The addiction to smartphones is real. In fact, people are so addicted to their smartphones that a clinical term is now dedicated to the psychological attachment people have to their devices: nomophobia, short for no-mobile-phone-phobia. The fear of phone separation is a growing trend that marketers, especially in retail, should be watching.
Now more than ever, smartphone owners and price-sensitive shoppers are using smartphones while in-store to price shop and make better informed buying decisions. In fact, 36 percent of U.S. smartphone users use devices in store to compare prices, according to one comScore study of 3,598 smartphone users.
Let’s consider the impact of this “new normal” on retailers. Brick-and-mortar retailers are battling with technology as it takes customers out of stores and drives them online. Rather than throwing in the towel, however, retailers of all sizes should instead embrace nomophobia as an opportunity to grow customer satisfaction and boost sales. Here are three ways how:
1. Get mobile friendly. comScore’s study also found that 27 percent of respondents read customer reviews while in-store; 23 percent call, email or text family and friends for feedback; and 22 percent read product details on their device.
For retailers, this means developing a mobile-friendly version of your website is crucial. As a result of Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update earlier this year, creating a mobile-friendly site is more important than ever. Google’s new algorithm gives a ranking boost to sites and pages that are mobile friendly, pushing those sites further up in search results.
Becoming mobile friendly can also bring about the need for a mobile app. In fact, 55 percent of shoppers who responded to Cisco's fifth annual retail survey said they will use a retailer’s app for or during shopping, and 34 percent claimed to use a third-party app for the same purpose. With a mobile app, retailers can effectively cater to customers’ needs for convenience and efficient shopping. For example, you can use your app for distributing special offers or money-saving coupons once customers walk in your store. Provide interactive store locating tools, information on store hours, customer service contact information and push notifications for special promotions or reminders around holidays. Retailers can also offer utility services that would otherwise need to be researched on a customer’s own time.
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