Reach, regency and engagement.
Geofences, coupons and checkins.
Huh, what and who cares!
There is a lot of emphasis on the technology and concepts that are driving mobile deployment in retail – no surprise there. The surprise is that people are calling these technologies or concepts, trends.
Coupons, checkins and geofencing are not trends, they are an outcome of the much larger trend of mobile commerce and mobile marketing – vague and abstracted concepts that we all generally accept as sweeping change in the way we do business.
If you are a business, trying to figure out what trends in mobile will influence your business, these types of technology-first concepts won’t help.
So where should you look?
I see two very important and simple trends that will shape the mobile-retail collision that is coming and they are:
1. The Consumer owns the retailer
The power of the consumer is at an all-time high thanks to mobile. This isn’t about “the customer is always right” nor is it about listening to everything your customer asks for and giving it to them. This is really about the power they have with the smartphone they own that empowers their buy decision – as in will the consumer walk into your place of business, feel a product and buy elsewhere based on price.
That kind of owning.
2. Products are the brand, the store is the showroom
Unless you are an elite, scratch that, UBER elite brand, the products you carry have become their own brands using your store to keep dry and facilitate a transaction. Consumers are so educated (see number 1) and using their new power (see number 1) to find the products they want at the price they are willing to pay. Product placement (and retailers selling preferred shelf space) isn’t as important nor a determining factor of product success, pricing goes out the door and product availability becomes essential to convert on the spot.
Two subtle trends in mobile that will turn retail upside down. These you may not see coming but will certainly feel while it is happening and that’s why I’m making sure you know about them now.
**For a more in depth look at mobile’s impact on retail, see: Retail Prophet: What the coming retail and mobile collision means for consumers and retailers – with retail futurist Doug Stephens