The influence of mobile technology on retail in this century has been truly astounding. By 2003, 95 million people around the globe made a payment via their mobile device. By 2015, there were 500 million users making 50 billion transactions for a total volume of 610 billion USD. With mobile wallet growth on the rise, could it be the next subset of mobile commerce to reap the benefits of a mobile hungry populace? Over the last five years, m-commerce has enjoyed a 30% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that is showing little sign of slowing down. If brick and mortar retail is still king, what will it take to bring mobile wallet adoption out of the hands of early adopters and into the hearts and minds of shoppers worldwide?
Almost half (40%) of shoppers said delivery is the single most decisive factor in the shopping experience. Yet, delivery issues could cost retailers $333 million this holiday season, not including an additional $1.5 billion in potential lost revenue from shoppers who won’t return after a poor experience.
Customer loyalty is no longer the powerhouse that it once was. In the digital age, consumers expect top-notch customer service, and the ability to buy what they want, anywhere, and anytime, through various channels, offline and online. With brick-and-mortar stores seeing fewer and fewer purchases while online sales continue to enjoy meteoric rises, retailers must face the music, and it’s a whole new dance card.
Keeping customers engaged with your rewards program can be tough. In order to keep them interested, your customers need to be constantly reminded of your program’s benefits. Otherwise, they might forget why they joined the first place, potentially costing you business and having a negative effect on your bottom line.
In sector after sector, companies are asking how they can adapt to the digital world—how they can build more digital capabilities, create more digital offerings, and even become “digital first” organizations.
But for institutions that have served customers for decades in person and over the phone, digital too often falls short. After the debut of a new app, for example, a jump in sales may not be as big as expected, while hoped-for operational efficiencies—such as a reduction in expensive call-center and in-store customer-support requests—hardly materialize.
Executives naturally wonder why: aren’t customers demanding digital? Without question, they are. But not to the exclusion of other channels, which remain critically important.
That the retail world has changed very quickly and fundamentally in the last several years is no longer up for debate. The digital age has spawned customers that are incredibly knowledgeable about — and always connect to — commerce. The number of potential touchpoints a retailer has with consumers has increased exponentially over the past decade — and the dawn of the era of the connected device is set to expand it even further.
The good news for payments and commerce players is that this evolution has been an excellent catalyst for innovation and improvement — particularly in the pursuit of a better customer experience. The more challenging news is that delivering on that potential is a lot of work and typically requires a series of separate but connected efforts to produce one unified experience.
“Traditional brick-and-mortar merchants are realizing they need both a strong digital and social presence,” POPcodes CEO Gregg Aamoth told PYMNTS in a recent conversation.
Gregg Aamoth, CEO and Co-Founder of omnichannel solution provider POPcodes and a former VP of Customer Marketing Systems and Privacy at Macy’s, is a heavy proponent of the buy online, pickup in-store trend and believes this model creates the most seamless shopping experience across all channels. The model also is known to strip down the hassle of pricing, as 86% of consumers who order products online and pick them up in the store want to avoid shipping fees, according to a POPcodes survey.
In the below Q&A, Aamoth details the buy online, in-store pickup process, and explains why it provides an added convenience that other delivery models do not.
Today's consumers expect to shop when they want and get what they need as quickly as possible, so it's no surprise that more and more retailers are offering omnichannel options. Every retailer has different priorities, but the goal is the same – to offer consumers the most streamlined, convenient and satisfying shopping experience imaginable. This means providing a retail experience that isn't either physical or digital anymore – but physical with digital. When it comes to fulfillment options, this means online purchase, in-store pickup.
The demand for buy online, pick up in store is higher than ever. According to Jarrett Streebin, CEO of San Francisco-based shipping firm EasyPost, in-store pickups for online purchases grew 15 percent in November, and will grow again in 2015. Unfortunately, many retailers are hesitant to implement this fulfillment model as a result of misguided perceptions. In reality, implementing in-store pickup is not nearly as expensive, complicated or narrowly-desired as they think. Here is the truth behind three common misconceptions about in-store pickup:
The onset of 2015 marked a huge change in shipping costs, and as a result retailers are struggling to find ways to maintain their bottom lines. As of Jan. 1, packages are now being evaluated by their “dimensional weight,” or volume, instead of determining price by weight alone. Experts say that the when combined with other annual rate hikes and surcharges, the resulting average rate increases will be as high as 30% or more.
Unfortunately, retailers are being forced to make sacrifices in the name of customer service in order to soften the blow. Some are raising free-shipping minimums, some are raising prices, and others are cutting free shipping altogether. But for the 68% of retailers already offering free delivery, cutting free shipping would take a serious toll on customer satisfaction.