Why Smart Retailers Use Smartphones

smartphoneJust a few years ago, it would be unthinkable to let your floor staff use mobile phones when they should be meeting and greeting customers.

Well, now smartphones, tablets and phablets are essential to offer amazing customer service.

Dial-in relevance

As Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Retail Systems Research, explains, “What’s unique about shopping today is, consumers are willing to trade a certain amount of privacy for relevance… But they have no tolerance for retailers who do not curate their offers and assortments and provide irrelevant information, like marketing offers that reflect no knowledge of who they are.”

Smartphones and tablets help your sales force provide this level of personalization. Brands such as Burberry invite shoppers to share their fashion phobias, buying history and preferences on social media. In return, customers enjoy a better in-store experience, with sales assistants donning tablets to make on-the-spot recommendations from their buying history and fashion trends.

Apps make buying easy

A recent Vyze survey found that 42% of consumers are more likely to shop at a retailer that provides financing options. Similarly, a PayPal study revealed financing increases average orders by 15%, and over 90% of customers say they’d do it again.

And with apps that offer in-store financing with any device, shoppers can find out in minutes if they are eligible – from their smartphone or a sales staff tablet.

Do the books on the go

Managers can now approve invoices, track expenses, and monitor employee time-off with apps such as Xero and Turbine. With apps such as Boutique Window, you can share your latest merchandise on social media. And with MagicPlan, you can even plan out your perfect floor layout with your smartphone. If you’re thinking about creating your own app, see how the big brands are creating great customer experiences.

Empower your sales staff

Your staff members are the face and voice of your brand. With the help of in-store mobile tools, they can offer shoppers suggestions based on what’s in-season, their in-store purchase history and online browsing habits. And if the product they want isn’t in stock, staff can order it in, or see it it’s at another store nearby. All from their laptop – without rushing to the cash register.

With a smartphone or tablet to hand, sales staff can also save the day by looking up previously purchased items and suggesting cross- or -upsell products in-store. From a cashmere scarf to a power tool add-on.

Steal the show-roomers

Showroomers go to high-street stores, find something they like, then search their smartphone for a better price online – or from another shop. Webroomers search online, then go in-store to buy. Both groups pose problems for retailers. Buy if your staff are smartphone ready, they can verify the prices customers find online and match them to make the sale.

Embrace omnichannel

As The Drum magazine reports, “omnichannel shopping has come of age. Sophisticated shoppers no longer have a preferred way to shop, they mix and match how they research, buy and receive their purchases to create ultra-personalized shopping journeys.”

By giving your staff smart devices – loaded with the latest customer service tools and apps – you’ll let them compete with today’s uber-connected consumer. And make that all-important sale.