5 Ways Mobile Is Improving the In-Store Shopping Experience

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Hyperlocal technology has the power to revolutionize the in-store shopping experience, but whether those changes ever come to fruition will depend largely on retailer adoption. As a group, retailers still aren’t comfortable harnessing the full power of mobile and location-based technology, and according to some estimates, fewer than 1% are using iBeacons. One way that hyperlocal vendors have overcome this hesitation is by educating retailers about how their technology can be used to boost the bottom line and improve the way customers shop.

Here are five examples of ways that hyperlocal technology is being utilized in stores right now, which retailers can use as a playbook for bringing their own businesses up to speed.

1. Helping customers find the products they want. “Last holiday season, Target integrated StoreMode into its mobile apps to create an enhanced, more engaging in-store experience for its mobile shoppers. Target shoppers using the apps can easily build shopping lists, locate products using interactive store maps, and determine whether a product is available at their local store. Shoppers using mobile phones to engage with Target also make four times as many visits to Target stores per year, further proving the influence of mobile on in-store purchases.” (Josh Marti, Point Inside)

2. Trigger offers based on location. “Shoppers [can be] alerted to personalized offers when they enter the store. These offers are based on items in their lists, and their purchase histories. As a shopper walks around in the store, beacons in the aisles trigger offers. These offers are set up by the retailers or brands and are tied to specific store areas. For example, the retailer may set up a ‘$2 off cakes’ offer in the Bakery area; these offers are triggered only for people who are in the that section of the store.” (Shekar Raman, Birdzi)

3. Empower sales associates. “With mobile devices, retailers can untether sales associates from the cash [register] and give them unprecedented access to data and capabilities. The result is that sales associates now have the power of the web and the retailer’s enterprise apps in the palms of their hands — and they can dramatically improve and personalize the customer experience with easy access to inventory visibility, product ratings and reviews, and customer purchase histories.” (Jerry Rightmer, Starmount)

4. Encourage customers to create digital shopping lists. “Lowe’s Home Improvement has integrated Point Inside’s StoreMode platform into its apps and mobile web experience. Lowe’s enables consumers to easily create detailed shopping lists, find items in a nearby store and pinpoint the exact aisle and shelf location of these items in-store. These digital solutions help shoppers quickly find what they are looking for on store shelves, improve customer loyalty, and increase basket size.” (Josh Marti, Point Inside)

5. Use shopper movements to dictate store layouts. “The [Birdzi] app reports beacons that are seen by the shopper’s app. This data is then aggregated to create analytics reports that help the retailer understand how their shoppers are browsing the store, where they are spending time, and more importantly, where they are not.” (Shekar Raman, Birdzi)

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.