Smartphone sales reached $60 billion last year, but the offline sales affected by smartphones — that exceeded $1 trillion. And experts predict both of these numbers are going to increase.
The experts making these predictions are Forrester Research. Their findings are available in a report titled The Biggest Prize In Mobile Commerce Is Influencing Offline Sales. Some of the key details have been gathered at MediaPost.com, where Laurie Sullivan surveys far-reaching implications of these shoppers using mobile devices.
The article highlights the tasks these customers performed prior to an in-store purchase. Gold, silver, and bronze medals in this category go to comparing prices, looking up product information, and reading customer reviews.
This might seem like a touch of paradox — people using hi-tech tools for such basic shopping tasks? With their HD resolution and top-of-the-line processors, shouldn't they be using those smartphones or tablets for something... more? Actually this may be more of a demonstration of the 80/20 rule, where most of a consumer's decision-making is based on relatively few details. When shoppers shop, the information they're most interested is dollars, details, and trust.
A more important question here might be, "When customers search for your product, are they finding the information that helps them make the right choice?" (We all know what the right choice for your customers is, don't we?) Are you making it easy for them to see your competitive pricing, your product quality, and your existing customers' enthusiasm?
To take these patterns and make something more actionable, Ms. Sullivan goes on to discuss some other statistics of mobile usage. She notes that a strong majority of consumers (83%) are willing to download a focused app for the services they rely on; however, preference for apps over mobile-responsive Web sites lags at not-quite half (47%). More constraining still, less than 25% of shoppers are willing to share basic contact information, a fact which ties into low results about personalized shopping experiences (for example, only 9% of U.S. online adults are willing to let retailers know their location).
This paints a picture of shoppers who want to be in control of their shopping experience. They use various digital channels to gather the information they want, but are reluctant to give personal information in return, unless there is a clear, valuable benefit for doing so.
If this is an accurate portrait of mobile-savvy shoppers, what should you do about it?
The takeaway from this report is nothing new, even though digital technology has changed so many aspects of a customer's life. Your company, not just your sales team, must prove its value to an audience who is able to check and compare and verify. By providing easy access to the relevant details about your products, services, and culture, you start building a rapport. By respecting their boundaries, you develop trust. By following through with all the attentiveness and alacrity that a modern CRM system can enable, you earn their business — you become the solution they were searching for.
aACE Software is invested in helping you meet and exceed the expectations of your customers. Our cross-platform business management software can help you increase your company's velocity. Whether you rely on PC, Mac, or a combination of the two, our FileMaker platform tools can enable you to respond to the dynamic network of suppliers and consumers more efficiently as well as more effectively. One of our customers has described it this way:
"Since moving to aACE [integrated with VerticalResponse], we have been able to keep our mailing lists much more up-to-date. Our email marketing campaign has grown exponentially since introducing this system, and we are seeing excellent results. The best part is that it is super simple for us to use, making it much more likely to be used time and time again." — Doug Jacobs, President, Restylers' Choice
Contact us today to find out how you can get the aACE advantage.