According to ComScore’s 2017 Cross Platform Future in Focus report, the average American adult spends almost three hours a day glued to their smartphones. (I’m actually surprised that figure isn’t higher.) How can you take advantage of your customers’ passion for their mobile devices to get them into your store more often?
The 2018 Mobility in Retail Survey has some answers. Here’s what you need to know to turn your customers’ mobile phones into a sales tool for your store.
Ways Stores Can Use Mobile Apps to Increase Sales
1. Implement a mobile loyalty app program. The growth of smartphone use has contributed to a rise in the popularity of loyalty programs. With loyalty programs available on one device (the smartphone) as opposed to separate loyalty cards, more shoppers are using them. More than half (53.5 percent) of consumers overall and 66.3 percent of millennial consumers say they are more likely to shop at a store where they have loyalty points than at a nearby competitor where they don’t belong to a loyalty program.
2. Accept digital payments through mobile apps. Millennials in particular want to pay via their phones and get out of the store quickly. In fact, this is one of the top three reasons millennial shoppers cite for using a mobile app.
3. Provide free WiFi in-store. When asked how they prefer to search for products inside retail stores, 53.9 percent of millennials would rather use a mobile app than talk to a sales associate. Using free in-store WiFi generally provides faster results than using LTE and also helps users without unlimited data plans save money. Consider requiring customers to join your loyalty program to use your free WiFi or offering loyalty incentives to get them to sign up.
4. Let customers make purchases with the app. Do you sell products online as well as in store? The Shoutem mobile loyalty app integrates with Shopify to enable customers to make purchases on their phones. Be sure to offer in-store pickup for online orders so customers can get their orders faster. This is the number-two reason shoppers in the survey give for downloading a retail mobile app.
How Millennials and Baby Boomers Use Retail Loyalty Apps
When choosing what features to offer and promote in your mobile loyalty app, it’s important to consider your customer demographic. That’s because, although both baby boomers and millennials use retail loyalty apps, they use them differently, the study reports. Baby boomers use apps for traditional shopping tasks, such as learning about discounts or coupons, or finding out whether a product is in stock before heading to the store. Once they’re in the store, however, boomers prefer to get help from a salesperson rather than from their phones.
Millennials, in contrast, are more likely to use mobile retail apps on their phones throughout the shopping process. Their primary goal is to speed things up in the most convenient fashion. They’d rather compare products using their app than talk to a salesclerk about them. When they’ve found what they want, they want to quickly pay with a mobile app and be on their way.
If your target customer demographic leans heavily toward one age group or the other, this information can help you tailor your mobile app’s features to suit their preferences, or promote certain features over others to attract different demographics.
Tailoring your app to your customer base is critical to getting customers to actually use your app once they’ve downloaded it. The good news: Shoppers are using retail mobile apps more often than they used to. Sixty-five percent of shoppers in the current survey say they use their retail apps one to five times per week — an increase of 11.5 percent from just two years ago.
Looking for a mobile loyalty app for your retail store? Check out our tips for choosing the right loyalty program app, and find out why customers are more loyal to loyalty programs that have a mobile component.
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