The relationship between retailer and consumer becomes more strained each day that passes as the economy pulls itself out of the recession. That aside, the consumer today has little time and patience for old school window-shopping or a casual browse. Yet this consumer still demands acknowledgment of brand loyalty and has high expectations for the retailer to meet.
What are these pain points for retailers?
Well, thanks to a slightly overused reader strip on my credit card, I could name a few. Specifically these top 10 and how mobile marketing and 2D barcodes can provide solutions to retailers for some of these pain points.
- The sales associate never remembers me, my size or the purchase I made yesterday. A simple username and password and a mobile retail app rarely forgets my credit card or me. Mobile retail sites such as Amazon, Zappos and Piperlime, log my past purchases, recommend matching shirts, pants, shoes, belts and somehow, it always has my size. By using Microsoft Tag’s device ID, consumer purchases can also be recorded and those same consumers can be rewarded with loyalty programs. While the sales associate working for minimum wage is folding in the corner ignoring my need for help, the mobile app is a simple fingertip away.
- Is there a better price at another store? It’s difficult to avoid the impulse buy, but with numerous retailers offering mobile retail stores, finding out who has the best buy is in the palm of my hands. According to an LEK Consulting survey, active smartphone users regularly use shopping apps to find deals and discounts. More than half of them have a minimum of one coupon app and almost a third have used a price comparison tool.
- The sales associates will up sell. Products offering 2D barcode scans like Microsoft Tag can link to mobile sites that offer relevant ratings and reviews. A simple Tag scan and a debatable shirt that received five out of five stars is more likely to end up in the “must-have” bag. For example, Lowe’s mobile app, which integrates Tag scanning, helps users to decide what to buy during a shopping trip thanks to product reviews and ratings, detailed product information and access to video content that can be activated by scanning a Tag.
- Needless to say, customer service is lacking these days. Well, with an app you don’t have to worry about snippy or inattentive sales help. For example, the application can transfer the user to the right agent for the requested task or schedule a callback, while providing the target agent with information about the customer’s issue or need, and interaction history.
- How will it look on me? FaceCake welcomes you to the virtual dressing room. Launched last month at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach, Ca., FaceCake takes the hassle out of trying clothes on. Simply step in front of the virtual mirror, scan a Tag and FaceCake throws on the duds without you needing to strip off your clothes. It even offers accessibility to otherwise unaffordable purchases, like red carpet gowns. Taking it a step further, FaceCake allows wearers to “swivel” or share pictures of their choice outfits through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
- I missed the sale… again. Fear not, saver! Retailers like Target have integrated coupons, discounts and daily deals in their mobile microsites. Remember that sale yesterday? Yes, you do! Because you were there!
- No time, even less patience. We’re a society of multi-taskers. So much so that 50 percent of consumers use mobile phones while in an actual store. Access these customers in store and out by offering a simple mobile app. No lines, no wait, just straight purchases.
- I want it before I even get there. Online shopping’s wish list component helped shoppers store items for a rainy day or when there’s extra cash in the bank. A mobile wish list goes with you while the other stays at your desk. Retailers like Best Buy create a wish list and goes so far as to report in-store availability.
- Does this come in every color? Inventory constraints are a common problem in retail. As miniscule as it seems, offering the product in another color or pattern could secure a sale, but what to do when the rack is pure black? Turn to Microsoft tag! Put Tag onto product labels and shelf talkers, enabling the consumer to make the purchase immediately without having to go from store to store or flagging down a sales associate to check in the stockroom.
- If there is a line, give me something to do. Entertain me. While trinkets and accessories are ideal add-on items for customers waiting to check out, how about engaging me instead of annoying me while I wait on those long lines for the fitting room? Let’s forget the fact that I don’t even want to be on that line. How about tying in some mobile gamification and making it fun with a game that rewards me. Everyone likes to win and a Tag scavenger hunt in-store that rewards consumers with discounts or promotional items keeps those same customers in your store and engaged by you.
What are some other pain points facing retailers especially with the holiday season fast approaching? Let us know what you think with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.