Increasingly, consumers’ personal searches demonstrate both a growing trust in mobile search results and in digital technology––all of which is excellent news for retailers.
From problem solving to self-diagnosis, searches range from asking for the latest fitness tips and health advice to where to grab the best cup of coffee. Consumers not only actively seek this information; they want it fast.
This experience has been appropriately termed a micro-moment, a period of mere seconds in which consumers make a purchasing-relevant decision based on their confidence in said search results.
How Are Micro-Moments Affecting The Retail Industry?
Retailers can take note and respond by aligning their internal communication strategies to match the flexibility, speed, and ease-of-use consumers now expect when using their smartphone.
This is particularly relevant in a hybrid retail environment––a combination of online and brick-and-mortar stores known as ‘click and mortar.’
To remain competitive, retailers today need to maximize search presence, foster a technologically-adept workforce, and tap into digital technology to help entice and build a returning customer base.
Mobile Apps Drive Retail Brand Engagement, Purchase, and Loyalty
From driving directions and restaurant recommendations, to reading the news or connecting with friends, family, and colleagues, our mobile phone has become the definitive go-to device in our daily lives for nearly all of our activities.
Though consumers use web browsers for searches, they are increasingly turning to mobile searches for personalized advice, and doing so more frequently via apps. In fact, in the United States, mobile web browser usage is decreasing while mobile app usage climbs.
An impressive 92% of smartphone owners are currently using apps every day. This presents a huge opportunity for retailers to offer brand-exclusive incentives to engage with your brand and make a purchase, whether in-store or online.
As a consumer, chances are you have downloaded a brand’s mobile app to receive a promotional discount or collect points for a loyalty rewards program. While price-matching is now a common practice for retailers, consumers continue to compare in-store prices with those online with other retailers.
This is sometimes the main factor on whether or not they commit to a purchase, online or in-store.
With a ‘click and mortar’ strategy, retailers can incentivize purchase in both consumer environments, and convert mobile-search devotees to customers by placing the answers to their questions directly in their purchasing path.
The key is to leverage consumer search behaviors and reliance on mobile devices to drive sales whether a prospect is wandering the aisles or browsing from the comfort of their couch.
Better Communication Keeps Employees Engaged to Drive Sales
Given the consumer behaviors around mobile experiences as detailed above, it should come as no surprise that consumers thus expect an equally efficient and engaging experience when on your retail sales floor.
This means staff need to be ready to field any questions about price-matching, app-only deals, and how to navigate making the sale happen either in-store or online.
How To Better Communicate With Employees
When employees are effectively connected to your organization’s communications, they are more engaged and better prepared to perform their job duties. This communication needs to be consistent and two-way, allowing for feedback and contributions from employees.
Your employees hold a wealth of knowledge regarding the success of operational processes, marketing campaigns, and the overall experience of your brand. With dispersed retail teams, departments, and locations, ensuring two-way communications can thrive requires adequate connection.
A mobile team app provides this sustained communication so retailers and employees can reach one another in real-time. The core competency of mobile apps lies here, and in accessibility via the personal devices your employees utilize every day.
Though use cases will vary depending on your product and brand, a mobile app with secure group messaging and posting functionality to dedicated communication streams ensures the right information reaches and can be easily referenced by the right constituents when they need it.
Connecting teams this way also provides an overall picture of how your brand and sales strategies are resonating on regional and national levels, so you can make adjustments accordingly.
The Bottom Line
Today’s consumer can (and indeed, desires to be) an empowered decision-maker with the information they find via the number one familiar digital tool they use a times day.
To adequately respond to this need, retailers can adopt digital communication tools along with a ‘click and mortar’ attitude to adapt to this exciting, and lucrative, contemporary consumer environment.
About the Author: Susannah Magers is an experienced writer and a champion of the power of communication. As a Content Writer at Beekeeper, she creates engaging content to empower enterprise workforces with resources to connect dispersed teams, implement digital workforce solutions, improve employee engagement, and streamline operations through better internal communication.