Mar 30, 2013 Dave King
Ecommerce has posed a number of challenges for retailers. While they may be able to harness the interest in electronic transactions into more bustle in their online stores, it has also been a drain on in-store sales in some cases. Mobile shopping seems to be here to stay, and this means merchants need to adapt and form new strategies to meet customer needs while improving business at their brick-and-mortars.
According to Mobile Commerce Daily, clothing chain Banana Republic recently launched a mobile deal that drove many consumers into its stores. By running an advertisement through a popular iPhone app, the store was able to grab the attention of shoppers it may not have reached otherwise. What set this strategy apart, the source said, was that it made the coupon redeemable in stores or through their mobile app, and to further encourage individuals to choose the former option, the company integrated a geospatial tool to find the nearest Banana Republic.
Cezar Kolodziej, CEO and president of Iris Mobile told the source that coupon initiatives are often most helpful to businesses in determining how to better reach wider audiences. The majority of shoppers who like a retailer's product will return to the physical location without incentive, so turnout stemming from coupons tends to show what works for generating new business.
In addition, strategies like those adopted by Banana Republic may become crucial for merchants as consumers use their mobile devices to shop around. According to a recent study by ClickIQ, 20 percent of respondents in a survey of 368 consumers engage in "showrooming," in which they visit stores for comparison shopping, often opting to purchase items from cheaper locations. Mobile commerce has enabled this practice, as people can easily check competitor prices without much traveling. Banana Republic's deal required shoppers to show up, rather than find similar products at other stores or sites like Amazon. Instead, the offer boosted foot traffic, which could mean more revenue.