Making the Most of Mobile Technology for the In-Store Experience
Creativity Marketing Transformation

Making the Most of Mobile Technology for the In-Store Experience


You’re shopping at a store, and suddenly a few burning questions strike: Is this the best price I can get? How’s the quality? Is this the right product for me?

Faced with such questions, most consumers reach for their smartphones. Data consistently show that US smartphone users overwhelmingly use mobile technology while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores—about 90 percent, in fact, according to a report from SessionM covered in Marketing Land. And with 90 percent of folks saying they’ve made a retail purchase in the past 90 days (73 percent of those in a physical store), there’s a whole lot of in-store research happening. Shoppers are most likely to use smartphones to compare prices, look up product information, or check reviews online, SessionM found. By considering the needs of the in-store, smartphone-carrying consumer, retailers can start building the content to help drive consumers to purchase.

To better engage with in-store smartphone users, consider these five mobile content strategy tips:

1. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Google threw down the SERP gauntlet with its so-called Mobilegeddon, punishing websites that don’t play well with mobile with lower search rankings. In this mobile-oriented world, retail websites should be prepared for mobile site visitors with, at a minimum, readable text size and limited horizontal scrolling.

Retailers can go further by considering in-store triggers that drive a shopper to seek mobile content. Is the shopper looking for a coupon? Customer reviews? If so, that content should be easily accessible on its website.

By considering the needs of the in-store, smartphone-carrying consumer, retailers can start building the content to help drive consumers to purchase.2. Build a Great Loyalty Program

Oft-celebrated Starbucks is the “gold-star” standard for successful loyalty programs. The coffee giant’s app has an eye on improving customer experience with easy mobile pay, fun rewards, and incentives to earn more stars. Research shows that retailers would do well to follow suit with loyalty concepts: SessionM found that 76 percent of smartphone users would be more likely to shop at a store with a loyalty program.

3. Offer Great App Content, including Customer Reviews

Many retailers are looking toward apps to deliver mobile content that moves customers to purchase, whether inside a store or online. Clothing retailer Anthropologie’s app allows users to scan barcodes and pull up sought-after product details and reviews. Users can also add products to a registry or wish list, peruse local store events, and uncover special promotions. The app makes it easy for consumers to find product-related content at the moment they need it—encouraging shoppers to carry items to the checkout counter.

4. Use Push Notifications

Push notifications represent a painfully underused tactic among retailers. When a user opts in to notifications, it sets the stage for a continued relationship between the user and the app, and thus the brand.

For best results, retailers must craft push notification content that’s both interesting and useful. Walgreens, for example, uses push for prescription refill reminders. A new app update takes the concept further; users respond to notifications on the lock screen by swiping and selecting actions like “refill” and “take.”

5. Explore Beacons

Beacons work by delivering content to a consumer whenever her smartphone is in the beacon’s range. Retailers can use this mobile technology to notify nearby customers of sales or offers, but the applications go beyond discounts. Pass by a Nordstrom store that has an item in your mobile shopping cart in stock, and the app will let you know. The idea is to use geographic specificity to give the shopper personalized content.

By implementing these mobile marketing tactics, brands will be better able to serve their consumers, engaging their audience and developing brand loyalty for a long-lasting relationship.

Want more insight on how to build a mobile content strategy? Explore Skyword’s ebook “Getting Started With Content Marketing.”

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