Tomorrow’s leaders in retail worldwide will use the smartphone app as the primary vehicle for customer communication and commerce. The increasing sophistication of the device and the pervasiveness of cloud services, allow retailers to continually enhance their customers’ shopping experience.
The store entrance is where cyberspace crystallises into physical reality, and the retailer’s app shifts into a store assistant role. Physical stores become a symbiotic part and natural extension of the space created by the app.
Just as a frequent flyer is personally greeted by an lounge officer, informed of local facilities, and kept abreast of flight updates, so does the retail app come alive to greet, inform and look after the customer while in-store.
With mobile check-in, the online world extends into the offline experience. But that customer experience needs to be frictionless; and to date there has been a lack of clarity on how to deliver a frictionless check in consumer experience.
Why does it matter?
The digital divide between online and physical stores is narrowing with renewed investment in retail brand app development of innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality and chatbots.
A Retailer's app the channel of the future
Mobile apps make a significant contribution to retail sales. According to Deloitte, the estimated mobile retail e-commerce sales in the USA alone is estimated to have reached US$207B in 2018, up 32% over 2017.
And the lion’s share of mobile e-commerce traffic is brand apps, which deliver user convenience, a better user interface and better performance compared to mobile sites. It was in late 2017 that mobile apps took the lead over both desktop and mobile sites for the first time ever in the USA .
Retailers cannot afford to ignore this trend, and a recent survey indicated that 50% of American retailers have made a shopping app their top priority .
The key question is, what are the compelling reasons for a smartphone user to download and open a retail app?
Clearly, a lot has to do with the quality of the a retail app’s content, but, the best way to increase the use of an app is to make it available and useful the moment a customer enters a brick-and-mortar store, with a mobile check-in.
The new in-store functionality extends the scope of the app to store assistance and advice, effectively guiding the customer through a physical space. As some retailers have trialled the physical space can be designed as an expression of the online space.
So, to be clear: Mobile Check-In is not Proximity Marketing
With mobile check-in, brands present themselves to each customer personally, establishing a climate of trust and respect. By opting-in, customers signal their interest in being greeted on arrival and in receiving personalised notifications, messages and utilities that are relevant to them and that enhance their shopping experience.
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Parousya was created to provide technology that automatically connects a customer to a business in a physical space in order to unify the online with the offline and open up a world of opportunities