Aditi, a 30 year old media planner in a large MNC, buys most of the grocery items online and spend most of her free time doing online fashion shopping. All she need is her best companion- her little, handy smartphone and some swoosh and swipes on the screen gets her work done. She says that transacting through mobile apps is more interactive, easy and fun than through her PC.
It’s not only Aditi; it’s the case with millions of people with the power of technology and Internet in their hands making frequent online purchases over the years. There is tremendous opportunity in retail Industry alone. Retail sales worldwide is expected to reach at $28 trillion by 2018, with growth rate of 3%-4%. The Indian Retail Industry is one of the fastest growing in the world with highest retail store availability per capita.
Sales Growth from Mobiles rules over desktop in US and other countries as reported by ComScore. Sales through mobile devices in United States inflated by 56% from last year reaching $49.2 billion in 2016. Although the figure of revenues is higher for desktop sales but the growth rate seems to be decreasing swiftly with time.
Today’s retailers are looking for the innovative ways to find out the traces of consumer behaviour, insights about tracking their shopping patterns and gather as much data to take intelligent decisions about their future actions. On the other hand, consumers expectations have also been considerably increased in terms of faster delivery, flexi payment, more display of varieties etc. from brick and mortar stores. The sales which are made by a store also have digital influence as terms such as show rooming and web-rooming are cropping up these days.
Nordstrom, America’s renowned fashion retailer is investing heavily in technology for coming up with innovative ideas to provide the customers with the best shopping experience at their 225+ stores. One of the ideas is using Pinterest pins to know about the trending products and promoting those products via social media that induces more shoppers. They have fixed touch screens in the shopping areas where they can check for the reviews and related Instagram images for a specific product. The big data analytics team comes up with ideas to improve marketing and product design getting deeper consumer insights.
Another example is Walgreens, the digital savvy drugstore chain. The Walgreens mobile app accounts for more than 60% of the online traffic. The features like refill by scan, prescription transfers etc. makes it comfortable to order and keep track of the medicines. The app is also looking to include features to provide patients with 24×7 assistance of doctors on their smartphones with help of camera.
So, Mobile commerce has changed the way a consumer shops. Now, every consumer that visits a store takes the competitors along with him in his pocket. While moving through aisles, he can check and compare the prices and availability with the competitors too for any product using their mobile devices forcing the retailers to keep competitive prices.
The future of retail is omnichannel. No single format is going to work. But, there has to be a blend of online and offline channels which will shape the decision making behaviour of the consumers in an effective way. Entrepreneurs who have not yet come up with their mobile apps should waste no more time and look for Mobile App Developers. Targeted real time marketing, customized offers, tailor made product designs and effective pricing, all these need retailers to start investing in customer data platforms and revolutionize their shopping experience like never before.