When it comes to making a purchase, consumers want to be able to easily access detailed product information both online and in-store, and they want to use technology to make this happen. While consumers have been accessing product information online for more than a decade, PowerReviews found that around 70 percent of shoppers want access to product ratings and reviews while shopping in-store too.
And how exactly do shoppers want to want to access product information while shopping in-store? Through mobile and wearable devices. We found that 82 percent of shoppers would like to use wearable technology to enhance their shopping experience.
However, while mobile and wearable technology presents a huge consumer engagement opportunity, there’s a wrong and a right way to implement it. As you begin integrating mobile and wearable technology into your retail strategy, here are four mistakes to avoid:
1. Not optimizing your site for mobile: While brand and retailer apps have proven to be useful for loyalty programs and push notifications, the majority of consumers still seek out mobile sites. We found that when shoppers were looking for more information on a product in-store, 54 percent preferred to use a retailer’s mobile site, whereas only 21 percent preferred using a mobile app.
Retailers that fail to optimize their website for mobile browsers risk losing customers as they search for products and product info via their phones. Use responsive displays to ensure that shoppers, no matter their mobile device type or screen size, can easily navigate your site. And make sure that pages load quickly.
2. Not providing easy access to relevant product information: Seventy percent of consumers are interested in accessing product ratings and reviews while in-store. This means that while shoppers are in the aisle looking at your products on shelves, chances are they’re simultaneously looking at those products online.
We’re in the age of ultra-educated consumers. Shoppers can access a wealth of product information online and want that same convenience to supplement their in-store experience. If you fail to include all relevant product information, shoppers will go elsewhere to find it (taking their business with them!).
Make all relevant product information easily accessible to shoppers, both in-store and online. Consider implementing in-store digital displays or kiosks where consumers can view product ratings and reviews. You can even use more traditional methods such as in-store signage with QR or text codes to direct shoppers to your e-commerce product pages. The less friction a consumer faces to get the information they need, the greater their chances of making a purchase.
3. Not personalizing marketing messages or delivery: When engaging your customers, one size doesn't fit all. Mobile and wearable technology has made it possible to collect valuable consumer information — e.g., demographics, transaction history, social media engagement, previous reviews. Take advantage of this technology and use it to provide shoppers with hyper-relevant, context-driven information.
Beacons and other micro-location technology can help target what content you serve and when and where you serve it. For example, if a retailer’s smartwatch app knows that a consumer always buys a specific brand of dog food every other week, it can notify the shopper that their preferred dog food is on sale at the moment when they're near a location.
4. Not having content for interested shoppers: Using technology to give your shoppers easier access to product information is one of the smartest moves you can make as a retailer, but it’s also critically important to ensure that there’s user-generated content and other information for shoppers to access.
There’s nothing more disappointing for an in-store shopper to scan a QR code or input a text code looking for product reviews only to find that there aren’t any. Chances are that shopper will take their research and business elsewhere.
Your customers are already adopting wearable tech and they expect you too as well. By keeping up with the fast-changing technology landscape, you can use these new technologies to your advantage. Don’t get left behind.
Theresa O’Neil is the senior vice president of marketing for PowerReviews, a software company that helps more than 1,000 brands and retailers collect, display and syndicate customer reviews and answer customer questions.