Safeguarding the Mobile Sales Apps Revolution in Retail
A growing legion of retailers, including Macy's and Nordstrom, are arming their in-store salespeople with tablets and mobile sales apps to conduct on-the-spot sales support with customers. This includes the use of tablets to check company-wide inventory to enhance the customer experience while increasing the wallet share of customers patrolling their aisles. The use of mobile sales apps by in-store salespeople has become a necessity for physical retailers that hope to survive. As a growing number of mobile-equipped consumers compare product prices and features in-store against offerings from Amazon.com, eBay, and other online retailers, many physical retailers are fighting back with their own mobile assistance to retain customer spending. Indeed, enterprise mobility in retail is also creating opportunities for many store operators. For instance, while 21% of all consumers are mobile shoppers – using mobile devices within physical stores to assist their purchasing decisions – 30% of mobile shoppers are committed to purchasing in-store and are merely using their devices to find additional information, according to a study conducted by the Columbia Business School Center on Global Brand Leadership and AIMIA. Moreover, 60% of mobile shoppers are more likely to purchase products in-store when they find online reviews on their smartphones. In addition to providing retail employees with mobile sales apps to assist customers -- including apps that provide access to inventory, pricing, and product features -- one of the best ways to help drive engagement and conversions with mobile shoppers is by providing them with mobile apps. It’s also an effective way to drive sales. According to a study by Gartner, mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times and generate more than $77 billion in revenue by 2017. Of course, in order to distribute, manage, support, and protect mobile sales apps that are used by customers and employees, retailers need an effective mobile application management (MAM®) platform. The right enterprise mobility solution can make it easy for retail employees to find and download the apps that can help them to assist in-store customers while also providing retailers with a viable approach for distributing, managing, and monitoring apps being used by their customers – without disrupting personal information on their devices. With MAM, retailers can also use app wrapping to secure apps and data on both personal and corporate mobile devices at the app level instead of at the device level. This way, no matter how or whether the device is managed, corporate data will always be secure.