Retail Mobility: Welcoming the consumer on mobile


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Our Whitepaper focuses on retail mobile solutions and endeavors to decipher the reasons behind retailers taking the mobile plunge, the seismic shift in the consumer behavior, the growth engines behind retail mobility,
opportunities, challenges and advantages for various stakeholders and a look into the days ahead.

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Retail Mobility: Welcoming the consumer on mobile

  1. 1. Retail MobilityWelcoming the consumer on mobile
  2. 2. The retail industry has witnessed a massive change in the recent years. While the internet revolutionof the last decade enabled shopping anytime, anywhere; the mobile revolution led by smartphonesand applications propelled on-the-go shopping and made a radical shift in the way brands, consumersand retailers interact with each other. As consumers use mobile devices and apps to research, browse,compare and shop, mobility solutions are poised to become a significant business channel in retail.Retailers too are realizing this and hence are adopting mobile, quite enthusiastically, resulting in Tabletcatalogs, mobile billings, mCoupons, mobile apps and much more. The growing surge in mobility usage,both at the consumer and the retailer’s end makes for a riveting case study. Our cover story, this month,focuses on retail mobile solutions and endeavors to decipher the reasons behind retailers taking themobile plunge, the seismic shift in the consumer behavior, the growth engines behind retail mobility,opportunities, challenges and advantages for various stakeholders and a look into the days ahead. The Seismic Shift Which enterprise segment will mobile impact the most? Retail Health Field Force Sales Privacy Education Others Energy 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% source : www.chetansharma.comWalk into a store, search for the product, compare between various brand choices, pay the bill and walk-out with the desired item in your bag. A few years back, it used to be the only way to shop. The adventof e-commerce made a major shift in the way people shop; allowing consumers to shop from anywhere,sitting in-front of their computer and without leaving their work or home, dismantling all the boundariesand giving them access to a global marketplace. Online retailers, armed with a new, low-cost businessmodel created a competitive marketplace giving a run-for- money to their brick and mortar counterparts.The arrival of mobile devices, the transformation from feature phones to smartphones, the arrival ofTablets and a galore of applications simply changed the order. Starting with SMS advertising to mobile Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 2
  3. 3. websites and then to exclusive apps for branding and retailing, m-commerce brought a sea-change tothe consumer shopping, in-sync with the new mobile lifestyle. Today, using advanced mobile applications,retailers have a direct communication channel to interact with their target audience, inform and convincethem about products and influence their decision making. Mobile Commerce Sales (in billions) $31 $25 $19 $14 $10 $6 US$(billions) $3 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 % of eCommerce 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% Source : Forrester Research Mobile Commerce Forecast,2011 to 2016(US) Note : eCommerce includes moble media and content, retail, travel, coupons/deals and services. Does not inlcude mobile ringtones, mobile gaming or mobile videoResearch shows that mobility is slowly gaining traction in retail. In United States, mobile commerce ispredicted to generate more than $31 billion (from $3 billion in 2010) in sales making for over 7 percent(from just 1% in 2010) of all e-commerce sales in 2016. The mobile retail channel is swiftly moving frombeing an alternate communication channel to being a primary channel for interaction with consumers. Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 3
  4. 4. The Engines Global Smartphone Sales Millions of Units 400 Millions of Units 200 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Source : Mobile Services : Global Outlook 2009 Parks Associates Consumers prefer to shop on Tablets when possible Inferences I use my iPad/tablet more than my 65% 72% iPad > Smartphone smartphone for shopping related activities 67% 51% It is easy to visit and/or buy from retail sites 60% 62% iPad ≥ PC on my iPad/Tablet as it is on my computer 57% 42% I would buy/have bought from a retail 73% website using my iPad/tablet 70% Interest in + 64% 48% actual iPad shopping Base: 2,511 Tablet owners (percent agreeing) Source : Forrester/Bizrate Insights Q2 2011 Tablet Commerce Gen Y Gen X Boomers Seniors Flash Online SurveySeveral factors are at play to drive the mobile retail boom. Mobile devices (smartphones and later-onTablets) and applications have become part of a shopper’s life. With today’s shoppers embracing mobilityas a way of life, retailers have no choice but to sync their strategy with the changing mindset. Mobileapps allow retailers to make their interactions with the consumers, engaging and responsive, creating anappealing brand impression and occupying mind space of the prospective buyers. Moreover, retailers are Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 4
  5. 5. adapting to mobility solutions buoyed by other business factors as well. The competitive retail marketplaceand recent economic downturn has compelled retailers to look for low-cost, agile and innovative solutionsthat provide them with broader and faster reach-to-the market. Mobility solutions, when integrated withthe existing ecosystem, can also play a big role in accentuating the shopping experience. A productdemonstration on a tablet or price-comparison with a scan of the product not only helps to shorten thebuying cycle but also helps the consumers take informed decisions. Opportunities for RetailersToday, mobility in retail has not only become a vital channel for branding and advertising but also is anenabler that can act as a force multiplier, in near and long-term future, to the overall operations in a retailorganization. Retail mobility solutions are making processes leaner and swifter not only with their owncapacity but by also complementing other technologies. In short, mobility is creating new possibilitiesfor retailers to manage their stores and make shopping effortless and pleasurable. From helping theirconsumer locate their nearest stores, to browsing catalogues on-the-go to read reviews of products andcompare prices, retail mobility solutions have the power to integrate various components of the buyingcycle into a seamless and fun exercise. Coupons Price Extended Comparisons Packaging Advertising & M-commerce Promotions Loyalty Opportunities In-store Programs Navigation for Retailers Scanning Payment Check-outs Shopping Store Lists Locators Billing Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 5
  6. 6. The Big Gains Enterprise Mobility Investment Benefits in Retail Setting Improved Customer Loyalty & 28% Repeat Business Increased Mobile Worker 27% Productivity Increased Sales/Revenues 26% Reduced Asset Failures 24% Reduced Operating Costs 19% Improve Real Time Decision 19% Making 0% 10% 20% 30% Source : VDC Research Group-Mobility in Retail, 2011One of the key factors behind the huge enthusiasm within retailers to adopt mobility is the game-changingbusiness benefits it brings to them. Studies show that mobile applications not only play a huge influencingrole in creating positive brand image outside the organization but also boosts worker productivity withinthe enterprise, thus decreasing asset failures, reducing operational costs and improving real-time decisionmaking to help organizations improve their processes and potential. Research also shows that by adoptingretail mobility solutions, business can get a major lift in their various activities and make it more effective,culminating to significant financial benefits. A CISCO IBSG survey in 2011 shows that mobility adoptioncould bring as high as 10% boost to net margins for retailers. Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 6
  7. 7. Typical Retailer with $20B of Revenue per Year Mobile Marketing Shopper Mobile Mobile Store ($M/Percentage Increased) Services Payments Operations 2% lift 1% lift 1% 0.5% 1% reduction lift reduction $20M $20M $3M $661M Net Margin Value } $6M $6M Value Value $6M Value Value $61M 10% $600M Value Current Mobile Mobile Increase Labour Cost Mutichannel Labour Cost Current Margin Advertising Couponing Basket Size Reduction Extended Reduction Margin Range + Potential UpsideSource : Cisco IBSG,2011Challenges & Advantages Concerns Mobility Advantages• Shrinking profit margins • Low TCO and High ROI• High operation costs • Alternate Channel of Sales• Multiple points of sale • Superior consumer shopping experience• Market saturation • Direct access to customer• Rising consumer expectations and • Enhanced brand value diminishing customer loyalty • Better customer engagement via loyalty• Enhance visibility of products programs, targeted advertising• Reach to customers • Analytics to understand consumer behavior • Boost emloyee productivity Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 7
  8. 8. While there are many exciting reasons for retailers to adopt mobility, the path however is not so smooth.There are several critical challenges facing the retailers as they move on to leverage mobility in theirbusiness. Device diversity- with the availability of varied devices- and platform fragmentation- with multiplemobile platforms- brings up the challenge to look for solutions that can fit all. Internet connectivity andbandwidth concern can be a huge block in reaching to a vast audience in certain geographic markets.Privacy of customer is also a growing concern that has to be adequately addressed. It is also important forretailers to keep an eye on the reliability and scalability of their mobile infrastructure as the usage grows(in peak shopping seasons and times). And, above all, there is a huge challenge in rising and meeting up-to the consumer demands and making shopping via mobile a hassle-free and engaging activity. “I would use the mobile internet on my cell/mobile phone to purchase products....” If my mobile phone number would be kept private 45% If mobile payment services were more 44% secure If sites on the mobile internet had all of the same content,features and functionality as 36% on the standard website If the mobile internet was faster 35% If sites on the mobile internet looked more like they do the computer 33% If my phone had a larger screen 32% Base: 4,306 US online consumers with mobile phones Source : North American Technographics Retail Online Survey, Q1 2011(US) Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 8
  9. 9. Looking Ahead…The future for retail mobility looks very exciting. As mobile devices evolve further, new technologiesemerge and adoption grows and a lot of such innovation in the ways mobile technology will be leveragedin the retail businesses will be seen. Already there are talks of virtual shopping malls owned and managedby multiple retailers. Other key innovations that are most talked about and are gaining traction in recenttimes are the Near Field Communications (NFC) and Augmented Reality (AR).Near Field CommunicationsNFC will allow shoppers to simply wave their phone to a tagged item in a store shelf, and get all theinformation about the product like prices, reviews, availability and even download discount coupons. NFCwill also allow them to make payments via their mobile and also redeem reward cards. Looks for product info, size and NFC enabled Smartphone location.Brings out a map to locate Stores. User sees nice product in magazine. Places phone on the image. Logs onto the store and reserves product. PRADAA Hello Rachelle, User swipes phone while entering the store. Your new Stilletoes Retailer knows the customer is in store. are ready to be tried on. 400 Loyalty Points D PAI User Recieves a personalized message. Earns loyalty points and shares the product images on social media. User swithches to phone to pay. Recieves reciept on phone. Info Source : Big Mouth Media Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 9
  10. 10. Augmented RealityAR is another technology, in use in its introductory phase, which when further evolved will change theshopping experience. AR will enable consumers get live view of a particular product, say how a particulargarment will look on them or how painting a particular color will affect the ambience. In the days ahead,as retail mobility matures, there will be countless possibilities for its use. Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 10
  11. 11. Our Recommendations…• Embrace mobility. Retail mobility is the future. And offers tremendous value to both, retailers and shoppers.• Engage with your customers. Mobility brings tremendous opportunities to engage and be responsive to consumer needs.• Focus on consumer experience. Create a smooth, user-friendly and enjoyable mobile shopping environment. Allow consumers to interact with your brands using techniques like Gamification etc.• Pick the right platform. Diversity in screen sizes, functionalities and operating system necessitates businesses to adopt a multi-platform approach.• Keep an eye on analytics. Monitor consumer behaviour. Customer intelligence will be the guide for future.• Lay down the groundwork. Emerging technologies like Augmented Reality, NFC, RFID etc., promises more opportunities. Be ready to seize them. Final ThoughtsRetailers have to explore and adopt solutions that can help them reach their target audience, inform andinfluence their buying-decision process. Shoppers, on the other hand, would want the retailers to providethem with tools and solutions that play a role in their shopping decisions. Retail mobility solutions haveemerged as an effective answer to myriad challenges facing retailers and will empower them to respondswiftly to the changing market dynamics and consumer lifestyle. However, right solutions beget expectedresults when employed at the right time.. The time is ripe to go mobile. A revisit to the recent historyexemplifies how early movers in e-commerce benefitted while laggards were found catching-up. A newmodel of retailing is emerging. It’s time to embrace it with full hands! Retail Mobility- Welcome the consumer on mobile / 11
  12. 12. About [x]cube LABS[x]cube LABS is one of the leading mobile appdevelopment and consulting firm, headquarteredin Dallas, U.S and with offices in New York and Reach [x]cube LABSHyderabad, India. With expertise across all the connect@xcubeLABS.commajor mobile platforms, [x]cube has deliveredover 500 apps till date and has an enviable clientlist comprising of some of the biggest brands like 1-800-805-5783GE, Intel, Texas Instruments, Hasbro, Mattel and24 Hour Fitness. [x]cube’s understanding of the www.xcubeLABS.commobile space and technology, complimented byits rich experience across all the major industryverticals and the capability to deliver end-to-end solutions, make [x]cube the perfect mobileconsultant of choice.To integrate your enterprise people, processes and products with customized, avant-garde mobilitysolutions or to explore mobility opportunities in your enterprise with our experts, please feel free tocontact us at encourage you to continue exploring our website ( ) to find out more aboutour services. [x]cube is the premier mobile solution partner for companies and individuals creating the next generation of digital applications. [x]cube develops custom solutions for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Mobile platforms. [x]cube is a division of PurpleTalk, Inc. | 1-800-805-5783 |