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INDUSTRY REPORT 2019 Leading Vendors to the IR Top 1000 E-Retailers

Leveraging Mobile as a Gateway to Omnichannel Retail

Leveraging Mobile as a Gateway to Omnichannel Retail

How has mobile changed the retail landscape?

With rapid technological advances in mobile devices over the years, it has changed the way consumers shop. Before mobile shopping became available, online shopping was more difficult as you would need access to a desktop or laptop computer (with internet) in order to shop.

Smartphones and devices have eliminated that step and allows people to shop virtually anytime and anywhere they are, which makes it the ideal way for consumers to shop.

In our previous article (Mobile Personalization Strategies that Drive More Sales), we discussed the importance of personalizing the mobile experience. This article will discuss the importance of connecting the mobile shopping experience with other channels such as desktop, email and physical stores to create a seamless shopping experience that is consistent across all touchpoints.

Leveraging Mobile to Create Omnichannel Experiences

Think Business Strategy, Not Channel Strategy – Shoppers do not care about channels. They care about the experience. Once a shopper decides to look for something to purchase, they will use the device or channel that is most convenient for them. Make sure your core business objectives includes all of the channels you serve and consistently deploy them in a seamless fashion.

Connect Mobile and Desktop Experiences – Creating a consistent brand experience involves knowing what your customers are doing across devices. By leveraging and combining unique customer identifiers such as email or customer ID, you can deliver the most real-time experiences possible. For example, if a customer recently purchased a pair of sneakers via mobile site, do not recommend that same pair of shoes when he goes to shop on the desktop site. Instead, show related items or accessories that will complement the recent purchase.

Integrate Additional Data – To truly create an omnichannel experience, you need to incorporate customer information from every source possible to really understand the customer from all touchpoints. Data such as CRM, preferences, purchase history and reviews can help you understand what your customers like and don’t like and tailor each experience to their style and needs. By leveraging as much data as possible, retailers can analyze that information to make better decisions on how to personalize the shopping experience. However, without a personalization solution, this may be a more difficult and more manual task.

Individualize Email Campaigns – By leveraging mobile shopping behaviors and contextual information such as location, time, weather and device, you can deliver more individualized email campaigns to drive higher open rates, click-through rates and ultimately higher conversion rates. For example, if a shopper is on their mobile phone browsing sneakers, you can send them a promotional offer via email. If your business has a physical store location, send the shopper a promotional email to come into the store based on the shopper’s proximity to the nearest store location.

Reach Mobile Shoppers In Stores – Even though store traffic has decreased over the year, shoppers still like going to physical stores whether it’s for convenience or a personal preference. Retailers can leverage push notifications to customers who are physically near a store location or even shopping in the store. For example, if a customer has purchased sneakers from website a week ago, send her a push notification for a promotion on socks or cleaning products next time they are near or in the store.

Here are a couple of scenarios where personalization can connect shopping experiences across channels:

Mobile-to-Desktop: Joe is looking for a jacket and goes to jackets.com mobile site on his smartphone. On his lunch break. After work, Joe goes back to jackets.com on his laptop and sees the jackets he recently viewed along with some similar jackets and accessories he likes based on his profile and shopping behavior on both mobile and desktop site.

Mobile-to-Email: Morgan is browsing dresses for a wedding on her phone. She adds a dress to the cart but does not check out. Hours later, Morgan receives a reminder (aka cart abandonment) email with the product she abandoned along with recommendations for similar items.

Mobile-to-Store: Jane is looking at a dress on a mobile site. She finds a dress she likes and decides to buy it and pickup in store. While at the store, the associate sees Jane’s profile and history and recommends a nice pair of high heels to go with her dress.

As mobile traffic and sales start to increase, make sure you utilize the strategies mentioned above to connect your commerce channels and create the most individualized and consistent shopping experiences.

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