Guest Column | February 27, 2014

Help Your Brick-And-Mortar Retail Customers Make Mobile Work For Them

Brick And Mortar Mobile Retail

By Courtney Mamuscia, Verint Video Intelligence Solutions

It’s no secret that mobile technology has changed our lives. We are now able to be in contact with anyone and access the tiniest minutia of information from nearly anywhere in the world using our increasingly sophisticated smartphones and tablets. And increasingly, these mobile capabilities are also transforming another aspect of modern life: how consumers shop.

The Growing Mobile Trend

During the 2012 holiday season, 63 percent of shoppers said they used multiple devices to help with their holiday purchases. Of those surveyed, 65 percent relied on smartphones, and 66 percent used tablets to shop during the holidays. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: According to Juniper Research, sales via mobile devices were expected to top $1.5 trillion by the end of 2013.

A growing number of consumers are using mobile technology to not only shop on their mobile devices, but also do product research. Shoppers can look up online reviews while browsing in a store, or they can simply shop on their device from anywhere they desire.

While the majority of holiday shopping revenue is still generated by brick-and-mortar locations, many of these stores are slowly losing the battle against online retailers like and Wayfair. That’s why traditional retailers must differentiate themselves from online shops, while also embracing consumers’ growing use of mobile technology.

Catering To Mobile Shoppers

Today’s brick-and-mortar retailers have an opportunity to make mobile work for them, rather than against them. Advanced retail analytics technology can help immensely. These systems leverage a company’s existing surveillance technology to gather and make sense of data from across the enterprise, including the retail store, the Web, call centers, and more. They then provide actionable information to people throughout the organization — in marketing, merchandising, store planning, and loss prevention — to enable the retailer to better serve its customers and better inform its employees.

Retail analytics can help distinguish a brick-and-mortar store by improving the customer experience in a number of ways. By providing detailed information to employees, they become better informed and more helpful for customers — a strong selling point against online-only retailers. Using analytics data on customer traffic patterns, dwell time and queue length, the store can maximize the effectiveness of their merchandising and reduce waiting to ensure that each customer can quickly and easily find exactly what they need.

Finally, managers can improve the store’s lighting, sound, and décor to make it more of a destination, rather than a quick stop. They could even provide free in-store Wi-Fi to actually encourage shoppers to log on and do a little product research, connect with friends or share their experiences on social media.

These types of small changes have a big impact on customers by making them feel comfortable and understood. This can encourage them to come back regularly — instead of logging on to Amazon yet another time.