Mobile User Experience: Combining Mobile and Brick-and-Mortar Can Keep Your Customers from Browsing Away

When more than 60% of users use the in-store Wi-Fi to compare prices or to find deals and product reviews, the competition for shopping experience between mobile ecommerce and brick-and mortar intensifies. One way to reduce leakage to other mobile ecommerce sites is to develop a combined mobile and brick-and-mortar user experience.

As more and more brick-and-mortar retailers deploy Wi-Fi networks on premises, the ubiquity of mobile devices means that price comparison has become a lot easier. According to research by JiWire, more than 10 million people used in-store Wi-Fi network while shopping.

With a wealth of information at their fingertips, consumers are getting smarter about their shopping habits. The research shows that more than 60% of respondents used their smartphones while in a store to compare prices. Other common uses are to find product reviews, coupons or even to browse the store’s website.

Got a Store—Need a Mobile Website

If your conclusion from this research is that you should stop offering free Wi-Fi to your customers, you got this all wrong. If you don’t offer Wi-Fi, customers are just going to go online using their carrier’s network.

A better way to approach it is to offer a mobile site of your own with a QR code for easy access.  The omnipresence of mobile devices means that brick-and-mortar stores do not only compete with other retailers in the neighborhood, but with all mobile ecommerce websites out there.

What if you were to develop a combined mobile and brick-and-mortar user experience?  Your customers may be looking for price comparison and product reviews anyway before buying, so why wouldn’t you offer it to them yourself?

By promoting your mobile website in-store and making it easy to access using a QR code or an app, you can control your customers’ mobile experience.  You can offer them product reviews and price comparisons with other competitors to convince them that they are getting the best deal.

Mobile User Experience Extended

Mobile can greatly enhance the physical shopping experience.  The challenge is how to make the two shopping experiences work together rather than against each other.  Retailers have found creative ways to keep their customers in stores for longer—IKEA offers restaurants, other stores open coffee stands and nearly all retailers place products strategically to make users spend more time between the aisles.

Brick and mortar retailers can’t stop the mobile revolution,so it’s time to get creative and join it.