While overall retail sales may have dropped by 0.5 percent in June, a recent IBM survey reveals that mobile and online shopping rose in the last three months. According to the survey, mobile device sales grew by 15 percent while social media sales actually dropped by 20 percent. In addition, IBM also points out that June 2012's retail sales are 3.8 percent higher than the same time last year.
"Shoppers today are shifting from a singular online approach to a multichannel experience that includes both mobile and social media. As a result, retailers must be prepared to connect with their customers on all fronts, or lose them to the competition," said Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM's Industry Solutions. "As we enter the home stretch for the 2012 holiday season, we will continue to watch how CMOs and CIOs tackle these challenges and create social media efforts that deliver value to the customers while driving revenue for the business."
According to Inc. Magazine, there are a few things retail owners can do to ensure that they effectively take advantage of the upswing in mobile and online shopping methods. One such example is for retailers to make the return process for customers much easier.
This can be done by using custom database software to not only store vital return information, but to also upload all returns accurately and efficiently so inventories are unaffected and customer satisfaction is ensured.
Also, Inc. suggests that retailers use limited time offer sales opportunities for their online and mobile purchases where customers who purchase a product via mobile device or online are eligible for a temporary sale that is only available through those platforms.
While this requires consumers to reach a certain number of qualifications – the right product via the right platform – custom database software can help them manage these prerequisites and determine which purchase order qualifies for which deals.