A fear for many brick and mortar businesses are that the new age of technology will lead customers away, destroying their livelihoods. The fear is not unfounded, as large Internet retailers can provide customers with an ease of access and low prices that often cannot be found in a brick and mortar retailer. The fight is not over though. Brick and mortar still provide customer shopping experiences that cannot be found on the Internet. Online, a person cannot test products, touch and feel them, or even have the direct customer service that a brick and mortar retail store can provide. Upping the ante, retailers are also embracing different technologies themselves. In a research study by Key Ring, the mobile habits of customers and the advantages of mobile solutions for businesses were given light.
Key Ring, a branch of G/O Digital delivering mobile solutions for retail customer engagement, has released their “Local Mobile Advantage of Retailing Report,” examining the shopping behaviors of 13,000 Key Ring app users. The report gives a view of the actions taken by users before entering a store, in-store, and after visiting a store.
The key finding of the report was that the primary use for mobile apps appears to be as a method of saving money. The report discovered that the number one usage of mobile apps was to “search for coupon.” 35.86 percent of those examined used their apps in this manner. Brick and mortar retailers may celebrate, as the number of people looking for coupons far outweighed those who used “buy online” functions, which came in at only 12.05 percent.
The report uncovered some other facts that point to the importance of technology usage for retailers. According to the “Local Mobile Advantage of Retailing Report,” 47.4 percent of customers stated that if they were to find savings online before visiting a store, they would be more likely to purchase something while in-store. The report also highlighted the advantage of having mobile shopping lists for customers. 22 percent of shoppers stated that they always create a shopping list before going out, and 39 percent said they often do so. The preferred manner of creating a list seemed to be through smartphones, with 89.3 percent saying they use their smartphones to create a list, while only 6.1 percent stating they use their tablets and only 4.7 percent using computers.
The report also gave some useful hints for how a retailer can attract customers according to their retail category. For grocery stores, having everyday low prices seemed to be the most effective way of appealing to customers. Sales and clearance items seem to be more effective for apparel and shoe businesses. Meanwhile, relying on savings is not the most important consideration when it comes to technology. Instead, customers are more interested in customer reviews and ratings for their electronics and technology needs. Using this information, a business can tailor their business practices and mobile solutions to bring in the most customers.
Edited by Allison Sansone