It seems as if consumers today live and breathe through their smartphones, so it's only logical that merchants connect with shoppers' mobile devices to provide unique and personalized in-store experiences, but retailers aren't the only ones who are primed for mobile disruption.
As brands experiment with ways to bring tech to everyday life, various industries are trying to figure out how they can implement technology into physical stores. There are some big opportunities for industry leaders:
The food industry is arguably where the most widespread change can happen, and grocery retailers like Kroger are really starting to understand how to merge the online and offline experiences. Recently, Executive VP of Product and Sales Adam Meshekow from SITO Mobile said:
The days of family loyalty to one store do not really exist any more. 45% of grocery shoppers go to two or more stores to check off their lists, while 30% shop at four or more stores. The lesson?
Consumers are looking for the best deals and they are looking for their mobile devices to guide them there.
An omnichannel strategy gives the consumer the complete shopping experience she wants — product browsing, checkout, deals and specials, and delivery — from the palm of her hand. It also allows brands to reach their consumers through targeted ads that directly influence path to purchase, using technologies such as geofencing, mobile CRM, and verified in-store walk in.
Think coupons, shopping lists, and beacons for in-store navigation. The possibilities are endless and have the opportunity to transform a mundane, everyday task.
Expanding on the food industry, restaurants can also use a tech face-lift, and restaurant professionals seem to be intrigued by the idea, according to a recent survey. 3 out of 4 surveyed expressed interest in upgrading their experience with technology.
Gone are the days where waiters and waitresses interrupt your meal to see if you want to order dessert or get your check. It can be done tableside with the press of a button.
This technology also allows restaurant owners to understand popular menu items, set up a loyalty program, or integrate takeout and delivery through consumer-facing apps.
Anyone who has been on a road trip knows the importance of a good gas station. It not only provides fuel for the car but also for the people making the journey. Meshekow says:
According to the NACS, more than 300 people visit a gas pump per day that is attached to some type of convenience/retail store, and about 35% — approximately 105 — of those customers go inside to make a purchase.
Even if each consumer buys a $1 pack of gum, the retailer could bring in as much as $40,000 extra each year. But what if you could get your consumers to spend more?
Enter mobile. Using technologies such as geofencing and beacons in mobile advertising allows you to capture that moment at the pump to drive consumers into the store via a marketing message or rich media experience.
Gas stations that offer made-to-order food have a slight upper hand. Placing touch screens at gas pumps may entice paying customers to spend even more. If they're ordering food outside, it's guaranteed that they're coming into the store. When they do, offer them a discount on a drink to complete the meal.
Sporting & Music Events
Brands are always eager to be connected to music and sporting events. Connecting with customers through positive experiences (and highly televised events), like the Super Bowl, can increase brand awareness and change the viewer's perspective of the brand. Although Meshekow doesn't include sporting events in his list, both industries offer similar benefits:
Music is something that everyone enjoys at certain times during the day, from driving in the car to working out in the gym. Some even enjoy listening to music while they work.
The music industry has the opportunity to advertise to music listeners when they are in the mindset of actually listening to music or discovering new music by taking advantage of location-based mobile marketing by understanding geo-patterns.
Similar to music, people often listen to ESPN radio during a commute or watch the game while working out. Whether it's a mobile loyalty program or a smart stadium, merchants and venues can make ticketing, loyalty, and engagement mobile-friendly in no time.
How many times have you planned an evening dinner and a movie? Meshekow says:
Considering most theatergoers enjoy the large format advertisements before the show, integrating a precision-targeted ad to complement this broadcast format would be wise.
A prime example? A national restaurant such as TGIFridays runs one of its ads on the big screen before the show, advertising its late-night bar menu and drink specials.
Once the movie ends and patrons leave the theater, TGIFridays can retarget them with a mobile ad that not only continues the pre-show dialogue and brand building, but also achieves a business result by providing a 15% off coupon to the theatergoer.
Additionally, theaters can promote their loyalty programs more effectively, and customers can easily purchase tickets to the show from the comfort of their smartphone.
It's all about the customer and making it convenient for them to find the information and products they're looking for with a tap on a screen.
Read Adam Meshekow's full article on Mobile Marketer.