Sunday, September 1, 2013
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the impact of mobile devices on the retail industry has meant a veritable sea change in the way merchants conduct their businesses, as well as the way shoppers shop. But what are the main advances that any business can make use of with a view to increasing productivity?
The Shop-on-the-Go Improvement
Most retailers already have the importance of having a website and social media pages down pat. However, there is an added bonus to be had by securing a spot in the app stores as well. With studies showing that 80% of the time mobile device users spend on these devices is devoted to apps, it’s clear that browsing the web has taken a backseat and it isn’t just a passing fad. As such, the benefits of engaging with your customers through an app are self-evident - you can not only provide your target audience with valuable information on all your products, but also make online shopping available for them. Not to mention that it saves you time and manpower, as well as, with integrated social-media options, providing you with a sure-fire way of assessing your reach and the word-of-mouth your business drums up online.
The Smartphone-as-Cash-Register Improvement
The advent of credit card-swiping add-ons for mobile devices has opened a new and exciting way for small businesses to stay relevant, and solvent, by allowing them to flourish in any kind of setting. Whether you’re peddling your wares at a fair or you come upon a too-good-to-pass-on business opportunity while vacationing in Maui, with the mobile app-powered credit swiper mounted on your device, you can charge customers and issue receipts in no time. While some of the apps available in stores may require a fee for the swiper itself or the service provided, others are completely free of charge - you can check out the one offered by www.moblized.com if you’re having trouble believing such a thing as free help for the little guy is possible!
The Self-Checkout Improvement
The fun and user-friendly marriage of smartphones with QR-code technology is proving to be profitable too. The boon comes in the shape of self-checkout apps that allow customers to scan the barcodes on products as they go about adding them to their carts. Once they’ve ticked everything off their shopping list, shoppers stop by the self-checkout terminal, which scans the QR code generated inside the phone app and prompts buyers to choose how they intend to pay for their products - right there, at the terminal. No more queues at the cash register and no more cashiers on the payroll equals a win-win for all concerned.
The Create-Your-Own-App Improvement
We have already addressed the benefits of fitting your business with an app, which are huge to say the least - so are the costs of creating one such app, you might retort. It’s easy to preach about how, in the long run, the results will outweigh the initial price tag - let’s put a pin in preaching, then, and consider there is a painless alternative. For the thriftier small business owner, the initial investment can be done away with, by resorting to one of the many mobile app creation platforms that get the job done with close to no coding know-how necessary. This innovation saves start-ups and small businesses thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars, while letting them all enjoy a piece of the profits pie.
The floodgates now opened, mobile apps will surely become the norm in the way retailers connect to their customers. The sooner those who haven’t yet embraced the medium ensure their burgeoning enterprises adopt the new business model, the sooner they will reap its benefits.