A while back I wrote about different retailers who are rolling out Wi-Fi in their stores . Out of the supermarkets I looked at, Tesco is well positioned to take advantage this in its large Tesco Extra stores due to customers at these stores being more likely to use mobile internet than Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrisons’ customers.
A question left unanswered however, is what kinds of interactions do people want to do in-store?
Recently, Nielsen posted some findings from a survey about how U.S. smartphone owners use their devices in-store, that help answer this question.
At first glance, other than use or requests for vouchers, findings do not appear very uplifting for grocery retailers. Of all people surveyed who have used their smartphones whilst shopping, only 14% have used their smartphones for reading reviews in grocery stores, and only a quarter have scanned a QR code in grocery stores. This is because people are more likely to use their smartphones in electronic stores and department stores, where products tend to require more consideration.
On deeper inspection however, opportunities for the likes of Tesco Extra around in-store smartphone behaviour are good because of course, they aren’t just grocery retailers:
- Because vouchers perform best, offer vouchers across the whole store. Although grocery sections are obvious, they can be used to encourage more expensive ‘considered’ purchases such as electronics, white goods and other expensive items. They could even be used to encourage sales of additional services, such as Tesco Mobile, broadband and financial products.
- Provide vouchers people can scan in from newspapers or magazines or download to their phones from the internet in partnership with TV ads or programme sponsorship, which they can then use in-store. Supermarkets and other retailers could even create online ‘lockers’ in which shoppers can store their vouchers and then access on-demand*.
- Promote accessing product reviews in non-food areas displaying more considered products. Supermarkets could even create apps that ‘save’ these items for viewing later, perhaps for purchasing online or during the next store visit.
Each of these opportunities is likely to encourage additional footfall. Firstly, by making vouchers sharable via Facebook or Twitter, supermarkets can take advantage of personal recommendation to encourage new customers. Secondly, visitors are likely to make the most of special visits for considered purchases (driven by product reviews, recommendations and vouchers) by buying additional ‘top up’ groceries whilst they are there.
* Update 23 May. Today I read about SnipSnap, which lets you snap pictures of all your vouchers and save them on your iPhone, which then uploads them to SnipSnap servers where the barcode, expiration date and so on are pulled from the image and and saved alongside it.