In today’s retail world, customers have very specific expectations for service, convenience and even technology. As more traditional retailers adopt new technology and practices to improve the customer experience, consumers expect the same level of service from every store they shop with — including the campus store.
According to the 2019 Shopgate report, 90 percent of retailers expect to offer customers the option to buy online and pick up in the store and to buy online and return in-store within the next two years. Convenient options like this will no longer be seen as a perk of shopping with a particular store. Services like these will now be the standard expectation for retail.
However, with change comes opportunity. Of the shoppers surveyed, 85 percent said they made additional purchases while visiting stores to pick up their online orders. Giving shoppers a more complete omnichannel experience creates more opportunities for customers to engage with your store and more opportunities for them to make purchases.
One way for your campus store to provide students with a more complete omnichannel experience is through a campus store mobile app.
Three ways a mobile app strengthens the campus store
1. Creates a new channel for customer make purchasesYou can expand your omnichannel presence beyond just a store, website and social media. A study recent study found that 90 percent of shoppers with retail apps use them to make purchases. When customers download your store’s app, they have another convenient, direct channel to your merchandise. And, now you have new opportunities to share important information, events and deals with customers on a regular basis.
According to Barnes & Noble College (BNC) research, students specifically want mobile apps to:
- 69 percent find deals and coupons
- 60 percent price compare
- 55 percent enhance their convenience
2. Gives customers more convenience and flexibility
In today’s mobile world, convenience is key to meeting consumer expectations. Customers don’t want to have to wait in long lines, they don’t want to wait for out of stock merchandise to be restocked and they definitely don’t want to wait for their new purchases to arrive. Customers are looking for that immediate gratification that comes from in-store purchases, but in a convenient way that fits into their lives.
How customers use mobile apps
- 88 percent check prices
- 63 percent check product availability
- 54 percent for purchasing flexibility
- 44 percent to avoid stores
3. Builds customer trust
BNC research reveals that 83 percent of students use mobile shopping apps to track the status of their order, and 60 percent use apps to research products before they make an in-store purchase. Easy, transparent access to information like this helps builds trust with customer and demonstrates that your store is more than just retail. You are there to help them as another campus service and resource available to them.
Additionally, mobile apps can help build customer trust by giving students more ways to leave and read reviews — which students see as a form of social proof. More than 60 percent of surveyed shoppers use apps to leave product reviews and 34 percent use them to get product recommendations.
By investing in your mobile app and omnichannel presence, you can help prepare your store for greater success both now and in the future.