Picture this for a moment: you’re having a sales event featuring one of your favorite designers. There’s a nice sized crowd, people seem like they’re having a good time, and one of your customers seems to be focused entirely on her iPhone.
How do you feel about her in that moment? Many jewelry retailers will admit to being at least a little irritated. The assumption is that a customer on a mobile device is showrooming – using your store to physically inspect the jewelry, and then searching for a lower price online. In that instance, it’s really not hard to feel a little used.
But hold on for just a moment. You don’t want to leap to conclusions. While some shoppers are using their smartphones to showroom, most actually are doing something else. Google reports that 42% of shoppers use their smartphones to research brands online while shopping.
The vast majority use search engines for that purpose, but almost half will also look at your store’s website or app. This is why it is so important that your website be mobile friendly and reflective of your current inventory and offers. Additionally, if you have pages on your website that you know will help your shoppers – perhaps a policies page, or a page explaining the unique appeal of a particular brand – use signage to encourage your customer to visit them.
Another reason your customer may be using her smartphone in the store is to discuss her potential purchases with her friends. Sharing images of your offerings via Snapchat, Instagram, or another social platform is one way for a customer to get instant feedback from her peers – who can play a pivotal role in encouraging her to close the deal.
So when you see a customer using her smartphone in your store, don’t be steamed – smile! When you have a robust, well designed website to meet your customer’s needs, that smartphone use can help your customer decide that today’s the day they’re going to buy.