Spotted: Our interactive advertising agency from Arizona on the other end of the United States this last weekend at National Retail Federation’s big 2014 show. With over 30,000 attendees, 500 exhibits, and big ideas from retail industry leaders, the future of retail showed many exciting opportunities in 2014.
A reoccurring message at NRF stuck with the Ideas Collide marketing team: mobile technology and omnichannel ecommerce changes how people engage with retail brands. Consumers seek a multi-sensory experience, a seamless transition of shopping between brick-and-mortar and their smartphone devices.
“We have the challenge to break down the silos and make it very integrated and seamless in terms of how the customer wants to get information, availability, price or buying and return,” Blake Nordstrom, President of Nordstrom said at the NRF keynote session.
A Deloitte study found that 60 percent of mobile shoppers use their smartphones in store and 50 percent on their way to the store.
Stores can enhance the shopping experience by throwing in a multi-dimensional mobile component such as social media check-in incentives and access to product descriptions. QR codes and “Most Pinned Products” engage consumers with price-matching, social sharing and product reviews.
Mobile websites and apps continue to make it easier to purchase, discover and research products via smartphone. Online currency tools like Google Wallet and Bitcoin enable cash to be transferred through an app and continue to support growth in mobile commerce. A study from the Gallagher Consulting Group found that by 2017 half of today’s smartphone users will be using mobile wallets as their preferred payments method. Smartphone users not only will be able to find products through their devices at any time, but also pay for it more instantly.
Advancement of mobile technology is an exciting opportunity for retailers. One of our takeaways at NRF is that 2014’s technology advances and multiple layers of influence will change everything we know about how consumers select brands.