Mobile technology has swept the globe, and multiple industries have taken advantage of mobile innovations in order to make consumers’ experiences better. One realm that has taken advantage of mobile technology is the retail industry. Today, retail stores across the world are using mobile tech in order to improve shopping for consumers, making it more convenient, easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of the best ways that mobile technology has revolutionized the retail industry.
Shopping is more convenient than ever for customers, now that they can leave their bulky wallets at home thanks to mobile wallet technology. Mobile wallets, housed on peoples’ smartphones, store credit and debit card information of users, allowing them to simply tap buttons (or hold their phones over a payment device) in order to complete transactions. Experts predict that mobile wallets are going to continue to grow in popularity, which will ultimately cut down online wait time in stores and increase payment security.
Beacons are devices that use Bluetooth technology in order to send messages to mobile devices that are in close proximity to them. One unique feature of beacons is that they can send a push notification to a person with a specific app installed on their phone — even if that app isn’t running. Retail stores can now use beacons to send relevant deals to customers when they are near products on sale, or alert them about products they’ve previously bought (or expressed interest in buying). This helps encourage them to buy, and weeds out unnecessary information about products they are not interested in.
Dressing rooms in retail stores can be uncomfortable and inconvenient places. Customers are often undressed, but looking for new inventory from the sales floor. Rather than depend on a sales associate being in the dressing room to help, new mobile messaging technology offered by retail stores allows users to send messages directly to sales associates without having to get undressed or wait for a staff person to come check on them. Several stores, like Rebecca Minkoff, have used connected dressing rooms to greatly improve the customer experience.
Today, many companies have developed barcode scanning and price-checking apps so that customers can check the price of in-store goods without having to ask a sales associate. Barcode scanning technology via a smartphone can also allow users to price compare while they are shopping. Several price comparison apps have been developed that allow users to scan the barcode of an item and make sure it is not available somewhere else for cheaper.
To make shopping better for both sales staff and their customers, many companies have developed branded apps intended only for the use of in-store employees. These apps can do things like check inventory, look up a customer’s previous purchases and provide more in-depth product information. They also often allow customers to directly message a sales associate via a consumer-centric branded app. Apps for sales associates allow them to provide faster and more personalized customer service to consumers, making the in-store experience better for everyone involved.