How Mobile Enables Better Retail Experiences

Posted on October 9, 2012

Best Buy’s Scott Durchslag, as reported by Business Insider, made an important comment about customer behaviour in his stores.

60 percent of the customers in Best Buy stores have been on BestBuy.com or are on it when they’re actually in the store live. People are using it real-time while they’re there. I think the opportunity is to really bring these together.

Durchslag is absolutely right. What forward thinking retail organizations must be doing today is to think about how customers can use their mobile devices, and other channels, to enhance the shopping experience.

Mobile is a particularly great enabler of this because it has the capability to easily provide extra information about products to the customer. Not only that, it can be used to deepen a customer’s emotional attachment to a product making them more likely to buy.

By considering how mobile applications can actually work with a retail outlet, a maximum amount of value can be brought to both the customer and the retailer. For example, imagine having a mobile application that has a live help button on a product page if you are in store. An alert can be sent to a staff member who can then go to the product emplacement to help out a customer. No more hunting for a sales rep, and much more chance of getting a rep there who is specialized in that particular product.

Much has been written about the showrooming phenomenon, but technology can actually be used to support the traditional retail experience rather than just being relied upon to undermine it.