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Mobile use in-store on the up among the generations – how can retailers leverage it?

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Mobile is now the ‘new normal’, especially for millennials, and it is now vital that its use is squared with how people shop in-store if stores are to survive.

So finds a new study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing of 1,000 consumers conducted in June of 2018, which finds that millennials actually prefer to make purchases on smartphones (58%) over desktops while 43% of centennials say they prefer purchasing on smartphones.

The collective spending power of these generations grows by the day and these consumers will not shy away from switching to retailers that offer them an user-friendly experience on their preferred channels, such as sleek and intuitive design, clear CTAs or one-click purchasing, warns the study.

This all becomes particularly interesting when the role of stores is looked at. According to the study, consumers have started using mobile apps in stores with alacrity. Here, they want to find and redeem coupons and sale items, read reviews or simply search for a map of the store all without looking up from their mobile devices.

In fact 57% of consumers have used a retailer’s mobile app while in a store and 65% of those who use apps in stores do so to redeem coupons. 57% of those who use apps in stores do so to find coupons and 46% of those who use apps in stores do so to find items that are on sale, finds the study.

What can retailers do with apps in-store?

Retailers have an opportunity to attract more mobile users and, ultimately loyal customers, with a mobile app that contains an in-store component. For big box retailers or department stores, says the study, maps can help shoppers more easily find what they’re looking for.

If faced with a new or confusing layout and lack of available store associates, frustrated customers will go to competing retailers or turn to e-commerce. But if they know they can find what they need using a brand’s app, they’re more likely to stay and try to find what they’re looking for.

Giving customers access to product ratings and reviews while they shop in stores. Consumers trust peer reviews and will rely on testimonials when on the fence about a purchase. Offering an in-app feature that allows users to scan items while in stores and read reviews, or feature a “top product reviews” page. If shoppers have access to reviews at their fingertips in stores, they’ll be more likely to buy.

Finally, retailers are being told to make sure it’s easy for users to locate coupons from the app and scan them in-store because any experience with friction can lead customers elsewhere. That means any coupon a customer receives — whether via email, in person at a store, or direct mail — should automatically load into the app.

For example, says the study, if you send a customer a personalised email offer to thank them for a purchase, that offer should automatically load to their app. In addition, a retailer’s app should note what items are on sale, and what items are out of stock at the shopper’s current location.

Image: Gap/Yes

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