Apart from blocking phone signals, what can the high street retailer do to encourage users to buy there and then rather than go elsewhere? Some retailers are embracing this desire and pre-empting it by offering the service at the till (Tesco, Asda etc. price check) or by going old school and actually training staff and giving them the knowledge that they are competitively priced so they can confidently inform customers about their purchase. Tablets with the stores own ecommerce site allow quick and easy access to latest prices and stock for the in store consumer as well as online.
Another option is to engage customers through their phones while they are in store. You spend a lot of time and money on POS displays and staff, so when a customer comes in looking down at their phone you need to reach them so they’ll look up and see what you have to offer. The use of QR codes and near field technologies are growing with consumers rewarded for their interactions but you might need to go a step further.
Augmented reality allows users to experience what it’s like to wear, use or interact with a product without actually needing to pick it up or even be in the same room! Giving a customer a paper watch strap and inviting them to virtually try on a number of different watches is much more likely to get them interested than a locked glass display case. And of course it also works for your ecommerce store by using smart device cameras via an app or the web cam on the computer. A mixed medium campaign of free watch straps inserted into press or direct mail allows a consumer to try it out, at home, on the move or in store.
Engagement is key to purchasing, just like content is to web development so retailers need to get on board and embrace the mobile presence rather than be scared by something new.