April 16, 2014

Tips for Retailers

By Hisham Isa, Vice President (Marketing) 

Mobile users are constantly connected. Don't forget it. Whether they are in traffic, at home, the office or walking on the street, consumers are online.

What does this mean for retailers?

Here are a few tips . . .

1. Update your mobile website 

If you don't have a mobi-website, create one. It's easy to do. If you have one, make sure it's up-to-date with your latest contact details, prices and offers. Retailers need to treat mobile websites as another channel to reach consumers.

2. Check out your competitors. Your customers certainly are.

Shoppers do their homework online.

In-store shopping actually beings before the customer arrives at the store. Let's take the cases of South Africa and Thailand - two of our Mobile Hotspots.

  • 75% of South African consumers say they check prices and product availability before going shopping. 
  • 35% of Thais go online while shopping to see if they see a better price elsewhere. 
  • More than 1/4 of Thai shoppers check product reviews online while in a shop. 

3. Price is not a top consideration.

This might seem surprising, especially given the percentage of shoppers who compare prices online, but it's true. What's more important?

  • A good variety of products 
  • Ensuring that products are well-displayed and easy to find 
  • Having an easy search function and good site navigation 
  • Efficient service - particularly speedy collection and delivery 
  • Helpful and informative customer support 

In India, only 12% of survey respondents say that price (coupons and discounts) is the most important factor when choosing to shop online. Almost twice as many consumers say that 'an easy search function' is key.

4. Shop Assistants Need to Be Informed!

Consumers expect shop assistants to be connected, informed and empowered. Retailing should not be considered low-skilled employment. When consumers approach a clerk in the store, service expectations are high. Be careful: word of poor service spreads quickly online as well.

One in four South Africans, for example, says that shopping is better when shop assistants use the latest technology to service customers.

But the same percentage say that they can find information on their phones faster than asking a shop attendant. Not a good solution - particularly if shoppers find information that leads them to your competitor.