HCLT Whitepaper: Mobility Solutions an emerging trend in the Retail Industry

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  • 1. Mobility Solutions –An emerging trend in the retail industry
  • 2. 2Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industryIntroductionRetailers, marketers and service providers are on the brink of a massivetechnological opportunity to evolve the retail experience. Bringing theusers real-time information while they are physically in the retail space,opens up new opportunities for targeted promotions, upselling and animproved customer experience. Shoppers need to be engaged prior to,during and after the shopping experience too. Technologicaladvancements in retail and mobile technologies can provide just that.By delivering a comprehensive, intelligent and customizable solution, allstakeholders, from the retailer to the service provider and ultimately to theconsumer, can enjoy measurable benefits by embracing these emergingtechnologies.The HCL Mobility Center of Excellence (CoE) is focused on developinginnovative solutions for enterprises on the mobile devices front. Theresearch focuses on several advanced technologies and platforms in theevolving field of mobile technologies. This paper throws light on theevolution of technology in retail and focuses on how the handheld and itsapplications are creating a paradigm change in the shopping experience.Mobile Technology – Enhancing the shopper’sexperienceToday’s shoppers are tech savvy, and they increasingly expect thebusinesses they interact with, to be as well. Within four walls, retailers arestruggling to keep up with a consumer base that is dramatically outpacingthem in the adoption of new mobile technologies. As smart phones andiPads continue to skyrocket in popularity, retailers are compelled toprovide shoppers with on-demand product and store informationwherever they are, including in-store.Issues like slow-moving check-out lines, missed selling opportunities,poor customer service, along with store associates lacking up-to-dateinformation about product features or availability, are contributing to lostrevenue and are keeping retailers up at night. In addition, retailers are alsostruggling with how to make best use of outdated software systems andbulky handheld mobile options.At the same time, the good news is that the dynamics are changing. It isclear that mobile represents a sea change in how retailers approach storeoperations and consumer interactions, and retailers are waking up to theneed to leverage mobile throughout everyday store operations andconsumer interactions. Forward-looking retailers are using mobile in newand unique ways to take charge of their store operations like never before,and propel themselves into 21st century.Next-generation mobile technology including Mobile POS, inventorymanagement software, and consumer-facing applications that encourage© 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.
  • 3. 3Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industryhigher brand interaction, present retailers with the opportunity to leverageexisting investments in store software technology and significantlyenhance retailer-to-consumer interactions.Todays shoppers are hyper-connected and never leave home withouttheir phones. More importantly, they are using their mobile phones toinform purchase decisions. A large section of shoppers today get anopinion about a product and, more often than not, that opinionencourages them to buy the item.From an efficiency standpoint, mobile-marketing initiatives need littleincremental infrastructure, which makes them inexpensive and easy toscale. They can be made incredibly relevant and can drive direct, two-wayinteraction with the brand. Mobile campaigns that let consumers opt-inare also great for CRM and database building. Furthermore, by goingdirect to the consumer, mobile campaigns allow brands to have morecontrol over their messaging than traditional in-store displays.Mobile technology is advancing exponentially and can help redefine theshopping experience. Here is a sample of innovations that could be soonreaching a store near you:? codes, or quick-response codes, are becoming standardized QR in the U.S. and allow direct links to mobile websites via physical codes. Ralph Laurens youth-oriented Rugby brand has implemented these codes in select stores, letting consumers find more information about a product or order it through their phones.?By combining the physical and virtual worlds, Augmented Reality (AR) can give you more information on your surroundings or provide virtual testing. What if you could point your phone at a container and see which of your friends liked it? Applications such as MITs Sixth Sense, Sekai Camera and GEs Smart Grid are showing the world the potential of the technology -- and it will not be long before you see more brands playing with it.With these and other emerging technologies, shopping can become a fullyconnected, social experience. But it is up to marketers, not developers, todefine its future. To begin with, we would like to see more brands takeadvantage of simple SMS and mobile web technology to enhance andextend their in-store marketing efforts. Those that do, will undoubtedlywitness an impressive ROI -- Return on Innovation.© 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.
  • 4. 4Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industryMobile Technology – Applications formarketersThere is hardly any brand that is taking full advantage of mobile marketingin-store, though some are taking steps and this can be used to illustratewhat is possible in the space. Listed below are the top five applications ofmobiles in-store:?Product information: Customers are using their mobile phones to "phone a friend" for their trusted opinions before shelling out their hard earned money for something. This is the next generation of word of mouth and it is happening in-store, in real- time. Google Product Search has launched an application for iPhones and Android phones that allows shoppers to compare product ratings and read reviews through their mobile phones. Sephora, through Bazaarvoice, created a mobile site that allows shoppers to browse product reviews. Consumers are two and a half times more influenced by fellow customer reviews than by a salespersons advice.?Driving traffic: The ability to target by location is one of the most buzzed-about features of mobile technology that brands should take better advantage of. Where is your nearest store? Where can I buy one of your products right now? By including a mobile prompt on all outdoor creative, marketers can not only increase awareness of their product/service, but can also drive consumers into the store immediately. Further, location can be used to target consumers by which aisle they are browsing through in a store. Using Wi-Fi hotspots, it is possible to accurately target promotions up to three to five feet. For example, a customer in the personal-care aisle would receive an incentive to buy face wash.?Loyalty programs and mobile coupons: Mobile loyalty programs offer unparalleled targeting and personalization options. Zavers has a system that links online and mobile incentive placement with in-store redemption. The Zavers button can be embedded in any digital media -- internet, mobile, e-mail and interactive TV -- and customers can transfer all the deals directly to a loyalty card on their phone. This means that coupons are now infinitely trackable. Marketers can now measure the effectiveness of incentives from online ad impression to retail purchase. There are also simple SMS-based ways to deliver mobile incentives. Urban Outfitters use a sign at the register to inform shoppers of their text-to-enter mobile loyalty program. Armani© 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.
  • 5. 5Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industry aims to drive more traffic in-store through window signage that gives passersby $10 off if they text in.?Campaign extension: To increase brand affinity, stores can offer branded or partner content to consumers. Mobile plus Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) is a great way to do this. Brands can reach a captive audience as shoppers download content while they are waiting in line. They can then continue to engage with the brand even after they leave the store. Danoo, a DOOH network that places screens near points of sale in coffee shops, is doing just this. Almost all of its in-store campaigns in the fourth quarter of 2008 had a mobile call-to- action. They have seen success for mobile-content downloads through Bluetooth, citing a 30% download rate (out of all people with compatible devices) for a "Dancing With the Stars" campaign.?Brand utility: Visa launched a campaign in the summer of 2008, to promote the concierge services associated with its new upscale Signature Card. Noting that shoppers are often overwhelmed by wine choices, Visa set up a service where you could text in a food and receive a wine pairing. While this example was not necessarily driving sign-up of Visa cards in store, imagine if a winery provided this utility to differentiate itself on the shelf. This idea could apply to many other categories. For example, shoppers could text their complexion to a cosmetics manufacturer and receive recommendations on color choices and makeup application techniques.© 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.
  • 6. 6Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industryHCL Mobility Solutions CoE offeringsThe HCL Mobility Solutions group specializes in developing mobileapplications in various technologies across a variety of industry verticals.Its dedicated domain and technology consultants have proven skillsacross multiple platforms with particular focus on mobile solutiondevelopment, porting and testing. The offerings include:?Mobile Application Development?Enterprise Mobile Offerings?System Integration Services?Managed ServicesHCL provides end-to-end mobile solutions across various platformsincluding iOS, Blackberry, Android, Symbian and Windows mobile.Device and platform selection is another key area of expertise to be in aposition to consult the best solution based on the requirements of thecustomer. The dedicated design team provides an excellent user interfaceclubbed with the robust programming delivered by experienced mobiledevelopers.Going ForwardThe trends described here are rewriting the competitive rules of retailingand dramatically changing the retail competitive landscape. Early leadersare figuring out how to shape capabilities to their advantage, and aresuccessfully separating themselves from competitors. To avoid being leftbehind, retailers that are not market leaders must strategize on two orthree key areas of focus. Concentrating on building distinctive capabilitieswill enable companies to continuously develop new ways to attractconsumers, deliver on their promises as well as achieve high performance.© 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.