalty than websites or mobile sites.
- “It’s too complicated.” Response: That is why retailers must collaborate with people who know about technology in retail. Just like choosing great suppliers and advertising people – let the experts help you!
- “Mobile is Not Secure Enough.” Response: Given how non-secure paper money and checks can be – mobile payment technology, especially single click, like Apple Pay and Android Pay, are much safer.
- “This is Not How Retail Does Things.” Response: Sure, but you could say the same about debit cards, cash registers, barcodes, and SKUs. Every new thing starts somewhere, and you can be an innovator!
- “It is too Risky.” Response: You should probably not go into the retail business if you are not willing to face some risk. In business as in life, there is no such thing as standing still. Find out what the risks are, and then do what needs to be done to handle them.
- “Mobile is not Profitable.” Response: Mobile has a huge influence on a consumer’s purchasing decision: around 80 percent. Mobile-first purchases as a percentage of mobile commerce is projected to be $800 billion annually by 2018.
- “Online is not as Important as In-Store.” Response: Oooh, dead wrong. Retailers often keep digital commerce as its own division with a separate P&L, which further segregates it. Suggestion: Do not ever say "e-commerce." Take the “e” away. It is all commerce, and should be blended accordingly.
- “A Mobile Site is Just a Desktop Made Smaller.” Response: When a retailer simply reproduces their desktop website on a phone screen, they throw away opportunities for mobile customer engagement. Mobile is its own thing and connects more intimately to the shopper.
- “The Customer Base is Too Diverse.” Response: Yes, it may be diverse. But, they all have the Internet in common. It is up to you to target customers individually. Technology does this for you.
- “We Already Rely on Black Friday and Christmas.” Response: Seasonal events are still significant, but there is more that can be done year-round. A real-time world does not exclusively use calendar milestones for every shopping need.
- “Our Competitors Are Not Using This.” Response: If you know this for certain, then you will have an edge by going mobile. The odds are they either have it or are working on it. If your CURRENT competitors have not gone mobile, beware – your next NEW competitor might launch with a mobile-first strategy and eat your lunch.
- “Our Customers Don’t Want This.” Response: It is more likely they either do not know you offer mobile, or they are discovering that you don’t. They will probably drift to other sellers pretty soon, who satisfy their demand for the mobile experience.
- “This is Not a Fashion Thing.” Response: Have a look at Burberry, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, or Louis Vuitton. These fashion heavyweights offer sophisticated apps and are actively using social media. There is no better lesson available.
It is natural to fear change, and fear is the root of superstition. But change is inevitable. Mobile will continue to grow dramatically as the omnipotent force of commerce.
Will retailers continue to fight inevitability, or is it time to leverage mobile to bring good luck to their businesses?
Feel like something is missing in your mobile strategy? It's probably the empowerment of your store associates. Take part in our 30-minute webinar where Stephan Schambach, CEO, NewStore and Phil Granof, CMO, NewStore discuss why empowering your brand ambassadors (aka store associates) with mobile is what's missing in your relationship retailing strategy.