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Retailers must approach mobile with an open mind


DigiPoS offers its top tips on embracing mobile and focusing on the customer experience.

At the end of 2010, DigiPoS Store Solutions, the leading hardware and solutions provider for retailers, launched its m-commerce ecosystem, called MobileShopper. The smartphone-based application combines online shopping with the in-store experience, and is aimed at propelling retailers into the future.

For the first time, retailers are provided with a true multichannel integration that brings together their bricks and mortar technology silos with their web/e-commerce platforms. The application encompasses a full range of retail touch points, including: e-commerce, store locator, coupons, loyalty, advertising and promotions, price verification lists, in-store navigation functionality, and a facility which allows the shopper to use their mobile to shop at home using the integrated scanning tool.

Ian Patterson, Managing Director EMEA at DigiPoS, is urging retailers to approach mobile with an open mind. He comments: “Mobile in retail is all about the customer experience. Now is the time for retailers to be bold and make that first mover advantage.

“Retailers are always looking at ways of enhancing the customer experience, and mobile brings a totally new and different interface – it will forever change the landscape. It offers the chance of really optimising customer relations; something which cannot be achieved through standard point of sale terminals, or self-service checkouts.”

He continues: “The mobile smartphone devices can act as touch points to reach out to customers in new ways. For example: the information they can provide relating to shopping habits will allow for targeted and timely promotions. They pose an increasingly attractive ROI, as other marketing channels begin to lose their appeal and consumer use, and they enable the retailer to differentiate themselves.

“I believe that the mobile phone will have the same impact on retail that the ATM once had on the banking sector. Mobile devices empower consumers to search, shop and checkout – the flexibility they offer will undoubtedly improve the overall shopping experience.”

Here, DigiPoS offers its top tips on how retailers should embrace mobile and use it to really focus upon and enhance the customer experience:

  • Retailers need to look at how mobile will integrate with existing systems and what the time and cost implications will be.
  • It is important to then identify a structured and managed marketing campaign for mobile, and to identify what the customer experience will be through this platform, and how to communicate with your customers.
  • Retailers need to consider mobile as an extension of their brand’s overall experience.
  • It is crucial for the mobile strategy to encompass both the store and e-commerce channel.

Patterson adds: “One thing we come across time and time again is where retailers focus on optimising their e-commerce platform through the mobile. They are in effect competing with their own store offering, when in fact they should be bringing the two strategies under the same banner.”

Retailers also need to consider which team the mobile strategy will sit with. Patterson explains: “We are now beginning to see more job titles along the lines of ‘head of social and mobile commerce’. Professionals working in this area need to have IT expertise, coupled with good customer service knowledge. I do not believe the role of mobile should sit directly with the IT department. And, we are already beginning to see a cross over between roles amongst the larger retailers.”

Mobile should be approached with an open mind. Loss prevention is an area deterring many from pursuing a strategy at this stage, but what they are failing to see are the huge benefits offered by this technology.

Be bold and take first mover advantage. Retailers need to focus on the emergence of the ‘new shopper’.

Don’t be left behind…

Patterson concludes: “I don’t believe that the majority of retailers have a firm strategy in place, when it comes to mobile, and those who don’t are sure to be left behind.”

The app created by DigiPoS is currently available for the iPhone, and can be found at its official website. It will be free for consumers to download, and retailers will pay £1 per download, there will also be a monthly retainer fee for the middleware gateway server application. Additional functionality is available based on the specific needs of the individual retailer.

DigiPoS is redefining technology for retailers, bringing much-needed focus, value and reliability to a competitive market. The business supports every level of the retail ecosystem, from small retail operations to the largest national and global brands.

Published on Thursday 23 June by Editorial Assistant

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