4 Guidelines for Retailers to Leverage Mobile & Wearable Tech

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Take a look around the room at your next networking event, and you’ll likely find a good number of people who are sporting some sort of wearable technology. Maybe you’re even one of them. If so, you’re certainly not alone. Research from PowerReviews found that almost 30% of U.S. consumers already own a wearable device — such as a smart watch, smart glasses or fitness tracker — or plan to buy one in the next 12 months.

The increased adoption of technologies such as wearable devices and beacons is making the path to purchase more complex, but these technologies also have the potential to open up opportunities for smart, forward-thinking retailers to connect with customers and drive sales. Read on to learn 4 keys to success for retailers looking to leverage the rapid shift toward mobile and wearable technology.

1. Provide shoppers with relevant information so they don’t leave your ecosystem.
Imagine a customer is shopping in your store for a new TV. She’s deciding between two models and wants to see what other people have to say about each one before she makes a decision. She visits your website on her smartphone and searches for a few minutes, but doesn’t find any reviews for the two models she’s considering. So, she navigates to Amazon and quickly finds dozens of reviews for each — and also finds she can purchase one of the TVs for $20 less, with free shipping. She leaves the store empty handed.

This scenario points to the importance of providing customers with the information they want, when and where they want it. This means having mobile-friendly reviews available on mobile apps and on your website as well as using reviews in store, whether through digital displays or traditional print advertisements.

2. Use data to offer a better online and in-store customer experience.
More than a third of consumers want a wearable device to make their lives easier. And 82% would like technology like smart watches to enhance their shopping experience. The key to providing these improved experiences? Data.

How can you get access to the data you need? Consumers are willing to share their data if there’s a real benefit for them. Smart retailers will use data to demonstrate value, in the form of rewards and offers. This granular view of customer behavior is invaluable and will in turn enable you to make communications more relevant, targeted and in sync with what customers really want.

3. Innovate and personalize information delivery.
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all marketing. Instead, shoppers have come to expect personalized information throughout their shopping experience.

Innovate within your ecosystem to provide customers with the information they need, when they need it so you don’t lose them to a competitor. Through demographics, transaction histories, social media engagement and reviews, retailers have the opportunity to be smart about how they reach out to shoppers. Beacons and other micro-location technology help them further target what content they serve and when and where they serve it. For example, if a retailer’s smartwatch app knows a consumer loves designer shoes, is in New York City on vacation, and just got a raise, it might suggest a highly-rated pair of shoes that’s on sale at a store two blocks away.

4. Don’t wait.
Think wearable tech is a passing fad? Think again. Wearable tech is here to stay, and retailers that bury their head in the sand will be left in the dust. The quickly changing technology landscape affects everyone, so be sure to plan your marketing strategies now to be part of the seismic shift. Your consumers are already adopting wearable tech and they expect you to as well.