How Leveraging Micro-Moments In-Store Improves CX and Profitability
Consumers like to shop whenever the need or mood strikes them. Oftentimes, this can be in the middle of doing something completely unrelated. According to a study from IBM and the National Retail Federation, seven in 10 consumers shop in “micro-moments” — i.e., shop simultaneously while conducting their daily tasks.
Google defines micro-moments as occurring, “when people reflexively turn to a device — increasingly a smartphone — to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped.”
Micro-moments continue to become more relevant as consumers’ connection to mobile devices becomes more symbiotic. While shopping in-store for products, for example, most consumers consult their phones. Micro-moments come to life when shoppers subconsciously turn to their phones to learn, do, discover, watch or buy something which can impact their decision making. Eighty-two percent of consumers consult their phones while standing in a store deciding which product to buy.
Consumers have been conditioned expect an immediate, relevant and frictionless experience when they turn to a device to find, do or buy something. To win, retailers need to think about shopper behavior and meet them in these micro-moments. Leveraging micro-moments can help retailers increase mobile conversions 29 percent, while increasing the relevancy of their business to their target audiences.
To earn the role as a trusted guide, store associates need to be able to capitalize on the micro-moment concept. This requires having rich insights in the palm of their hand (via mobile device) surfacing information that's of utmost relevance to every shopper that enters the store. The store associate is supplementing the shopper's in-store journey with helpful insights.
A study conducted a while back showed 63 percent of retailers were unable to identify their customers prior to checkout, and 20 percent were unable to identify them until after checkout or not at all. This underscores a huge data deficiency between shoppers, retail associates, and the buyer journey in the store setting. Is it any wonder why consumers turn to online shopping that offers a highly personalized, data-driven experience?
Retailers must move now to level up the experience they offer to in-store shoppers. Those that do will be rewarded. Research shows that shoppers generally spend more money when purchasing items in-store. And for purchases of $100 or more, consumers prefer in-store shopping as opposed to buying online.
Bringing digital into the store is quintessential — and putting it in the hands of store associates is crucial. Today, an estimated 32 percent of store associates use a mobile device for their job, a share expected to grow to 41 percent in three years.
The point of sale — the principal retail system in the store environment — has moved well beyond the cash register. It's now untethered on mobile devices to function as a “copilot,” helping associates navigate the buyer journey with the shopper on the sales floor, offering up the same insights they surface on their mobile device and more, such as loyalty status, recommended products, basket builders, and specific offers that speak directly to them. Another major component is real-time inventory data, including in-store and online products; this ensures associates can make the sale in the moment and avoid consumers leaving empty handed and unsatisfied and going elsewhere to purchase.
As shopping behaviors and expectations continue to rise, retailers must work to offer seamless, integrated experiences — both online and in-store. Meeting the evolving demands of today’s modern shopper means equipping the store environment with the necessary technology to enable associates to lean into micro-moments to support a rich and rewarding shopping experience.
Mike Dalton is director of implementation at Jumpmind, where he is focused on helping future thinking retailers evolve and revolutionize their store experience through modern architecture and associate experience.