Daily Dose of iQ: Leveraging the Advantages of the In-Store Experience

May 07, 2012 — Allan Pulga

Our theme at CTIA this year was "Energizing Retail End to End," and this means connecting virtual (online and mobile) and physical (in-store) retail channels, and managing these channels from the back-of-house operations (RQ4) to the front-of-house customer experience (XQ).

The central hub for all of these retail experiences is the physical store itself.

93% of In-Store App Users Make Purchases at Physical Stores

Last Friday (May 4), Tricia Carr of Luxury Daily reported that according to a new survey by Wave Collapse, in-store mobile app users are more likely to buy from physical stores.

  • Among in-store app users: 93% bought something in the past week from a physical store; 47% bought something from a mobile site.
  • Among non in-store app users: 84% had not bought something in the past week from a physical store; 13% bought something from a mobile site.

These findings should be encouraging to brick-and-mortar retailers, who often worry that comparison shopping can lead to fewer in-store purchases as consumers opt for lower-priced items online. In-store mobile app users aren't just buying online. They're simply more active shoppers in general.

The "Inherent Advantage" of In-Store Relevance

On May 3, Julian Farbstein of dunnhumbyUSA wrote a column for RetailCustomerExperience.com, extolling the virtues of in-store.

In-store retailers' advantages include the ability to:

  1. Build customer loyalty at the shelf.
  2. Personalize pricing and promotions.
  3. Create relevance that is scalable.
  4. Get customers to believe "This is MY store."

Why Mom-and-Pop Have Got to Step Up Their Game

Finally, today (May 7), James Bickers of RetailCustomerExperience.com compared a small, indie boutique with online retail giant Amazon.

Bickers describes a scene in which the small retailer delivers a bad customer experience (the owner scolded the his little girl for playing the hats on sale). "We were gone in moments and will never return," he wrote.

Then he told of his recent experience with his broken Kindle: He went online and filled out an online request for assistance and shazam! "Thirty seconds later, my phone rang, and it was an Amazon associate who already had all the details of what was going on."

Bickers' take-home message: "I will give a local (retailer) my dollars before I give them to Amazon, but only if you provide good service and treat me well."

Topics: Retail Operations, RQ, Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry, Customer Experience, CTIA, e-Commerce

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