Retailers Embracing Mobile Will Have a Happy Holiday
“Normals” are using Apps to Cut Profit Margins
Retailers who embrace mobile correctly for Christmas will flourish. Those who don’t ,won’t.
I’ve come to realize this while I work as a cashier at Target.
This week I had a guest (customer) come through my line with $400 worth of Christmas toys. The guest told me if we would match the best price the Red Laser App was finding she would buy with with us. I thought, no problem Target gives the cashier a lot of latitude to make the guest happy, so I agreed.
The guest was saving $20-$30 an item. 3 other guests overheard this and immediately downloaded the app.
Later on, I figured out these 4 guests bought about $1,300 of the day’s $115,000 sales. That works out to 1% of our sales for that day. That’s would have been a lot to let walk out the door.
The next day I related this story to the store manager. He said what scares him more are the customers we don’t know are using the apps and leave the store without giving Target the opportunity to compete for the business.
One way to counter this is to own the free Wi-Fi network in store by using a service like Mike Perrone’s SocialSign.In . Through the use of a Facebook or Twitter sign in you get will allow you to gain insight into what price comparison apps they are using, what products they are commonly searching for and what competitors app/sites they are referencing to make buying decisions is extremely useful.
If you don’t feel comfortable revealing your margins to cashiers you can always setup a negotiating interface that works directly with your Point of Sales suggests Timothy Meade .
You can also tie into a shopping app like Target’s Cartwheel (they use Facebook sign in) to offer savings on products they would be interested in. In Target’s case it’s important because their app is the 3rd most downloaded shopping app on iOS according to Union Square Ventures . The app usually offers more savings (20% +) than say their Red Card (5%) without the debt ( credit card version ) or having another card linked to your checking account ( debit card version)
One last suggestion to retailers. Open up your inventory to the guests. Let your guests see what store location has the style, size and color in stock they desire. Trust me they will drive to get it and end up buying more stuff. Worst case scenario, partner with Shipster , Deliv, Shyp or TaskRabbit to have the item delivered the same day.
Retailers can follow approved price matching policy or try to cherry pick competition, but you will lose.