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Four approaches to mobile and crosschannel

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Mobile now plays an integral role in all parts of the omnichannel shopping journey. Across in-store and online key changes are being wrought by mobile, writes Paul Skeldon.

1. Keep it simple

Anything any retailer does with mobile has to be simple. Pages should be simple: any processes that consumers have to follow to find what they want, or to buy things have to be quick and straightforward. Sign customers up in no more than three clicks, gathering the minimum of information as you do so. Anything more and they are gone.

2. Give them what they want

Part of this simplicity lies in making sure that what you offer via mobile is what the customers tell you they want. Don’t read this list and implement it, ask your customers. Budgens has reinvigorated the supermarket app by adding in a shopping list that adjust itself to take shoppers round the store in the right order. And this was prompted by customer feedback. See what customers want from your mobile offerings – app, website, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) – check out how they use them and give them those things as simply as possible.

3. Make joining you worthwhile

Getting customers to ‘join’ you, whether as a member or subscriber, has many advantages for the retailer, not least the opportunity to see shoppers’ buying behaviour in great detail. But what is in it for the shoppers? Asos charge members a fee but give them free next-day delivery. It’s important to show customers how their lives become easier if they sign up – and even more so via the mobile app, where experiences can be so much better.

4. Visualisation

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are no longer the stuff of science fiction, but technologies now hardwired into most modern smartphones – so make use of it. AR often requires no specialist equipment to work and can add a whole new layer to the in-store and online experience. In fact, research by ecommerce agency PushON found that almost half of shoppers would spend more online if they had access to technology that helped them to better visualise and understand how products work, without having to go in store to see them. Specifically, 40% of consumers would like to use Augmented Reality (AR) technology on mobile to test a product before they buy it, such as via an app that would allow them to place virtual images of products over a real-word view – this way, they can get a feel for how it will look in real life. That said, it works in store too: fashion retailer Zara’s new collection comes as an AR add on to the retailer’s app that will allow shoppers to see the clothes ‘come to life’ in the store on top models – who will even speak!

This is a sneak peak of the IRUK Top500 Mobile & Crosschannel report, due to be published in September 2018, when it will be available on IRUK Top500 research page. Click here for more. 

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