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Channel-hopping: From Online to Oxford St

VeInteractive | February 28, 2012

In-store research is an increasingly oft-occurring phenomenon.Followers of this blog will know that we’ve been banging the drum about multi-channel integration and how online can help revitalise the high street; an approach that’s sometime termed ‘clicks and mortar’. With the publication of comScore’s latest report, Mobile Future in Focus, the need to present a unified strategy appears ever more pressing.

In the words of a famous brand of hair products, here comes the science part:

“More than half of the U.S. smartphone population used their phone to perform retail research while inside a store in 2011, illustrating the emergence of savvy smartphone shoppers who bring online shopping behaviors in-store. At the end of 2011, nearly 1 in 5 smartphone users scanned product barcodes and nearly 1 in 8 compared prices on their phone while in a store.”

So what does it mean for retailers? Well, it’s not going to be enough just to lure potential customers into your store. If you’re selling a product that can be bought from someone else, chances are that at least 10% of your footfall is researching products and their prices – and competitor’s prices – on mobile devices, whilst under your roof. And 97% of customers will have looked at the same products online, before leaving their home (BIA/Kelsey).

Google calls this new decision-making phenomenon ‘ZMOT’ or ‘Zero Moment of Truth’. Winning the Zero Moment of Truth is critical. Retails need to be fighting and pitching for business all the way to the till…and beyond.

That leaves a big opportunity for those of us in the online space to make a real difference. A quality digital offering can secure the ZMOT. If you look after e-commerce for a multi-channel brand, for example, have a think about what would persuade you to head straight from a brand’s digital space to their bricks-and-mortar space.

Done it? Had a few ideas? That’s integrated thinking, and that’s the future of retail.

 

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