Photo of man paying with credit card at a business that uses tablet payment methods

What Consumers Really Want From Today’s Mobile Merchant

28 Apr 2016 by Jessica Hall

Consumers are demanding more from brands than ever before. They want personalized products and services, and they also want memorable experiences that occur in real time – regardless the time of day, their physical location or what device they’re using.

So just how mobile is today’s consumer? A quick look at this infographic, courtesy of Data Mentors, delivers some interesting facts.

Infographic on Mobile E-Commerce Statistics
82% of smartphone users turn to their phones inside a store when making purchase decisions. 50% who purchased from a retailer online also had an in-store experience in that same period. 25% of in-store shoppers have interacted with the retailer online in the last 3 months.

With these figures in mind, you can see that mobility — including the associated Digital Customer Experience (DCX) — represents a big opportunity for brands and retailers. Offering this versatility can enable these businesses to exceed customer expectations on products and services.

In this new retailing/e-commerce world, it’s imperative to provide a truly individual experience from end-to-end. The maturation of this concept is evidenced by big thinkers like Brian Solis, a thought leader in the arena of disruptive technology on business and society, and author of “X: The Experience When Business Meets Design.”

Regardless of the product, channel or touch point, business and IT groups need to collaborate to drive the consumer experience. Branding and marketing teams benefit when the right content is delivered at the right time. Meanwhile, IT provides the technical infrastructure that consumers need; wherever the customer may be in their shopping journey or wherever they are within the “conversion funnel.”

Reshaping retail mobility

The impact of mobility is no longer limited to the devices. It now also affects the wider computing infrastructure. Critical considerations for reshaping retail business with mobility in mind include: Security, manageability and productivity as key facets of mobile merchant solutions that improve conversions, loyalty and retention.

“Together, our predictions support the concept that mobility is becoming more invisible as it pushes its challenges into every traditional area of IT, forcing those areas to become more robust. It is important that IT continually use mobility as the ultimate test of the viability and completeness of all strategies that become part of any IT or vendor’s overall plans,” according to Gartner’s “Predicts 2016: Mobile and Wireless” report, published Oct. 13, 2015.

Going mobile in the retail environment

What are some practical considerations for making the journey to becoming a mobile merchant, and moving your enterprise to the next phase? Let’s explore a couple of key perspectives and ways forward, as recommended by firms with deep expertise in making it happen.

Enterprise mobility is about a fundamental change in the way you do business, explains computing leader Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). While many companies are struggling to successfully integrate mobility into their organizations, mobility is the new interaction model that gives enterprises the opportunity to dramatically change customer and employee interactions for the better. Underlying the transformation is technology. But HPE emphasizes that leveraging mobility is a business-driven change that can be hard to quantify and budget for from an IT perspective. As a result, close attention must be paid to quantifying Return on Investment (ROI) in order to obtain the necessary IT resources for mobility initiatives.

Mobility impacts four key areas for retailers, according to Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). This entails focusing on mobile marketing, shopper services, mobile payments and store operations, which are the keys to ROI. Success comes from defining a unique and brand-relevant mobile proposition, and developing solutions specifically for customers, while also focusing on creating mobile “wow” moments. It is also important to involve relevant business functions within the mobile transformation, while actively soliciting feedback from stakeholders and implementing continuous improvement processes along the way.

It comes down to delivering the mobile experience that customers want. By creating, or focusing, on the “wow” moment, retailers can hone their mobile merchant services and fine-tune them into a healthy conversion funnel. The primary goal is a consumer-focused approach, according to Nielson and Data Mentors.

Bar chart about Important Factors for Mobile Shoppers based on a survey of 3,734 adult respondents who used their smartphone or tablet for shopping, paying or banking in the prior 30 days
Smartphone and tablet. Ability to see product pictures: 62%, 63%. Using the mobile-friendly version of a website: 48%, 35%, Having the product descriptions. Being able to read product review. Ability to see/compare price of product. Security of website. Size of the text/link on the website. Availability of an app for that specific retailer.

By carefully examining business and IT needs, your organization can develop a comprehensive plan to truly become a mobile merchant that meets and exceeds ROI goals.

Insight partners with the leading technology, software and mobility providers to deliver enterprise class solutions for businesses of all sizes. Find out how we can help you meet your ROI and growth goals today. Contact a specialist online, or give us a call at 1-800-INSIGHT