The rising use of technology helps eCommerce to grab more and more market share and possessing threat to the offline retailers with in-store customer footfall. But there are many ways retailers can exploit benefits of mobile technology to increase customer footfall.
Offline retailers can exploit mobile technology to enhance in-store customer journey, increase customer footfall, to boosts sales and to increase overall customer experience that in turn will increase loyal customer base.
Mobile became almost an integral part of customer's life. Increasing customer engagement with mobile phones has changed the nature and magnitude of competition for offline retailers. So, retailers have to think differently to increase customer footfall. Retailers need to understand the changing expectation and behaviors due to pervasive presence of mobile in human life.
Ways to increase in-store traffic using mobile
Integration of mobile technology with different store initiative can improve buyer journey at different stage viz. pre-purchase, during purchase, post-purchase. In doing so, retailers can exploit the benefits of different features of mobile apps. Technology integration like augmented and virtual reality, Geo-fencing will improve customer footfall.
Based on customer past purchasing behavior, send notification alert on mobile about offers, discounts and attractive product bundling schemes. Also, retailer can send personalizes alert to customer about preferred products when stocks running out.
Leveraging the benefits of GPS to invite customer by sending them an alert when he/she is near by a store. Allow customer to check the product availability and provide route navigation will increase store traffic.
Using bot enabled live chats to answer customer queries regarding offers, schemes, discounts, product availability and guiding them while in-store shopping. Chatbots based on past interaction recommend customers with products, accept review and improve further interaction.
Integration of mobile with e-wallets, cards and loyalty accounts improve customer experience. Using different modes of payments such as digital payment channels, hand-free payments through NFC, Wi-Fi and e-Bills on mobile apps can improve payment system and thus customer experience.
Customers engagement initiative
Using mobile apps and store websites to engage customer can improve store traffic. It can help customer to locate nearest store, navigate in-store, scan barcode for detailed product information and using coupon or point system to persuade repeat purchase. Assign customers with a point on each purchase and monetize those points can engage customers.
Beacons to improve in-store customer experience
Beacons uses Bluetooth connection and customers location to communicate with users' smartphones and track customers' in-store movements. It helps customer during purchase to locate the products at the floor and facilitates location-based advertisement.
One of the biggest difficulty with beacon is, customers need to download an app, turn on their Bluetooth and location to provide assistance. These prevents adoption of beacon to improve customer journey and increase their footfall.
Allow customer to access store wi-fi service with its social media login will provide valuable information about customer such as likes and dislikes, interest and preferences and other habits. With these data and implementing wi-fi analytics can improve personalized customer service and invite them with notifications alert.
These technology in the mobiles can improve customer engagement and persuade them to visit stores. Now, offline retailers are using many technologies to compete with eCommerce and increase their customer base such as chatbots, augmented reality to visualize products from different angle. So, in the technological era retailers have to change their means to increase store traffic.