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HCLT Whitepaper: Mobility Solutions an emerging trend in the Retail Industry

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HCLT Whitepaper: Mobility Solutions an emerging trend in the Retail Industry

  1. 1. Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industry
  2. 2. 2 Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industry Introduction Retailers, marketers and service providers are on the brink of a massive technological opportunity to evolve the retail experience. Bringing the users real-time information while they are physically in the retail space, opens up new opportunities for targeted promotions, upselling and an improved customer experience. Shoppers need to be engaged prior to, during and after the shopping experience too. Technological advancements in retail and mobile technologies can provide just that. By delivering a comprehensive, intelligent and customizable solution, all stakeholders, from the retailer to the service provider and ultimately to the consumer, can enjoy measurable benefits by embracing these emerging technologies. The HCL Mobility Center of Excellence (CoE) is focused on developing innovative solutions for enterprises on the mobile devices front. The research focuses on several advanced technologies and platforms in the evolving field of mobile technologies. This paper throws light on the evolution of technology in retail and focuses on how the handheld and its applications are creating a paradigm change in the shopping experience. Mobile Technology – Enhancing the shopper’s experience Today’s shoppers are tech savvy, and they increasingly expect the businesses they interact with, to be as well. Within four walls, retailers are struggling to keep up with a consumer base that is dramatically outpacing them in the adoption of new mobile technologies. As smart phones and iPads continue to skyrocket in popularity, retailers are compelled to provide shoppers with on-demand product and store information wherever they are, including in-store. Issues like slow-moving check-out lines, missed selling opportunities, poor customer service, along with store associates lacking up-to-date information about product features or availability, are contributing to lost revenue and are keeping retailers up at night. In addition, retailers are also struggling with how to make best use of outdated software systems and bulky handheld mobile options. At the same time, the good news is that the dynamics are changing. It is clear that mobile represents a sea change in how retailers approach store operations and consumer interactions, and retailers are waking up to the need to leverage mobile throughout everyday store operations and consumer interactions. Forward-looking retailers are using mobile in new and unique ways to take charge of their store operations like never before, and propel themselves into 21st century. Next-generation mobile technology including Mobile POS, inventory management software, and consumer-facing applications that encourage © 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.
  3. 3. 3 Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industry higher brand interaction, present retailers with the opportunity to leverage existing investments in store software technology and significantly enhance retailer-to-consumer interactions. Today's shoppers are hyper-connected and never leave home without their phones. More importantly, they are using their mobile phones to inform purchase decisions. A large section of shoppers today get an opinion about a product and, more often than not, that opinion encourages them to buy the item. From an efficiency standpoint, mobile-marketing initiatives need little incremental infrastructure, which makes them inexpensive and easy to scale. They can be made incredibly relevant and can drive direct, two-way interaction with the brand. Mobile campaigns that let consumers opt-in are also great for CRM and database building. Furthermore, by going direct to the consumer, mobile campaigns allow brands to have more control over their messaging than traditional in-store displays. Mobile technology is advancing exponentially and can help redefine the shopping experience. Here is a sample of innovations that could be soon reaching a store near you: ? codes, or quick-response codes, are becoming standardized QR in the U.S. and allow direct links to mobile websites via physical codes. Ralph Lauren's youth-oriented Rugby brand has implemented these codes in select stores, letting consumers find more information about a product or order it through their phones. ?By combining the physical and virtual worlds, Augmented Reality (AR) can give you more information on your surroundings or provide virtual testing. What if you could point your phone at a container and see which of your friends liked it? Applications such as MIT's Sixth Sense, Sekai Camera and GE's Smart Grid are showing the world the potential of the technology -- and it will not be long before you see more brands playing with it. With these and other emerging technologies, shopping can become a fully connected, social experience. But it is up to marketers, not developers, to define its future. To begin with, we would like to see more brands take advantage of simple SMS and mobile web technology to enhance and extend their in-store marketing efforts. Those that do, will undoubtedly witness an impressive ROI -- Return on Innovation. © 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.
  4. 4. 4 Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industry Mobile Technology – Applications for marketers There is hardly any brand that is taking full advantage of mobile marketing in-store, though some are taking steps and this can be used to illustrate what is possible in the space. Listed below are the top five applications of mobiles in-store: ?Product information: Customers are using their mobile phones to "phone a friend" for their trusted opinions before shelling out their hard earned money for something. This is the next generation of word of mouth and it is happening in-store, in real- time. Google Product Search has launched an application for iPhones and Android phones that allows shoppers to compare product ratings and read reviews through their mobile phones. Sephora, through Bazaarvoice, created a mobile site that allows shoppers to browse product reviews. Consumers are two and a half times more influenced by fellow customer reviews than by a salesperson's advice. ?Driving traffic: The ability to target by location is one of the most buzzed-about features of mobile technology that brands should take better advantage of. Where is your nearest store? Where can I buy one of your products right now? By including a mobile prompt on all outdoor creative, marketers can not only increase awareness of their product/service, but can also drive consumers into the store immediately. Further, location can be used to target consumers by which aisle they are browsing through in a store. Using Wi-Fi hotspots, it is possible to accurately target promotions up to three to five feet. For example, a customer in the personal-care aisle would receive an incentive to buy face wash. ?Loyalty programs and mobile coupons: Mobile loyalty programs offer unparalleled targeting and personalization options. Zavers has a system that links online and mobile incentive placement with in-store redemption. The Zavers button can be embedded in any digital media -- internet, mobile, e-mail and interactive TV -- and customers can transfer all the deals directly to a loyalty card on their phone. This means that coupons are now infinitely trackable. Marketers can now measure the effectiveness of incentives from online ad impression to retail purchase. There are also simple SMS-based ways to deliver mobile incentives. Urban Outfitters use a sign at the register to inform shoppers of their text-to-enter mobile loyalty program. Armani © 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.
  5. 5. 5 Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industry aims to drive more traffic in-store through window signage that gives passersby $10 off if they text in. ?Campaign extension: To increase brand affinity, stores can offer branded or partner content to consumers. Mobile plus Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) is a great way to do this. Brands can reach a captive audience as shoppers download content while they are waiting in line. They can then continue to engage with the brand even after they leave the store. Danoo, a DOOH network that places screens near points of sale in coffee shops, is doing just this. Almost all of its in-store campaigns in the fourth quarter of 2008 had a mobile call-to- action. They have seen success for mobile-content downloads through Bluetooth, citing a 30% download rate (out of all people with compatible devices) for a "Dancing With the Stars" campaign. ?Brand utility: Visa launched a campaign in the summer of 2008, to promote the concierge services associated with its new upscale Signature Card. Noting that shoppers are often overwhelmed by wine choices, Visa set up a service where you could text in a food and receive a wine pairing. While this example was not necessarily driving sign-up of Visa cards in store, imagine if a winery provided this utility to differentiate itself on the shelf. This idea could apply to many other categories. For example, shoppers could text their complexion to a cosmetics manufacturer and receive recommendations on color choices and makeup application techniques. © 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.
  6. 6. 6 Mobility Solutions – An emerging trend in the retail industry HCL Mobility Solutions CoE offerings The HCL Mobility Solutions group specializes in developing mobile applications in various technologies across a variety of industry verticals. Its dedicated domain and technology consultants have proven skills across multiple platforms with particular focus on mobile solution development, porting and testing. The offerings include: ?Mobile Application Development ?Enterprise Mobile Offerings ?System Integration Services ?Managed Services HCL provides end-to-end mobile solutions across various platforms including iOS, Blackberry, Android, Symbian and Windows mobile. Device and platform selection is another key area of expertise to be in a position to consult the best solution based on the requirements of the customer. The dedicated design team provides an excellent user interface clubbed with the robust programming delivered by experienced mobile developers. Going Forward The trends described here are rewriting the competitive rules of retailing and dramatically changing the retail competitive landscape. Early leaders are figuring out how to shape capabilities to their advantage, and are successfully separating themselves from competitors. To avoid being left behind, retailers that are not market leaders must strategize on two or three key areas of focus. Concentrating on building distinctive capabilities will enable companies to continuously develop new ways to attract consumers, deliver on their promises as well as achieve high performance. © 2011, HCL Technologies. Reproduction Prohibited. This document is protected under Copyright by the Author, all rights reserved.

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