As businesses around the world prepare for the inevitable impact COVID-19 will have on their bottom line, retail businesses will be the hardest hit. Large companies in this sector are now trying to correct inefficiencies, determine which business processes can be automated, and ultimately find ways to reduce business costs. While there are many strategies for improving business performance, many leaders do not recognize the untapped potential of their current mobile strategy.
An important application of most mobile strategies is a mobile application. This is particularly evident in the retail trade, as many large brands have their own application. These apps, usually self-service apps, shorten payment times, accept mobile payments, and make things more efficient and convenient for customers. Whatever your mobile strategy, mobility offers businesses the opportunity not only to connect with customers and improve their experience but also to improve business processes, increase sales and at the same time reduce commercial costs.
The benefits of introducing (or improving) a mobile self-service app into your mobile strategy are described below, focusing on two key areas: cost reduction and revenue generation. It is also important to note that not all retailers have the budget to develop or improve a custom application that is tailored to their brand and customer base. However, there are a variety of third-party platforms and solutions that can be offered similar benefits.
Retailers who choose to introduce a self-service mobile app have a great opportunity to reduce their transaction/processing costs, as the app will now allow them to accept mobile payments and introduce a point-of-sale system. mobile. Not only will this eliminate the need to buy or rent expensive POS equipment in-store, but it also makes the shopping experience more convenient for customers.
Currently, retailers who don't have this option have to pay a fee each time a customer uses a credit or debit card when checking out. These fees are determined by the card issuer (the financial institution that issues the card), the card network (i.e. Visa or MasterCard) and the payment processor (usually a third party). Payment in partnership with financial institutions, i.e. H. Moneris). These fees generally represent a percentage of the transaction amount plus fixed fees, which are approximately between 1.43% and 2.4% for Visa and 1.55% and 2.6% for Mastercard.
Starbucks is a great example of a retailer who benefited from the acceptance of payments from their in-store mobile app. The Starbucks app prompts users to load money onto their Starbucks card, so the company only pays processing fees when users send money to that card, not every time they buy a cup of coffee. The app ranks second after Apple Pay and has accounted for 12% of total Starbucks transactions since the first quarter of 2019.
In addition, through the mobile payment / POS functionality of the Starbucks app, the company continued to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since restaurants are forced to adopt a take-out or delivery-only model, the company's existing infrastructure for accepting orders and mobile payments allows it to transition and maintain business operations. transparently while many restaurants are completely closed.
As retailers compete to grab consumers' attention by continually improving their processes to deliver an exceptional shopping experience, access to consumer data is extremely important to control this effort. This data can also play an important role in executives' decisions about which business initiatives and marketing campaigns to investing in. However, many retailers are struggling to collect this important data because they simply do not have the resources.
A mobile application is a perfect tool for this. With a self-service application, companies can analyze user behavior, including bounce rate, retention rate, and purchase history. Knowing this data means that business decisions cannot be based on assumptions, but on proven analyzes. In this way, retailers can provide funds for initiatives that ensure a return on investment and significantly reduce spending in areas where there is no return on investment. For example, a company can use user data to determine that users have decided not to continue to buy a particular product. Based on this information, they can decide to discontinue marketing efforts for that particular product and use the funds for another initiative.
Ultimately, a self-service mobile app allows retailers to kill two birds with one stone: increase sales support while reducing labor costs. The main functionality of a self-service application is to give consumers the opportunity to meet their needs themselves. Self-service retail applications can include many features that make it easy for customers to find the information they need.
The ability to see if an item is in stock, view current discounts and shop through the app without having to go to the store are common features. The ability to do so without going to the store greatly reduces the pedestrian traffic that employees see in the store, and can, in turn, make it difficult for employers to manage the number of employees required to meet the needs of the store and the Internet. are necessary. By collecting the data collected in the app, employers have a better idea of the number of purchases made online and can then more closely adjust the supply of labor. Major retailers who take a data-driven approach to plan and budgeting for work can save 4 to 12% in costs while improving customer service.
A self-service app is one way to cut costs in a company. However, it also offers the possibility of introducing new methods for generating sales. In many cases, mobile apps give users a long list of permissions to access the device's built-in features like camera, contacts, and location. For a business owner, access to these features, particularly the location of the user, can prove to be a great advantage. By accessing a user's location, a retailer can provide content based on the location of the user of the app and geo-targeted ads, thereby favoring offers from certain retailers. the location of this consumer.
Tailored location-based content can boost business in a number of ways. For example, a clothing retailer can benefit from local weather forecasts and place advertisements that advertise clothing for individual users that are specific to their style and correlate with the weather. If it's the first day of spring, why not advertise a new windbreaker in stock? Businesses can also use geolocation to find the closest shop in the area and view their opening times and facilities. When a user is interested in a particular product, the app can automatically send price, discount, or availability updates without the user having to do anything. These types of notifications have been shown to increase conversions. Localytics reports that location-based notifications are converted almost three times more often than regular push notifications per week.
Another benefit that retailers can get with a self-service retail app is the ability to implement a loyalty or reward program. Loyalty programs encourage customers to come back and shop more often than they normally would. A loyal customer is a benchmark in the retail industry. According to marketing agency Bond, 73% of consumers are more likely to recommend brands with good loyalty programs, and 79% of consumers say that loyalty programs specifically increase the likelihood that they will continue to do business with a Mark. Even more promising is the fact that 66% of consumers choose to change their spending habits on a particular brand to maximize loyalty benefits. As the statistics show, introducing a loyalty program is a great way to not only reward customers but also increase traffic and generate income. As a bonus, a loyalty program can also help increase user interaction and customer loyalty rates, which is another factor in achieving higher commercial sales.
For retailers looking to fix inefficiencies and implement strategies to improve business performance, revising their current mobile strategy may be the answer. Investing in mobile application development or improving an existing application may not seem intuitive, but it does offer the opportunity to increase sales and reduce costs. For retailers, the implementation of a self-service application offers a unique opportunity not only to meet the needs and demands of their customers for a more personal and faster shopping experience but also to optimize their business processes.
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