By : Donna Stevens
August 14, 2018 12:00 PM
AmazonGo opens its second cashierless store in Seattle. Kroger launches self-scanning pilots, with plans to expand to 400 stores by the end of 2018. Sam’s Club Scan & Go transactions have doubled this year. Today’s retail headlines speak volumes: In-store mobile shopping is here to stay, and growing, as mobile-first customers look for new and better ways to shop. And with mobile phone growth outpacing laptops nationwide, is it any wonder?
Online mobile shopping is not new, of course. Many grocery retailers have developed e-commerce websites that can be accessed from a mobile device (tablet or smartphone). Some have extended this to build their own mobile apps, or subscribe to pre-built mobile apps.
Many of these apps simply replicate the retailer’s ecommerce website, so the shopper experience is comfortingly similar whether they’re sitting with their laptop or shopping on their mobile phone. Shoppers can browse the online catalog, add items to their shopping cart and, eventually (whether in that same session or later that day or week), make the purchase and choose their delivery method.
Of course there are other shopping apps offering everything from advance ordering to delivery scheduling to loyalty rewards programs. To date, most of these mobile apps are used:
But what about apps for in-aisle mobile shopping – scanning the bar-code of items real-time, bagging them as they are added into the cart itself and even paying on the mobile device? Not surprisingly, there are many of these, too!
But before jumping feet first into self-scanning technology, it’s critical to determine and define three key pillars:
Here, we outline some key considerations related to the first pillar, strategy, and some learnings based on our experience in this heavily watched space.
First, it’s important to determine whether the strategy is geared to mobile shopping online (e-commerce) or mobile shopping in-store. For those new to this, let’s parse out the differences.
It also empowers the retailer, who is able to reach the consumer with promotions right at the point of decision rather than relying on impulse item displays at checkout or aisle signage and endcaps as the sole means of incenting the consumer to take advantage of specials and add to their basket.
Once you’ve decided on an in-store mobile shopping strategy, you can then address the questions of why, when and how.
Here at NCR, we spend a lot of time helping retailers transform their stores and reduce friction in the shopping journey. There are many paths that retailers can take to offer more flexible checkout options: self-checkout, buy online/pickup in store (BOPIS), mobile shopping in-store. It’s a unique journey that each retailer takes, not a one-size-fits-all solution. After all, change management must be built into the strategy, and that takes commitment as well as investment. Over the years, we have shown how these efforts reap numerous benefits, among them:
Be sure to check back for our next post in this series, where we explore the technology component of mobile shopping, and how to demystify the sometimes-overwhelming process of incorporating it into your existing IT ecosystem.
In the meantime, take this quick frictionless shopping quiz to see where you are in the path to store transformation, and explore ways to rethink and reimagine your enterprise.