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Mobile technology driving retail trends

Mobile technology is making a widespread impact across sectors. Smartphones are cropping up as new tools for teachers to help engage their students, e-readers have proven to be a popular sales channel for literature and mobile technology is improving access to healthcare in developing rural communities, according to The Guardian. The influx of tech devices is also changing the way companies do business and customers approach shopping.

Retail businesses can no longer expect sales success by improving merchandising strategies at their brick-and-mortar stores, the source reports.  They must now participate in supplementary channels, such as mobile, social and web-based commerce. As a result of this trend, tech-savvy stores are bringing new devices into shops to provide customers with the cutting-edge multichannel and omnichannel experiences they have come to expect.

This trend is expected to continue growing, according to Jon Copestake, chief retail analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit. Copestake told The Guardian that although social, mobile and ecommerce transactions currently represent just one in 10 sales for stores, that portion is expected to triple by 2022 when smartphones are seen as typical sales channels.

Companies that are looking to secure customer satisfaction and loyalty into the future can perform checks to ensure they are meeting and exceeding expectations. A recent mystery shopping study by CrossView found that some vendors have already begun to invest more in the digital shopping experiences they are offering consumers, with 92 percent allowing social sharing on sites and nearly 80 percent presenting the same promotions across touchpoints.

The research asked secret shoppers to evaluate brands' pricing and promotion consistency, contact information accessibility, merchandising and whether all sales avenues were overarchingly seamless.

"What's clear to us in our work with leading brands is that no touchpoint is viewed as a separate entity by consumers - each is an extension of the same brand," said said Mark Fodor, chief executive officer for CrossView. "So, consistency is critical, fitting hand in glove with an effective cross-channel strategy."