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The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated what was already inevitable – a massive shift to (and adoption of) digital technology for virtually everything, but especially in retail. In a Mobiquity survey, we found that 44% of respondents said that they are now using mobile apps for retail shopping and they never had done this pre-COVID-19. In addition, consumers agreed that they will continue to use digital technology after the pandemic.1
The potential of digital technology to improve your retail customer experience is limitless. Depending on your company’s digital maturity, however, there may be certain solutions that are more important to create sooner rather than later. We recommend businesses work on creating a North Star first and then develop innovative digital solutions in phases that ultimately enable you to reach your goals. Here are the solutions that we’ve found to be the most impactful for retailers looking to digitally transform their business:
Mobile apps to browse, buy, and pay for items
Having a mobile retail strategy is extremely important for any retailer looking to attract consumers and convert them into customers. From the time a buyer hears about a brand all the way through placing an order, paying for items, and returning to make another purchase, it’s the retailer’s prerogative to make each touchpoint simple and effortless to delight the customer. Whether in-store or via digital e-commerce, the retail customer experience should be easy. To learn about the most important features customers care about when it comes to using retail mobile apps, download the Mobiquity Friction Report, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to read hundreds of thousands of customer reviews and showcase where users are experiencing friction and where they are experiencing moments of achievement.
Contactless Payments within your mobile app
The coronavirus has caused a huge surge in the demand for contactless options with everything from deliveries to your door, picking up groceries carside, ordering food via curbside pickup, and even pumping gas. Enabling touchless payment is a key component to ensuring your customers have a completely contactless experience. With 57% of consumers agreeing that they would like to use their own mobile phone to pay for a bill in a retail setting,1 retailers need to consider incorporating digital payments right inside their mobile apps. Even better, retailers that integrate with Apple Pay and Google Pay can eliminate a few steps for consumers who already have their payment information saved securely on their phone.
Curbside Pickup and BOPIS
Did you know that 49% of consumers agree that when COVID-19 has passed, they will prefer the convenience of curbside pick up with their favorite retail stores?1 The pandemic has allowed customers to avoid long lines in stores, eliminate the need to drag the kids out to pick up a few items, and stay safe. Instead, shoppers can fulfill their needs with just a few clicks or taps on the digital channel of their choice and then use buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) or have the items delivered curbside. The demand for these types of digital solutions won’t go away once the pandemic resolves - shoppers indicate they will favor these convenient experiences and become more loyal to the brands that offer innovative solutions.
The data is clear:
Retailers that prioritize a curbside pickup or BOPIS strategy will reap customer satisfaction as a result of delivering a better experience.
Digital tools drive rewards and loyalty
The cost of a bad experience is high. 66% of consumers will consider switching to a competitor after one or two bad experiences, and in the wake of the pandemic, 59% report that customer experience plays a bigger role and impacts which brands they support.2 Now is the time to double down on your loyalty and rewards effort by creating a program that builds on the relationship you have with your shoppers, but in a digital way. If created strategically, rewards can help build a one-on-one relationship, increase frequency of visits, basket size, and offer key insights on customer preferences. Consider optimizing this important component of your retail mobile app strategy for maximum ROI.
Contactless Delivery and direct-to-consumer models
Delivery isn’t just for restaurants with a contactless delivery program. With so many people avoiding stores altogether, retailers should take a long look at their delivery strategy and work to meet the new e-commerce needs of their customers. In a world where you can get virtually anything delivered to your door in two days, customers expect fast, safe, convenient delivery of the items they purchase. Forward-thinking companies are expanding their offering to be more DTC friendly given the evolution of buying behaviors and digital e-commerce trends.
Personalization and AI/ML in retail
According to Forrester, by 2024, AI/ML will be integral to every aspect of a business. For many retailers that already have a digital strategy in place, and even ones that are looking to implement one, adding artificial intelligence/machine learning can advance the level of customer insights available to create personalized offers specific to every customer who uses your app, website, or digital tools. For example, AI/ML can ensure that when a customer logs onto your mobile app or website, they only see your available inventory – and nothing that is unavailable. This builds an immeasurable amount of trust between your business and the customer and sets their expectations around what they can buy and what is currently out of stock.
Voice and conversational AI in retail
Voice refers to a human using speech to initiate an action from a smart speaker, such as an Alexa device. In retail, this may be creating a voice skill to allow customers to place orders using their voice such as, “Hey Purina, what kind of dogs are hypoallergenic?” Alternatively, conversational AI refers to chatbots, often included on websites for consumers to quickly ask questions and receive answers about an order, for example. As smart technology becomes more readily available and embraced by users, retailers should consider this digital solution and the value it could offer customers and employees alike.
Cloud migration for a scalable, flexible, cost-effective digital retail business model
The cloud offers retailers an array of benefits. Depending on the business’s needs, cloud computing power, database storage solutions, applications, and more can be accessed at a low cost. In addition, cloud migration enables you to improve flexibility and guarantee scalability, putting you at a strategic advantage in the market. Mobiquity’s Amaze cloud replatforming tool can help enterprise organizations reduce the end-to-end process time from 6 months to 4-6 weeks and reduce costs by 60%. Is your business in the cloud? How will you scale your business over the long term? Consider migrating to the cloud to save valuable time and resources.
Find your customers’ friction and solve it with The Mobiquity Friction Report
As you think about transforming your business and adding digital solutions for a better customer experience, consider looking at the Mobiquity Friction Report. The Friction Report is a proprietary tool that uses AI/ML to analyze thousands of customer reviews on mobile apps, websites, and similar tools to help businesses see what they’re doing well and where they could use some help. The Friction Report can also summarize how these digital touchpoints, such as mobile apps, across an industry are performing.
Whether you are looking to enhance your current digital products or create a new digital experience from scratch, Mobiquity can help. We offer:
Your digital strategy will include many channels, such as: website, mobile app, voice skills, chatbot, and more. We can help you kickstart or enhance these channels so that they work together to create a better customer experience.
Digital transformation strategy session
Maybe you’re revisiting your digital approach altogether and need help thinking through the methods and strategies that will be most fruitful for your restaurant today, five years from now, or even 10 years into the future. Let us work with your teams to create a digital transformation strategy that you can be confident about as technology and consumer behaviors evolve.
In a crowded marketplace, how do you plan to stand out? Will you create an experience that customers rave about? How you innovate now will define how you retain existing customers and attract new ones.
Customer experience & analytics
The way you measure the success of your restaurant often comes down to the experience you create and the analytics that prove whether that experience is working. Let us help you put a framework in place for your omnichannel digital strategy.
North Star ideation
What is your biggest driver of success? Do you know? Are you sure that the metrics you have in place are giving you the best picture of the overall success of your restaurant? Our teams will help you develop your North Star so that you can easily identify where you want to go and make a plan for how to get there.Resources