Insider tips to capture mobile dollars this holiday season
Through a special arrangement, what follows is an excerpt of an article from Retail Dive, an e-newsletter and website providing a 60-second bird’s eye view of the latest retail news and trends.
While actual sales conducted on devices are expected to be a minimal percentage of overall sales, this holiday season will be a key indicator of whether or not m-commerce is headed for the big shopping leagues.
Retail Dive spoke to industry experts who shared some best practices to capitalize on mobile commerce this holiday and ways to skirt the pitfalls:
Make sure associates are just as helpful as smartphones: While shoppers are researching sales, products and reviews on their smartphones before and during their time in stores, "they still want sales associates to be knowledgeable about products and to inform them of discounts," Lokesh Ohri, senior manager of Deloitte’s digital retail practice, told Retail Dive.
Engage, don’t sell, with mobile: While consumers are opening up e-mails at a high rate and mobile traffic continues to grow, m-commerce still has relatively low conversion rates. As a result, mobile shouldn’t be purely used to drive e-commerce. Rather, according to Andrew Wong a partner with Kurt Salmon Digital, retailers should view their mobile holiday efforts "as part of a holistic digital strategy to drive continuous engagement throughout the season and into next year in stores, online, on social media, etc."
Personalize offers to complement omnichannel behavior: Recommend related products to accompany the item a customer may be picking up that they bought online, or send them specific notifications prior to their store visit. Consider the context as well. For example, said Ms. Ohri, if a lady purchases a tie, "it’s fair to assume it’s a gift. Retailers [should] then recommend other products that would go well with the tie to either complement the gift or add to the overall experience."
Create local store websites with inventory listings: Offer granular data on the inventory available in a particular store, or even nearby stores. Consumers are using their phones in stores to add products to their virtual shopping carts, often motivated by "line avoidance," Yory Wurmser, an analyst with eMarketer, told Retail Dive.
What advice would you give retailers on how to prepare for the early days of m-commerce this holiday season? Which advice mentioned in the article will be the easiest as well as the most challenging to orchestrate effectively?