In today’s landscape, where the blur between online and offline is the new normal for consumers, building a successful brick-and-mortar experience requires retailers to rethink how to make digital a core aspect of their physical stores. Mobile is the go-to technology to help bridge that gap. Whether it’s creating an ever-present shopping companion that provides contextual information and in-aisle advice or offering another channel to open up dialogues between shoppers and staff, phones—and, more recently, wearable devices—offer opportunities for stores to experiment and innovate.
These include some of the most important trends changing the way we use our mobile devices as a tool to send and receive payments from anywhere. However, transactions are only one part of the advocacy path, and to be successful, merchants must find ways to deliver a differentiated set of services along that entire funnel. Optimizing the in-store experience will be key to serving customers in the best and most efficient way. Below, are six of the most compelling examples of how retailers and brands are integrating mobile in-store.
The Urban Outfitters native app, Urban On (UO), sends notifications to shoppers at key points in their journey to enhance the brand experience. Upon entering the store, shoppers are prompted to log in through social media to personalise their visit. While in the dressing room, they’re encouraged to share their outfits with friends on social media in exchange for discounts and other promotions. And in the checkout line, shoppers are reminded to shake their phone to pull up their loyalty barcode.
Best Buy has added support for IFTTT (If This Then That) into its native mobile application, which allows users to program their own unique recipes that affect their in-store experience. Customers can identify certain products they are interested in, and opt to receive immediate push notifications of price or stock changes.
Walgreens Pharmacy is using a special camera to add a detailed 3D view to its in-store maps at every one of its stores. This information is merged with retailer floor plans and data to show where specific products are located on shelves. Shoppers using the app to navigate their local shop are served with highly contextual discounts on items as they pass by.
Rebecca Minkoff Rebecca Minkoff and eBay have partnered to unveil a new connected wall and interactive fitting room at the fashion brand’s NYC flagship. On the showroom floor, a mirrored display lets shoppers view videos from the runway, browse through clothing and accessories, request items to a fitting room, and enter their phone number to download the mobile app.
Once inside the changing room, shoppers can change the environment’s lighting, scan clothing tags to receive complementary recommendations, contact a member of staff, and check out through a mobile device.
Luxury fashion house Marc Jacobs hosted a money-free pop-up event that accepted tweets as the exclusive form of currency. Tweets with the hashtag #MJDaisyChain could be redeemed for in-store credit, and the most creative tweet of each day was awarded a Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag. The shopper activity from inside the temporary store populated the brand’s various social channels, creating increased awareness while building unique relationships with fans.
Starbucks has introduced a delivery feature as part of its loyalty app, which will soon allow customers not only to order and pay but have beverages delivered to their location. Coffee fans can already preorder their morning cup of joe in order to skip lines, but later in 2015 they will be able to have a standing order of morning coffee automatically ordered, paid for, and delivered to wherever they need a pick-me-up.