Category Archives: Showrooming

Mobile Technology and Retail Staff

Over the past couple of posts, we’ve looked at how many consumers are “showrooming” and the reasons why they use a mobile device in-store. Today, we’ll look things from the retail associates point of view. At the end of the day, most of your staff wants to help shoppers and for you to be successful. It could be that they know that if customers are not satisfied they will shop elsewhere and that could jeopardize your ability to keep them on. A recent report looked at how retail associates viewed mobile technologies and the impact it could have on shopping.

shutterstock_87422684• Almost half of shoppers said that they have a better experience when sales associates use technologies to assist them

• Two-thirds of surveyed retail associates recognized the positive effect of mobile loyalty account access on the shopper experience

• Over 80% of retail associates thought that improving in-store communication between managers and staff would have a positive effect on shopper satisfaction

• Nearly 60% of retail associates think that mobile point of sale promotion made for better shopping experience

• More than six in 10 retail managers agreed that they need more real-time information to ensure that customers are satisfied

What Does This Mean To You?

As we embark on a new year, it’s time to take a fresh look at how your company utilizes technology. Many small companies cannot afford to outfit their sales staff with mobile devices, but would it be worth it to install free wi-fi and stipend customer service staff for part of their data plan? While this investment might be tough during budget conscious times, it could end up saving you money and customers in the long run.

• Over 70% of shopping-related walkouts resulted in lost sales

• Each abandonment occurrence resulted in an average loss of $118

• Retailers can recover 69% of out-of-stock incidents if retail associates can offer in-store ordering and home shipping

A strong mobile strategy will not only help engage consumers but also help you generate more in-store sales and stay connected with your staff. For more information on becoming more mobile-ly enabled, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Motorola


Why Consumers Are Using Mobile Devices In-Store

In many studies, the top reason consumers are using their devices in-store is to comparison shop. This is the first step in “showrooming”. While it would be near impossible to stop customers from “showrooming”, it is not the only reason why consumers engage in mobile activity while shopping. A new report looked at reasons beyond comparison shopping and found takeaways that could help your business retain more in-store sales.

shutterstock_107546720• Nearly two-thirds of 18-34 year olds and over half of 35-49 year olds used a mobile device for shopping related activities. Even one-third of Baby-Boomers did the same

• 46% of 18-34 year olds and 36% of 35-49 year olds said it’s faster to use their mobile device to find product information than ask a store associate

• Just one in five Baby-Boomers said it was easier to get information off their mobile device vs. a store associate

• Baby boomers are four times more likely to increase their spending when assisted by an associate than by consulting self-service technology

• Overall, nearly half of consumers reported that a helpful associate motivates them to spend more in-store

What Does This Mean To You?

Customer service may be one of the keys to minimizing “showrooming”. While it will probably never eliminate it, a great consumer experience will help keep spending in your physical location. In fact, an educated, helpful staff could lead to customers spending more money.
What training does your staff undertake?
Do you have a staff training plan for ongoing learning?
How knowledgeable are they about the products you sell?
Would you consider them a helpful resource for shoppers?
An investment in training will pay off in saved sales. In tomorrow’s post we’ll look at how store associates feel about mobile, technology and its impact on customer satisfaction. For more information on the best ways your business can employ mobile solutions and keep more sales in-store, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Motorola

Holiday “Showrooming”

“Showrooming” is becoming a problem for many retailers – especially the big box variety.  Best Buy in particular felt an impact this holiday season.  Best Buy estimated that upwards of 40% of their physical store traffic has no intention of making a purchase – they are there to “showroom”.  According to a recent study, there are some interesting comparisons on how consumers used mobile devices this year vs. last year.

b7_cart_concepts_2011_b5v2• Nearly three-quarters of smart phone owners made a holiday purchase on their smart phone this year, that’s a jump of over 25% year over year

• Almost eight in 10 tablet owners made a holiday purchase this year, a slight increase of 7% from last year

• There was a slight decline in the amount of desktop machine owners making purchases – evidence suggests that they switched to a mobile device to make a purchase

• Nine in 10 smart phone owners have “showroomed” with their devices; over half of tablet owners have done the same

• Men were 17% more likely to “showroom” than women

What Does This Mean To You?

Mobile devices are a part of our everyday lives.  Every day, new apps, new functions and improved user experiences push consumers towards mobile.  While you can’t stop people from using their devices in stores, you can harness the power of mobile and use it to your advantage.
Mobile enabled loyalty programs and in-store mobile experiences can keep you competitive and your store top of mind.  Excellent customer service is also something that can give you the advantage over another store or an online competitor. In tomorrow’s post, we’ll look at why consumers use mobile in store and how some retail executives plan to use mobile to make a better experience for their customers.  For more information on creating effective mobile strategies, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: TechBargains; Best Buy

What Shoppers Want

Many businesses are worried about the “showrooming” affect.  “Showrooming” is when consumers shop for a product in-store but wind up making the purchase digitally.  New research on the wants of holiday shoppers can help you create innovative digital tactics that will help keep shoppers spending money in your physical location.

shutterstock_50109352• Seven in 10 shoppers agreed that stores
need to do more to enhance the in-store shopping experience

• Nearly 80% said they want the ability to
make a purchase in-store, but have it shipped home free

• Nearly six in 10 wanted interactive kiosks or displays that offered addition product information or product recommendations

• 56% wanted exclusive in-store mobile offers

• Nearly 60% wanted an easy mobile payment option

What Does This Mean To You?

From yesterday’s post, we know that digital shopping is only going to increase.  In fact, almost six in 10 smart phone owners reported that they “showroomed” this holiday season.
While some of these customer “wants” may not be feasible or technologically possible for many small retailers, but they do point to some things you may be able to provide.

• Shipping options – Free shipping may not be possible for every purchase, but you may want to investigate free or reduced shipping for purchases made over a certain dollar amount.

• Customer service – While digital kiosks are something that would be great – it’s really about customer service.  A recent study showed that consumers want your store personal to be knowledgeable about the products you sell and the offers you have.   A great customer experience can turn a consumer into a loyal customer.  Ensuring your staff is well trained is a cornerstone of great customer service

• Discounts and Offers – Mobile coupons and exclusive mobile offers are very popular and can help you increase sales.  More important than the coupons and offers is a loyalty program that includes them. Loyalty programs can help you create targeted offers that have value to the shopper and turn your messages into something they find important

• Mobile payment – This is one to watch.  Making payments, including point of sale, could be the next big thing consumers rely on their mobile device for.  It will all depend on the user experience.  When evaluating vendors, pay attention to the ease of use.  Stay away from anything that seems too clunky.  If a solution is not quick and easy consumers will not use it

For many businesses, keeping shoppers in-store is an imperative and there are digital tools and programs that can help you.  For more information on creating success from digital, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; GfK Roper; SapientNitro

How Many Consumers Are “Showrooming”?

Many businesses have concerns about “showrooming” – the practice where consumers find and compare products at brick and mortar stores and use that information to make better online purchases.  A new research study has been released that shows how extensive the practice is among mobile shoppers.

• Over 40% of tablet and smart phone owners have researched products in a stores but purchased the item online

• Among those who showroomed, nearly 30% will always or often purchase online

• The majority of “showroomers” purchased items at a lower price

• The top categories of merchandise that was “showroomed” was home electronics (50%) and tech devices (44%)

• Four in ten “showroomers” purchased entertainment items such as books, DVDs and CDs

• 31% purchased apparel and 29% bought shoes

• Nearly one in four purchased traditional computers

What Does This Mean To You?

The holidays are responsible for up to 40% of many businesses total sales.
As we head into the holidays, you should ask yourself – How is my business prepared for “Showrooming”?
There are many things you can do to keep sales instead of losing them to online competitors.

• Price Matching – The ability to have it the same day, instead of waiting for shipping, can be a powerful incentive

• Free or Reduced Shipping – Very often shipping charges are exceedingly high.  Free shipping was the top purchase determiner last holiday season among online shoppers.  If you can’t offer free shipping consider discounted shipping dependent on the amount of money spent

• Free/Expedited Set up, Delivery and Disposal – These are charges that many online shoppers don’t realize until they are making the purchase.  At that point, they are already out of the physical store and who knows if they will return.

• Easy Return and Exchange – Returning gift items can often be a nuisance.  Returning or exchanging gifts purchased online can be downright excruciating.  Promoting an quick and easy return and exchange policy can be a something that turns a shopper into a buyer

Competition for shoppers will be fierce this holiday season.  Keeping shoppers engaged  from the time they step in the door to the time they finish the purchase is important.  Make sure your staff is aware of the benefits you offer customers who make in-store purchases.  For more information on using digital tools to increase in-store shopping, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Sacramento Bee;; Harris Interactive

Mobile Improving The In-Store Shopping Experience

One of the reasons mobile devices have been so quickly adopted by consumers is the convenience these devices deliver.  Convenience is something that shoppers crave as well. They want to get into stores, make purchases, pick up items and be on their way as quickly and easily as possible.  There are many digital tools that will assist them in these endeavors.  A new research report has been released that shows what companies across the country are doing to improve in-store shopping.  This information can help you create a winning mobile strategy.

• Eight in 10 retailers employ mobile geo-location to help shoppers find stores

• Nearly two-thirds have geo-location options to find specific products via mobile sites

• One-third offer in-store pickup after mobile purchasing

• Almost two-thirds of retailers allow customer to make purchases online and make in-store returns

• Nearly 60% of retailers give customers the ability to buy in store and have merchandise shipped directly to them or someone else

• Just over half let customers make online purchases and then do
in-store pickup

• Over 40% of stores have mobile purchasing options

• One in five stores now offer social commerce

 What Does This Mean To You?

Competition for shoppers is fierce and digital tools can give you an advantage over other stores.
Putting these tools in place is important, but what are you doing to tell shoppers about them.  Shoppers are bound to be cost conscious this holiday season but they are also mindful of time and effort. After all, time is one thing you cannot purchase more of.  Be sure to promote any digital tools you have along with your offers.  Digital tools will also give you the ability to build up a database.  This information can be very use for in creating relevant communication with customers.  The more you can target an offer, the more successful your offers will be.  For more information on how digital tools can drive more business to your organization, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: eMarketer; e-tailing group; Retail Spectrums Research

Moving Towards The Mobile Wallet

Does it seem that less people are paying for goods and services with cash? Use of paper checks also seems to be on the decline (but, they always seem to be in front of me in the grocery checkout line). It wasn’t that long ago that consumers weren’t that sure of making e-payments and electronic banking, but the mobile revolution looks to make payment by smart phone or tablet a sooner, rather than later, reality.

• Over half of US consumers have a smart phone. By 2016, nearly 200 million adults nationwide will have a mobile device.  Over 70% will own smart phones and 40% will
have tablets

• Over 40% of current mobile device owners say they would
be interested in using a
mobile wallet

• 30% of consumers said they used their mobile phone to make a purchase

• Last year, mobile payments totaled over $360 million, less than .01% were from point of sale.  By 2015, mobile payments are expected to hit nearly $750 million, but point of sale is still expected to represent just .02%

What Does This Mean To You?

Mobile technology has become important to consumers because of the convenience it offers.  That is what will drive the mobile wallet – not having to reach for your credit or debit cards, or even worse hold up other shoppers by writing a check. While the point of purchase aspect of mobile payments is going to take a while for adoption to take hold, the real opportunity lies in contact-less payment forms such as QR codes.

• Nearly 20% of smart phone owners say they have made some form of contact-less payment and other 20% are interested in the technology

• Over half of iPhone owners and more than 40% of Android phone owners say they have scanned a QR code in the past year

• 12% of iPhone owners and 14% of Android owners say they are interested in scanning activities in the future

Contact-less payment can help you increase your value to consumers by making it more convenient to shop physical or virtual stores than your competitors.  Many consumers have not made an in-store purchase because of long lines at check out.  Imagine if consumers could scan a code located in the store, skip the checkout and then pick-up the item at customer service or have it shipped to them.  Placing QR payment codes in your advertising messages turns a simple print ad into a powerful point of purchase tool.  Imagine how easy you could make holiday shopping for customers by placing payment QR codes in you Black Friday ads.  For more information on how your business can optimize and maximize mobile commerce, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Javelin