There is plenty to think about while you’re planning your brands in-store mobile retail app. If you’re like most retailers you have leadership that is pushing an IT team to move quickly to keep up with the competition.
I’ll take it a step further and let you know that I have been at the table with more than 10 retailers, all of them have answered the “What is your in-store mobile strategy?” question with varying degrees of “We’re struggling with it and we know we’re behind the industry.”
The overall tone of most retailers on the topic of mobile retail app and tablet strategies is exasperation.
Good news: You’re probably exasperated because you think you’re behind the curve; but you’re not.
So we will break ranks with the dozen or so companies that are spending a lot of money to tell you you’re behind the times on all the bright and shiny objects to do what we do best – Take it step by step and keep it in focus. Or as we like to call it: Crawl, Walk, Run.
Regardless of Use Location Keep the Mission Top of Mind
If the mission for your in-store mobile retail app is to sell more clothes, make sure that the devices speak to that in every way. Easy to hold, easy to put down. Not interfering with the person to person touch that is going on between associates and clients.
If the mission is to distribute and implement floor sets with mobile planograms, do the same kind of thinking about the way the device is going to be used in the store. I have seen these initiatives struggle for want of a good iPad case with a kickstand!
Tablet Care is a Mission All Its Own
They are going to need their batteries charged. They need to be wiped down. Store them in the managers office or some other accountability point. Don’t use consumer products for these tasks.
Check out some of the awesome charging modules that are out there and make sure it’s capable of containing the mess that can accompany the devices in the busy and cramped back of store.
If You’re In-Store, You’re Head’s Up
If you’re the associate and you’re spending time looking at a device, there is a trade taking place. The trade is between time spent looking down and all that could be missed and what they are getting back from that screen. If the information is properly presented and very role specific, it shouldn’t take much of that head down time.
There is a tipping point, even if there is good info coming from the device, too much is too much. Don’t overthink it. If it feels wrong it is. In-store retail is about person to person interactions. If the device enhances that connection, you’re in great shape. If it diminishes it you need to rethink your strategy.
Associate Taps Count
As previously stated, there is a huge bonus for mobile retail apps that are role specific. This is going to allow your associates to “live” in the place that is most directly going to benefit them. As we created our Room Valet iOS app we made sure that the associate who was running the fitting room had what they needed in one screen. Changing screens isn’t a good game plan.
Who Goes Into the Managers Office?
The easy answer is your manager, but we’re going to hope that it’s for an ever-narrowing list of tasks. The manager is going to be the powerhouse when they can grab useful reports and YOY data on the fly and coach to the game that is unfolding in front of them.
Keep the useful information real-time and concise. Equip the manager with the proper tools for important insights so they can effectively manage their team. If it looks like it may have come off a fax machine, you’re doing it wrong.
Find Out More About Our Room Valet Fitting Room Solution and iOS app here.