In an industry defined by trends and changing preferences, being able to move quickly is crucial. By bringing the ability to respond to changing marketplaces at all times, mobile has emerged at the forefront of the retail industry.
Mobile is influencing all elements of the retail sector from head office, warehousing, and online through to the shop floor; at all points of customer engagement. With the drastic improvements in efficiency gained by retailers through mobile adoption, we look at some of the main trends that will be key to success for today and tomorrow:
Anytime, Anywhere Shopping
Traditionally, physical stores have been built in areas where, over time, a demand has been recognised. With mobile retail platforms and point of sale functionality sitting within systems such as Microsoft Dynamics AX, businesses can now open ‘pop-up stores’ quickly, allowing them to take advantage of demand as and when it occurs; particularly beneficial for retailers whose product is closely associated with seasonal demand.
Online-based retailers have also utilised pop-up stores to help build in-person relationships with customers to enhance brand awareness and loyalty.
The End of Lines and Mobile POS
How many times have you walked past a store with the intention of buying, seen a long queue of waiting shoppers and thought, “I’ll leave it until next time”. Mobile is bringing an end to such scenarios, and the lost revenue that goes with it.
By equipping retail shop floor employees with POS (point of sale) enabled mobile devices, customers can process payments as and when they browse stores, removing the flood of shoppers at the tills.
By introducing point of sale mobile devices around stores, retailers can also enhance the shopping experience by displaying imagery and videos associated with products at all times. Furthermore, mobile devices offer another customer engagement channel, supporting retailers in the capture of valuable shopper data by providing easy-to-use sign-up and registration forms, without placing a strain on employee resource.
Getting Serious about Beacon Technology
The Beacon for retail purposes is not necessarily new technology, but one that is going to be used more often as part of multi-channel retail marketing.
With the vast majority of the population now owning smartphones, Beacons provide retailers with the opportunity to deliver tailored promotional content when loyalty programme holders, those who downloaded relevant applications or email subscribers, are in the vicinity of the store. Beacons will allow retailers to reward their most regular shoppers, and optimise revenue potential from these higher spending customers.
There are clear benefits to be experienced by introducing mobile technology to retailers in terms of operational efficiency and enhancing the customer experience. However, to optimise retail operations with mobile, a resilient, cloud-based underlying infrastructure is required. Available as a hosted solution, Microsoft Dynamics AX can connect all elements of a retail business to make the most of fully integrated mobile technology.
To futureproof your business for the mobile retail opportunity, talk to HSO.