Once upon a time, retailers were terrified when a customer pulled out their smartphone in the store. The dreaded practice of “showrooming” was surely in effect from that point forward.
Yet the practice of comparing prices on the sales floor hasn’t had the detrimental impact that retailers once feared. If anything, the use of smartphones in brick and mortar stores has been a benefit to retailers.
If that phone-toting customer is inclined to spend more than one who does not, then it behooves you to do everything you can to cater to mobile users. The introduction of mobile checkouts is the next logical step in the continued evolution of the retail shopping experience.
The Cool Factor Can’t be Denied
Shoppers like to be wowed! Of course, the best way to wow them is through providing an excellent customer service experience. Neat little tricks along a shopper’s journey certainly contribute to creating a stellar customer experience.
Consider your last shopping trip at your apparel retailer of choice. Maybe you had something in mind for a particular event, or perhaps you just decided that your fall wardrobe needed a few new pieces. You were (hopefully) greeted by a sales associate on your way in the store. It wouldn’t necessarily change your impression of the store if nobody said hello, but that greeting probably made you feel more welcome.
That’s what the customer touchpoints are all about. A single interaction in the store might not make or break the experience, but when they’re taken together, it helps leave customers with a memorable impression.
The same goes for the implementation of a mobile checkout procedure. Once you have had a pleasant experience receiving good service from a knowledgeable fitting room associate, you probably don’t view the line at the cashwrap as a significant barrier.
If the fitting room associate is then able to offer you the opportunity to check out right on the spot using a mobile point-of-sale device, you’re going to be relieved. Bringing convenient touches to the customer are just one more way to surprise and delight.
Make an App for that
The best thing about apps is that they’re sticky. That little icon sits on every customer’s phone, all day, every day. When that mobile app is one that’s been developed for your store, it’s your logo that a customer sees every time the unlock the screen.
The branding opportunity is great, but it’s not the only reason to think about putting in the time and effort to develop a mobile app. The best kind of mobile apps are the ones that make a customer’s life easier. For retailers, this might mean integrating it with the loyalty program to help make product suggestions based on where a customer is in the store, or having a discount that only applies to users of the mobile app. There’s an endless possibility for creativity when it comes to creating a positive mobile app experience.
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Mobile app users are notoriously patient when it comes to waiting for performance improvements and upgrades. If you have been holding back on investing in this technology while you come up with the “perfect” hook, stop waiting. There’s always Version 2.0!
Mobile Checkout is Important, But Not Everything
Of course keeping up with the latest consumer trends will help your store stay competitive in the retail world. Offering mobile checkouts is one way to do that, but it won’t fix underlying problems in the store. If you’re looking to this technology as the way to fix what ails your store, you may be disappointed.
The retail experience is only as good as the service a customer receives. For example, the ability to use a mobile checkout on the way out of the fitting room won’t do much to impress a customer if the line to use that room is too long.
Expecting that any one solution will be the magic bullet to cure your stores woes is not a realistic goal. It’s one part of an overall program to ensure that the overall experience of shopping in your store is a good one.
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Smartphones are here to stay, and their users are ever more reliant on these devices. By incorporating mobile technology, including mobile checkouts, in your overall customer service strategy, you’re staying ahead of the curve for your customers.
Want more great ideas to help make your store the retailer of choice? Get your queues in order! Download your free copy of “What is Your Queue Costing You?” today.