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Selling Smartphones:Youth Lead the Multi-Channel Retail Experience“Every sofa, bus, train is a shop front as people are looking at their phones.”- CEO of mobile phone retailer, Carphone Warehouse, Andrew HarrisonThe future customer journey will be deﬁned by how youth interact with retailtoday. If retailers want to remain relevant in a multi-channel world, they needto engage these change agents.Retail: it’s not just about the store anymore. Find the most relevant insights on youth mobile marketing: http://www.mobileYouth.org
The store is a pitstop in the customer’s journey. The modern customer’sjourney isn’t linear like it used to be. Rather than a journey punctuated by adeﬁnable end-point, it’s a process involving multiple consultations with peersand online reviews. Youth are calling their peers for advice and checkingvideo reviews on their smartphones while in store. Retailers need to buildaround youth behavior and redeﬁne how they deliver this experience.Meeting customer expectations is no longer enoughPeople don’t buy alone: shopping is a social process.Churn, brand and purchase decisions don’t happen in isolation but asthe result of long term consultation and influence. 66% of youthpurchase handsets based on what their peers not what brands or adagencies said (source The Mobile Youth Report). 58% of youth callfriends or family to consult about their purchase (source Pew). The end-to-end retail experience plays a crucial role in defining which brandsyouth recommend and ultimately buy.Youth are the key market influencers, shaping demand for new handsetsacross all markets but winning youth means going beyond storedisplays, promotions and advertising. What youth seek today is a retailexperience that exceeds expectations.The difference in satisfaction levels between the best and worst retailersaccording to the ACSI is only a factor of 20% (between Nordstrom &Walmart). Whereas the difference in recommendation between the bestand worst retailers based on NPS data is a factor of 300%. Amazon’sranks #1 in terms of customer experience and NPS because it doesn’tfocus on meeting expectations and satisfying customers but in deliveringan experience that exceeds both and drives recommendation.Going Multi-channelRetailers need to redefine their offering from being a destination for thepurchase process to being a partner that supports it. Find the most relevant insights on youth mobile marketing: http://www.mobileYouth.org
Retailers need to provide a seamless multichannel experience thatconnects the online and offline journey. Data shows that only 13% ofmobile phones are sold online, whereas 70% of purchases began online(source Carphone Warehouse). Data from the 2013 Mobile Youth Reportshows that 65% of the purchases that started online began on asmartphone. Half of all searches for the iPhone 5 on the CPW site, forexample, were made from the mobile phone.This means that online retail isn’t about selling phones but aboutcurating the customer journey. While 4 mobile phones are sold in thehigh street for every 1 sold online, offline sales are heavily dependent onthe online component.Traditional offline retailers face a significant online challenge from 2areas:1) Showrooming: The growth in customer showrooming behavior popular with youth shows that retailers not geared towards a multi-channel delivery end up becoming the physical front end for online competitors. Youth often research products in store before taking purchases online, both to check product reviews and to compare prices. According to latest data from Pew Research, 50% youth match prices online and 56% look up reviews on their mobile phone while in store compared to 27% and 26% respectively for older customers.2) Upstart Advantage: New entrants have been able to redefine retail from the bottom up to better suit the modern customer. Retailers geared towards multi- channel delivery, like Apple, are able to turn showrooms into a positive brand experience and a generator of both recommendation and revenue. Some retailers have improved their customer engagement practices, increasing showrooming and in-store purchases. In recent ACSI surveys, Apple ranked #2 (behind Amazon) in terms of customer satisfaction. Apple’s ability to re-engineer retail beyond traditional confines has enabled it to become the most profitable retailer per square foot in the US ($6000/sqft vs $3000 next placed retailer Tiffanys). Apple understands that retail isn’t just about selling boxes but supporting the customer in the discovery and education process. Find the most relevant insights on youth mobile marketing: http://www.mobileYouth.org
“There’s no better place to discover, explore and learn about ourproducts than in retail. It’s the retail experience where you walk in andyou instantly realize this store is not here for the purpose of selling. It’shere for the purpose of serving. I’m not even sure “store” is the rightword anymore. They’ve taken on a role much broader than that. Theyare the face of Apple for almost all of our customers.” - Tim Cook, AppleCEOFind out more:The 2013 mobileYouth Report Find the most relevant insights on youth mobile marketing: http://www.mobileYouth.org