For a while now, Verizon has been championing a "mobile-first" innovation strategy to help business customers meet the demand for a mobile customer experience. But mobility is no longer a demand. It's a reality. The question of whether to go mobile has been asked and answered. Since access is now assumed, the mobile public is less interested in where and when mobile is enabled and more interested in what it can deliver.
Mobile-first design: the wow factor
For retail companies, the most critical technology investment they've likely had to make is in mobile engagement and the requisite infrastructure. But the payoff has been the ability to deliver wow-factor experiences to retail consumers and digital tools to the retail workforce that are shifting the paradigm of the shopping experience. This is especially true for traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where enticing people offline and back into stores continues to be a huge challenge.
Advancements in retail technology—such as the use of augmented reality to try on makeup and clothing, visualize furniture and appliances at home, and discover new products and project ideas—require the integration of a specific mobile app that features specific embedded functions connecting to on-site capabilities that together deliver the magic. Mobility ties the experience to the customer or the sales associate, who is empowered with a device in hand to navigate the intersection of the real and the virtual.
A mobile-first customer experience strategy
The frontier of mobile-first customer experience is vast, with tremendous potential to redefine the way we consume goods and services. Where mobility, virtualization, innovative apps and new tech converge, industries such as retail now have the ability to:
- Leverage customer behavior data and user analytics to personalize experiences, shape "look-alike" models to assist shoppers with product selection and develop clienteling programs for brand-loyal customers.
- Use mobile point-of-sale (POS) capabilities to untether in-store shoppers from long waits in checkout lines and to enable instant purchase options with online checkout.
- Deploy turnkey internet-connected devices in a distributed store network with cellular connectivity.
- Showcase products using vibrant and engaging digital signage on an independent cellular connection without needing to increase broadband connectivity in the store.
- Create a robust and secure parallel vendor network for kiosks and other non-corporate in-store devices.
- Deploy a fleet of wearable devices, such as smartwatches, to equip sales associates with task management and data collection in ways that support rapid product location for customers in-store.
- Leverage product serialization and inventory management to increase the visibility of the supply chain; support buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS); and help address federal regulations for food safety.
Digital transformation across industries is shaping this evolution at the digital edge—where a host of mobile capabilities can be fused with emerging tech and next-generation mobile apps to boost customer experience and workforce enablement. This is where a lot of digital convergence is truly happening. The retail experience of the future will be mobile, fluid and flexible, but so much of this future is already here—capabilities just waiting to be explored, integrated and scaled.
Learn more about how Verizon is delivering these capabilities by visiting our Retail Industry page.