Now, more than ever before, brands have a massive incentive to leverage mobile as a tool to enhance the traditional brick and mortar customer experience. On the short list of impressive and recent mobile news highlights are stories like, Mobile Data Traffic has grown 18-fold over the past 5 years. Or, for the first time, Mobile Internet Traffic exceeded desktop traffic worldwide last year. Mobile search even helped fuel the recent overtaking of TV ad spend by Digital ad spend. It’s safe to say that mobile is here in a significant way.
This is all well and good, but you’re probably asking yourself: does this affect me and my traditional brick and mortar store shoppers? The answer is simple: absolutely. Not only are more people accessing the internet via mobile than desktops, but they are actively using their mobile devices to influence in-store decisions.
Take this stat for example, a staggering 80% of shoppers have used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices, or find alternative store locations. If your brick and mortar store does not provide your prospective customers with a solid mobile experience, there is a good chance they will go somewhere else to attain it. While some retail brands have made large strides in using mobile as an enhancement to brick-and-mortar, other industries and brands have been slower to pick up on the trend.
A Changing of the Guard
This mobile transition is critical for brands to make and more should follow the examples set by mobile experience leaders such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Dominos, and Target. These brands have all produced innovative apps and practices that have allowed them to leverage mobile as a tool to enhance the traditional brick and mortar customer experience.
Image Credit: Marriott Hotels
Here are some additional examples of how traditional brick and mortar brands can leverage mobile to improve customer experiences:
- A hospitality chain could provide room service directly from a visitor’s mobile device when connected to in-room Wi-Fi. Additionally, they could offer virtual room tours and available amenities from an app.
- A pizza chain could generate an offer to families during spring break. Individuals in a specific geographical area would receive a text-message with two unique offers:
- One offer is available immediately.
- The other offer activates when they enter any store later in the week. This coupon would utilize geo-location.
- A financial institution could allow individuals to request a cash withdrawal from their mobile app for a convenient one-tap pickup at any ATM. When customers enter a branch, a ‘meet your banker’ app notification automatically provides a quick bio about the banker who will assist them.
- A fitness brand could interact with an individual’s wearable when entering the gym and sync automatically with equipment that is in-use to create a customized workout plan using only available machines. It could also alert members when an upcoming class is available that fits within the individual’s custom fitness goals.
How Can Leveraging Mobile Help You?
In short, mobile apps can help traditional brick and mortar brands in a multitude of ways. (Speaking of Mobile Apps – check out our Mobile App Optimization Frameworks here) By researching when, how, and under what circumstances individuals interact with their brand both virtually and in-person, brands can provide enhancements to their existing brick-and-mortar experiences to better align with the demands of today’s mobile-first consumers.