Mobile is the tool of choice for consumers and merchants as they meet at the intersection of on and offline commerce. But how to best use this powerful tool in pursuit of an omnicommerce vision is the subject of much debate and experimentation. Some retailers have found success in using a surprising method of payment to turn their online customers into in-store spenders and vice versa.
This month’s Omnicommerce Tracker showed an increased use of mobile apps – whether it be in the form of digital loyalty cards or e-gift cards that are redeemable in-store. Key insights from Vantiv indicate the following:
1) To engage customers, the increased availability and adoption of connected devices has made it easier than ever for consumers to make any situation one where commerce can transpire, but the challenge now is for merchants to effectively engage with these “always on” consumers to convert browsing behaviors to sales.
2) To enable customers, mobile payments remain a solution looking for a problem for most consumers. Without being heavily incentivized to make the switch to mobile, many consumers have yet to see a real value in leaving their leather wallets and cards at home.
3) To serve customers, progressive retailers are already taking advantage of the opportunity to create more engagement with customers by de-centralizing the POS and bringing associates closer to the point where purchase decisions are being made.
Key happenings in omnicommerce news include the following:
1) To engage customers, women’s clothing store Chico’s is rethinking its marketing tactics to boost growth, investing in initiatives like iPads to give associates customer purchase history and personalized selling options.
2) To enable customers, Walgreens launched an iBeacon pilot program in several New York Duane Reade stores based on findings that “the average in-store, online, and mobile shopper spends size times more than the average store-only shopper.”
3) To serve customers, Apple launched a new mobile point of sale system in US stores using an iPhone 5S and VeriFone shell. The new system replaces the iPod with iPhone 5S, offers NFC technology, and allows for calls to be made and received through the device in the store.
This report will, on a monthly basis, document the moves these progressive retailers are making to enable omnichannel across three critical lenses:
Engage the Customer: Strategies merchants are enacting to drive customers into their store or online including loyalty programs, contextually relevant offers, and leveraging data to make relevant product recommendations.
Enable the Customer: Tools merchants are deploying to arm customers with the ability to shop and buy whenever and wherever they want including apps, enabling payment within the app, location-based services, and the ability to shop and fulfill purchases regardless of channel.
Serve the Customer: Ways in which merchants are stepping out from behind the counter to deliver enhanced shopping experiences such as mobile-point-of-sale, ability to check inventory in real-time, etc.
The report will also feature industry-spanning statistics and factoids curated by Vantiv, whose solutions help merchants more easily make that transition. These statistics and factoids will help to arm retailers (and those who power them) with data to make smarter decisions when considering various options for enabling omnicommerce.
For more on the developments across the omnicommerce ecosystem, download the full version of this month’s report by clicking the button below.