We all do it. There’s a product which has recently caught your interest, and the first thing you do is pull out your phone to learn more about it before you make your decision on whether to buy it or not. From 2015-2017, there was an 85% growth in mobile searches for “where to buy” a product, which tells us that there has been a significant increase in the use of mobile devices when it comes to shopping.
However, despite the perhaps common belief that there is less need for physical stores as online shopping is still strong as ever, retailers shouldn’t turn their focus away from the offline market. In fact, a study from 2018 showed that on a global scale, 90% of all purchases still happen in physical stores. The focus thus perhaps shouldn’t solely be on how to improve the online webshops, but rather how to build a bridge between the consumer’s online and offline experience.
Retailers need to make the consumer’s experience worth it. Consumer experience is a big player in the world of competitive advantage, because if you don’t do your best to enhance your customers’ experience, it’s more than easy for them to look up the next and closest store which offers the same product. We have in a previous blog delved into the concept of ROX (Return on Experience), in which it’s stressed that retailers need to focus on offering their customers not only the best products, but also the best experience in order to increase and ensure the customer’s loyalty. A lot happens from the moment a customer steps into the store until the moment the sale is finalized, and it’s that process which is important for the customer’s overall experience. If the experience in your store is a positive experience for the consumer, chances are that they will choose your store for their next purchase as well.
So now you know that, as a retailer, you need to invest in the consumers’ experience, but how do you bring your customers to your physical store in the first place? You connect your offline and online stores with a digital indoor navigation solution.
Many retailers with both online and offline stores already have an app for their online shop. By connecting this app to their offline store as well, they’ll have a much better chance at luring customers to their offline sites.
One of my favorite shopping apps is Hennes & Mauritz, because it allows me to see if the item that I’m looking to buy is in stock in a nearby store. It even shows me the distance from my current location to the store, and if I’m in an unfamiliar city or neighborhood, I can get directions to the store with just the tap of a finger. Still, I prefer to shop online and I only visit their stores if I absolutely have to. Why? Because I always struggle to find what I’m looking for. Clothes rack after clothes rack and women’s clothing spread out on several floors makes it feel like mission impossible to find what I came for.
With indoor navigation it’s possible to show your customers where to find the items they’re looking for. Keep it simple and divide your map into different areas to show customers where to find the different brands you offer, or integrate with an indoor positioning system to give them the exact route to the product on the shelf. Either way, you empower customers to effortlessly find the things they need without having to waste time or ask for help, thus creating a superior customer experience.
If you want to learn more about indoor navigation and how it could be the solution you’re looking for, you can read more about our platform, MapsIndoors, right here on our website.