Customers expect seamless service from retailers, and they won’t put up with anything less. Accenture estimates that $1.6 trillion is up for grabs from customers switching companies (Accenture). These customers know their data is both valuable and useful for retailers, and they want to see results from the information they provide. The increasing power of the mobile device is also giving retail brands a proverbial “run for their money” as customer behavior and preferences are now always on the move, “With the proliferation of mobile devices, retailers will and must take a mobile-first strategy approach to digital investments,” Justin Honaman, senior vice president for digital marketing solutions at Moxie USA, wrote in Retail Info Systems News (RIS News).
Earlier this year we published our 2016 Retail Predictions Report, which includes insights from 10 experienced retail marketing professionals and thought-leaders. They touched on the challenges that currently exist in several different aspects of marketing, including data, agile marketing, customer traits, and more. In this post, our experts explain why and how retailers need to be wherever increasingly mobile customers go.
How Have Mobile Customers Evolved?
- They Know How To Leverage Digital Channels. There’s never been a time when customers are more digitally savvy, connected and advanced, obviously in the mobile sense. It’s also very rare to see people call customer service hotlines anymore. If you tweet at Delta or at New Balance about an issue, you expect a pretty immediate, helpful, human response and resolution. That’s something that we’ve had to build here and it’s reaped incredible benefits.
-Pat Cassidy, New Balance
- It’s More Than Just Showrooming. People are doing more and more with mobile devices whether they are in store or not. You can call it showrooming, but I think it’s more than that. The goal might not necessarily be to see or touch something in store with the intent to buy it online — sometimes they use it to learn more about something they are standing in front of. Customers today are interacting with retailers when standing in a grocery store line or sitting on the couch.
-Kevin Ertell, Sur La Table
- A New Appreciation For The Convenience Of Technology. Customers are always – without realizing it – growing accustomed and adapting to new technologies. Three years ago customers were spooked by the fact you knew what they were looking at and then having ads mysteriously appear on their digital screens while browsing. Welcome to remarketing. We actually had customers call and complain that we “took control” of their computers. Now, we personalize those ads and — for the most part — they have come to appreciate it. For example, when they get an ad for a shoe they recently browsed and then see it’s on sale.
-Colin Hall, Allen Edmonds
- Know My Preferences. Back in the day, it was creepy when retargeting would offer you ads of items that you just saw but didn’t purchase. Now that is expected. Today it’s laughable when I receive an email that has nothing to do with my interest. It just seems like such a fail on the retailer’s part. You know, five years ago that might have been acceptable, these days it is not.
-Mari Corella, Avon
- Keep It Short & Keep It Available. Obviously consumers are spending their time on their devices. They are consuming little, snackable pieces of content instead of long, extended pieces of content. The fact that devices are making their way to the stadium is causing more engagement from fans there. Today, rather than a fan walking into Fenway and us connecting with our fan through signage, now they expect us to connect with them through their devices..
-Wayne Best, '47 Brand
- They Know What They Want & They Expect It Now. This new customer is more established and knows what they are looking for from the beginning. From us, they want a glamorous wardrobe in only two days. We are trying to keep her happy, and the only way to do that is to add more pieces.
-Candice Galek, Bikini Luxe
- Mobile Evaluation. This year, the customer is doing a lot of shopping from their phone and devoting a lot more time to evaluating the offerings on their phone — but they are purchasing the traditional way. Mobile applications are the fulcrum for enabling the customer to shop. The stores are facilities to fulfill the shopping.
-Domenic Armano, Potpourri Group
- The Mobile Are Coming, The Mobile Are Coming!. When we think about the “customer,” all of our clients customer demographics are getting younger or need to get younger. We want all of our customer interactions to be updated to something that would work with a younger demographic.
-Andy Wong, Kurt Salmon Digital
- Frictionless Experiences. While behavior is a dynamic variable from customer to customer and day to day, most expect a holistic, fluid and frictionless experience. Regardless of where and how they buy — it has to feel like it’s one story, not seven or eight that are loosely fitted together.
-Sanford (Sandy) Stein, Author of “Retail Schmetail”
- They Are Hard To Pin Down. The first part is a lack of certainty. You can no longer claim, “I know this person is coming home from work and reading their catalogue after dinner,” that doesn’t exist any more. The second part is attention span. If you catch people on whatever device they happen to be on – you have a short amount of time to get your point across. Finally, there is a difference between satisfaction of demand and creation of demand. SEO is satisfying a demand for information. But creation of demand is seeing something in a catalogue and thinking “I want to add this to the things I have.” We still don’t know how, in a digital world, we are going to succeed with that creation of demand.
-Abbott de Rham, de Rham & Co.
WHITEPAPER: 2016 Retail Predictions Report