Prioritising the shopping device that’s always close to hand makes sense for IRUK Top500 retailers. Here are 12 strategies that these leading companies use both to improve the m-retailing experience and to put mobile at the heart of their multichannel businesses
1. Mobile-first strategies
As more and more ecommerce traffic comes via mobile devices, it makes sense to ensure that shoppers have the best online experience via their smartphones.
The focus at Asos [IRDX RASO] on “being awesome on mobile” is, to an extent, a response to the fact that 70% of its traffic came via mobile devices in the first half of its latest financial year, as did 58% of the pureplay’s orders. That’s up from 60% and 51% respectively a year earlier. One place it has prioritised mobile is at the checkout: it is deploying its mobile checkout across all channels and will soon add to the experience with the introduction of Apple Pay. It plans a new My Account section that enables mobile customers to find their order histories, delivery and returns updates along with wishlists, all in one place. “We now offer a cutting-edge customer experience designed and developed with a mobile-first approach, using the latest technologies to provide a new, seamless checkout experience for our customers,” the retailer said in its half-year results.
Asos reported a 28% in daily app downloads in those results. It says customers who have downloaded the app visit it around eight times a month, and spend more than 1h 20m on it.
2. Give shoppers a reason to download an app
Shoppers need to be loyal to download an app: not only is there the initial effort of downloading it, but once installed apps take up valuable storage space. Nonetheless, once downloaded they are likely to be frequently used. It’s important, therefore, for retailers to give shoppers a good reason to download.
The major reasons that Game gives its shoppers to download the app include the ability to use augmented reality to play in-store games, and its Reward Account. Members collect loyalty points through actions from registering the app to buying in store. Such a scheme, said Fred Prego, director of loyalty and marketing at the retailer, speaking at IRX 2017 fosters changing behaviour. “By using the app more often, we encouraged them to come into the stores more often and engage with us.”
The data that Game holds on its customers also personalises the shopping experience: when they scan gaming devices and games in any shop, they see what the Game price for that item would be, once their points balances are taken into account. “You can scan a game at our competitors and see the price you would get in our stores,” said Prego. “We’re trying to say, ‘Don’t buy it from our competitors – buy it from us.’” He added: “It’s amazing what you can do with technology and how you can adapt that technology to suit your objectives as a retailer and a business.”
3. Bridging the gap
Mobile helps to bridge the gap between online and the store effectively when it’s used to offer services that call on both channels, whether that’s enabling easier collection of goods ordered online or offering easy ways to navigate a store.
Tesco has taken digital in-store with the introduction of fast payment app PayQwik, which enables shoppers to scan and pay for their in-store grocery shopping via their own smartphones. When it comes time to checkout, shoppers generate a QR code that they scan and pay to complete their purchases.
Debenhams aims to use mobile to encourage more shoppers into store. Already, more than 30% of its online sales are collected in stores. The department store now plans to put its fast-growing mobile channel, where sales grew by 64% in the half-year to 4 March 2017, to work to encourage shoppers to its high street presence. From this autumn, it will trial a ‘click, collect and play’ service, which ties into personal shopping advice. It aims to make Debenhams a leader in mobile-focused ‘social shopping’, which it defines as “shopping as a fun leisure activity enjoyed with friends and family and shared via social media”. To this end it plans to create an “engaging and inspiring” online and offline environment, upgrading its mobile platform to “help us unite channels and connect better with our customers”.
4. Narrow down search choices
Shopping via a mobile device brings its own challenges. The relatively small size of smartphone screens, for example, means users can’t see as many products as they can on a desktop screen. Technologies that help narrow down their search options mean shoppers move quickly to find the products that are right for them. That might be through effective mobile searches, with dropdown suggestions, or through navigation that takes shoppers to the right categories quickly, and enables filtering to reach the most relevant products.
Some retailers are finding new ways to narrow down search options. Made.com, for example, is using touch-based technology from Hullabalook that enables shoppers using its UK, French, German or Dutch websites to search for the type of furniture they want by the size of the space available, pinching and enlarging a scale. Hullabalook founder Bryony Elliot has noted: “Retailers have a rapidly diminishing window to allow customers to browse a superabundant and burgeoning product catalogue. Together, Made.com and Hullabalook developed SofaSizer to make visual discovery of just the right piece of furniture or storage fast fun and frictionless online, especially via mobile.”
This piece appeared first in the latest IRUK Top500 Mobile & Crosschannel Performance Dimension Report. To read on, click here, to explore the report click here, and to find out more about the series of reports, click here.