3 Things People are Doing in Retail Stores with their Mobile

, posted: 3-Jul-2013 09:12

Everyone in your retail store has a mobile phone, probably more than half have a smartphone and they are using it in your store. What are they doing with it?

I wasn't going to post this on Geekzone and then I thought, I actually know that a lot of retail staff are on Geekzone and in fact probably a reasonable number of retail managers, if at least in the tech industries.

1. According to a Pew Report earlier this year 46% of instore customers are calling friends or family for advice on a purchase.
Product Information
Product Information on Price Me Application
2. According to the same report 28% of them are going online and reading reviews about the product they are interested in buying.

3. Again from the report, in January this year 26% are going online to see what price your competitors are offering for the same or similar product.
Price Online
Price Online
The question is, how are and your sales team engaging with these customers? What value are you offering them to help them with their decision? They have made the effort to come into your business and a large percentage of them are open to buy.

I frequently hear complaints about people going to a store to check out the products and then buying online. In fact in this report, 12% of the people surveyed did go online and purchase the products they were looking at. That's almost 1 in 8 people that may have visited your store, wanting to buy something and they did, but not from you.

How can you engage with people who are using their mobiles in the store? How can you turn their obvious interest into sales? Do you have a mobile strategy?

So here's my footer based on experience including almost 7 years at Monaco Corp and as a music lover who also loves the latest technology. 

If you're buying consumer electronics of any real value, then it pays to shop around and apps allow you to do that with ease.

The thing is though that as a consumer you don't generally have product knowledge, so you could end up with a great price and a product that doesn't suit your needs. The features on the box don't tell you everything you need to know. For example, having worked for a distributor, take just a segment like stereo systems or home theatre.

You need to consider things like the type of music you like, how loud you want it, what frequencies you can hear (or want to feel) , the dimensions and shape of the room, connectivity, available space for the components. Should you have components, capability to integrate to other appliances like TV, internet, speakers in other rooms?

Back to music you like, I always recommend taking some of your favourite music with you into the store.

A good salesperson will help you not only get a good deal, if they can, that's generally what they get commission for, but will make sure that you make the right purchase, whether it is the cheapest or not. The good salesperson will likely have you spending more than you intended, they'll give you a business card and make contact with you again after the sale to make sure you are happy and a smart one will get you to give them a review as well. You can do that using your technology.

More information

Comment by vexxxboy, on 3-Jul-2013 11:15

they have a name for this Showrooming, where people just use the store as a ahowroom for there online shopping needs . there are stores trying to ban the use of mobile phones in there stores and there was one store in Australia who charged $5.00 just to enter the store and you had it refunded if you bought something.

Author's note by PDAMan, on 3-Jul-2013 11:45

I remember that, it didn't go down too well. It;s really up to the retailer to maximise the opportunity, I wrote a new blog to give retailers some ideas about that this morning on my SoLoMo Blog.

Comment by gnfb, on 3-Jul-2013 14:34

Nice to see someone suggesting some of the same techniques I use to try and get staff to run with when I was in retail. 
One of the major things that staff seem to have problem with and i am amazed at how many times I will go into a store spend 20 minutes with a salesman getting the information I need then they will allow me to walk out without ASKING FOR THE SALE.Also one of the biggest opportunities salesman in bricks and mortar stores have is "would you like to take that with you now?". One of the stupidest things Bricks and mortar do is charge for delivery sometimes up to $30 for a local delivery Why would I want to pay for delivery when I can go online and a lot of the time get it delivered free! Now if they offer Delivery and install that's a different thing That then becomes a selling point

Comment by Carri, on 3-Jul-2013 15:34

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Comment by Pete, on 3-Jul-2013 21:54

I load up the Amazon app and scan the bar code and I can bet you 80% of the items (i.e. non bulk/heavy) you find will be cheaper even after factoring the cost of shipping. Plenty of services to bring it to NZ including friends and family.

Comment by dickytim, on 4-Jul-2013 06:50

Interesting read, I can say that I don't go in store until I am pretty sure what I want and I am ready to buy. If I walk into a store I am 90% of the time there to buy, but yes I will have been online to search for the best deal.

Comment by H, on 6-Jul-2013 08:21

"The thing is though that as a consumer you don't generally have product knowledge"
Right. All consumers are stupid, all salesmen are on to it.

In my experience a lot of salesmen have no clues at all.
Years ago in HN, I asked one what kind of modem a PC had...he fumbled around and then proudly told me it was a COM1.

That's what the net is for. Research your products, then check reviews - user reviews in particular for reliability/problems.

Then buy online.
The only things I buy in store are food and clothes. Clothes - because it's hard to try on online...LOL.

Comment by Lurch, on 14-Jul-2013 19:17

To be honest I haven't stepped foot into an electronics store in a long time.

I research everything online and 9 times out of 10 purchase online.

Big things like TV's/Whiteware I buy locally online but everything else is bought overseas.

If only there was a cheaper way for bigger items ;-)

Why do I buy overseas? Well when the prices here are $100-$500 more and most overseas sites offering free shipping whats a 5 day wait for something?

As for the consumer not knowing anything what nonsense. Having dealt with so many pushy sales people that don't know their products I'd say it's the other way round.

Doesn't take long to research something these days and brick and mortar shops have to wise up to this and make a change.

This new law about imposing Tax on all imported items is the local shops grasping at straws.

Stop over charging and supply items at reasonable prices and people will buy from you.

These false sales that some stores have every weekend *ahem* Briscoes and HN are getting beyond a joke.

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PDAMan's profile

Luigi Cappel
New Zealand

Helping people getting their message to potential customers with blogs and social media.
Futurist and start up founder.
Passionate consultant about all things to do with Social, Location, Augmented Reality and Mobile.
Member of Auckland ICT Cluster
Chair of Computing and IT Industry Advisory Committee at National Technology Institute
Founding member and past president of the New Zealand Wireless Forum.
Past Vice President NZ Sales & Marketing Institute.