Blog Trends

Ahead of the Curve: Three Important Trends in the Retail Revolution

The internet influences 43 percent of all retail sales, and savvy retailers are using this to their advantage by incorporating digital experiences into their retail environments. Three trends—location-aware mobile apps, interactive displays, and mobile point of sale—feature just the kind of technology we use to help clients such as T-Mobile stay ahead of the curve, increase customer delight, and drive in-store sales.

Trend #1: Apps for Every Shopper

Smartphone penetration is at 64 percent and rising in the US, a huge opportunity for retailers. Sure, there have been growing pains for some retailers: Consumers can use stores simply to find or try products they’ll buy online or elsewhere. Smart retailers are learning from this behavior and introducing mobile apps designed with retail functionality to let customers check prices, receive special offers, and track loyalty rewards. With location awareness, brands are able to deliver personalized information in real time to shopping customers based on store location, activity, time, and personal interests. For example, McDonald’s is testing mobile payment and ordering apps that allows customers to skip lines or speed through drive-thru.

Trend #2: More In-Store Digital Signage

Over the last year, retailers have gone big with store-wide digital signage and interactive displays. Digital displays are getting bigger, and their price is dropping all the time. That opens up new opportunities to customize the retail environment—whether nationally, regionally, or store by store. When retailers tailor messages and experiences based on the needs of local shoppers, customers receive more personalized service, and brands can respond quickly to meet their needs. In-store interactive tools are another way to enrich the shopping experience and can be used to help customers understand complex features and functionality—or even customize products. As our client T-Mobile has discovered, adding dynamic displays and interactive kiosks to retail spaces grabs attention, makes store environments more dynamic, and encourages longer engagement.

Trend #3: The Move to Mobile POS

Retailers are finding that mobile point-of-sale platforms are perfect for serving web-savvy consumers while also empowering the sales team. Due to the quickly changing online retail environment, customers have come to expect personalized service, more choices, and better in-store customer support. Apple stores famously allow people to purchase items directly in the aisle, and they even let customers check themselves out using the Apple Store app. Many platforms also provide sales teams with product explanations, price comparisons, and competitive product information they can use to engage and convert customers in real time. Some retailers are even using these platforms for sales training programs. From large, nationwide store chains to small private companies, retailers are using mobile point of sale to satisfy customers’ changing expectations and give their sales teams an edge.