First it was Walmart and the big Box Stores. Then you had to compete with Amazon.com and free shipping. Now, thanks to internet-enabled smartphones your local business in a price battle with every retailer in the world. It’s called “Price Transparency” and it’s turning your neighborhood store into a showroom for online retailers.
According to a Google report, almost half of all of your smartphone toting customers are using their mobile device to perform product research and browsing while in your store. Oh, it gets worse… 39% of walk-outs, shoppers who leave without making a purchase, were influenced by what they found on their smartphone. Short of banning smartphones from your store (which isn’t very smart), you have three opportunities to turn these lookie-loos into paying customers:
Improve your in-store experience. If you can give shoppers something they can’t find over the internet, there’s no reason for them to leave empty handed. Offer expert service and advice. Provide free pick-up/delivery. Give ’em a guarantee. It can be as simple as introducing yourself and demonstrating that they’re a valuable customer. You know, good old fashioned customer service.
Make it hard for them to compare “apples-to-apples.” If they can’t find exactly the same item online that you offer right on hand, it’s going to be harder for them to price shop you. Bundle products together like snow shovels and ice melt. Sure, they can find each at a hundred other stores, but at your store they’ll get both for one price.
Keep your friends close and your mobile customers closer. They’ve got a smartphone, they obviously like using their smartphone, so give them something to do with that smartphone in-store. Offer free Wi-Fi. The easier you make it for mobile users, the longer they’ll stay in your store and give you a chance to win them over. Display QR codes next to your products. These codes can link to videos, product information or even special offers. If your website is mobile friendly, send them there for discounts or online specials.
Smartphones aren’t going away. Embracing how your customers like to shop can move smartphone window shoppers into buyers.