Friday, December 14, 2018

Why The Brick-And-Mobile Trend Is Here To Stay

There aren’t very many pleasures in my life as great as visiting my local grocery store. This grocery store has it all—fresh-made pasta, amazing cheeses, meat station, juice bar, fill-your-own peanut butter. It’s essentially a playground for adult happiness, and a recent technology upgrade just made it a lot better. They’ve recently introduced a Scan N’ Go system at my local grocery store, where you shop using a scanner, check out through the mobile app, and are on your merry way in minutes. It’s a great system for on-the-go shoppers who don’t want to wait in lines (i.e. me)  to check out with a few items, and it’s an awesome way to connect with shoppers on mobile. More and more brick-and-mortar stores are taking a hint and creating in-store mobile touchpoints, a trend that’s been dubbed “brick-and-mobile”. Let’s check out a few standout stores that are jumping on the brick-and-mobile idea.

Nike’s Mobile-fueled Store
Yes, we know we’re constantly tooting Nike’s horn, but truly they have one of the best mobile strategies in fashion and retail. They recently opened the Nike House of Innovation in New York that features 6 floors of different experiences for shoe-lovers. One floor of the shop allows Nike customers to reserve colors and styles through their mobile app, waltz into the store, and pick up their package from a smart locker. It’s the perfect idea for a customizable mobile experience, where the integration of mobile not only frees up service professionals to cater better to in-store customers, but also allows ease of experience for the purchaser, whether they want to hang out and shop around more or grab their package and go.

Target’s In-store App Functionality
Fan-favorite Target is definitely making an impact through mobile. Last year, Target found that customers that engaged on mobile made 4 times as many trips to a Target store as compared to customers that didn’t connect on mobile. That’s some valuable data— clearly, their mobile strategy is working. Target’s app prompts new and engaging content each week that’s different from their traditional circular. This way, the company can encourage customers to stop in and shop for something that they might not have considered wanting when shopping for a specific item online. Plus, they’ve implemented a new feature that mimics a “shopping list”, that shows customers where items are located in the store using geolocation. This seamless UX definitely wins with customers shopping on Target’s app, which now has amassed more than 27 million users.

We’ve been writing about this topic for a while (see here and here!) and it’s great that brands are starting to cater to the constantly connected shopper through mobile. They’re driving brand loyalty by simplifying processes and automating systems that transform in-store experiences for customers. More than 90% of sales still happen in a retail store, which is proof that brick-and-mortar isn’t going anywhere. But there’s no doubt that brick-and-mortar is evolving, so making sure to create standout experiences on mobile that marries traditional and digital is bound to be one of 2019’s biggest retail trends.