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Retail on the run: How mobile technology can help retailers

Retail on the run: How mobile technology can help retailers

It probably comes as no surprise that many consumers like to shop from the convenience of their smartphones, but you may be taken aback by some of the statistics on mobile commerce.

According to Juniper Research, mobile purchases will account for 30 percent of e-commerce by 2018 – double the 15 percent as of 2013. Further, 84 percent of shoppers use their phones when in retail stores, and 59 percent use smartphones to research products before making a purchase. These statistics show that smartphones have quickly become an essential part of shoppers’ routines, and the use of mobile technology isn’t going to stop any time soon.

With these facts in mind, you may want to consider how you can leverage mobile technology within your retail store. Here are some tips on incorporating mobile commerce into your business model.

Create an app-friendly website
Chances are that you already have a website for your business, and the easiest way for you to get on the mobile-commerce trend is to ensure your site is mobile-friendly. A website that is optimized for mobile phones will show viewers an altered version of the content that requires minimal scrolling and zooming. Not only will having a phone-friendly website encourage visitors to stay and peruse your merchandise, but it will also help to improve your site’s search engine optimization.

“Mobile-friendly websites have improved SEO.”

How’s that? In the early months of 2015, Google implemented new algorithms that reward websites optimized for mobile viewing. This so-called “Mobilegeddon” made it essential for businesses to rework their websites to be convenient for mobile shoppers.

Optimizing your existing website for mobile viewing may require a fair bit of coding. If you worked with a developer to create your site, it might be time to have him or her give the coding a facelift. Even if you have to spend a bit of money to revamp your site and make it mobile-friendly, the return on investment from increased SEO and online commerce will likely make up for the cost.

Use mobile technology in your displays
You can also incorporate little technological touches in your in-store displays. Want to offer a special hidden deal for smartphone users? Place a QR code next to one of your acrylic jewelry displays or display cases. Encourage shoppers to scan the image, and have them directed to a limited-time coupon on your website so they can snatch up the merchandise at a great price.

Make your own app
Really want to wow your tech-savvy customers? It’s easier than ever to create your own mobile app without any knowledge of computer coding. Just find a publishing platform that suits your needs and create a virtual store where your customers can purchase your SKUs, browse new inventory or learn about your business.

Use the Firefly app with our catalog. Use the Firefly app with our catalog.

How Firefly leverages its app
If you need some inspiration for how to leverage an app or mobile-optimized website, check out the free Firefly Store Solutions app. With this handy tool on your iPad, iPhone or Android, you can enjoy a truly interactive shopping experience.

For example, if you scan the Firefly icon with your phone, you can chose to shop through all our bulk retail supplies and display fixtures or call to place an order. Plus, when you get your latest copy of the Firefly brochure, you can scan whole pages to experience our augmented reality features. You’ll be shown all the products that are on the page you scanned, and there are also assembly, DIY and how-to videos available for you to browse. It’s essentially a whole toolbox for retailers, all wrapped up in a single app.