Smartphones can save the high street if retailers embrace new technologies

Dan Cohen

With the high street as we know it under threat of extinction, retailers need to fight back by incorporating mobile devices into the heart of marketing strategies.

A recent report from Tradedoubler (based on its survey of 2,000 European smartphone users) found that 38 per cent of people that research a product on their mobile phones will then go into a bricks and mortar shop to make a purchase. A total of 25 per cent will complete the purchase on their mobiles and seven per cent on tablets. Retailers should take note of this research and actively look at a multi-channel approach – there is still a vibrant role for the high street to play if retailers embrace new technologies.

The report also revealed that smartphone use while in-store could mean lost business for retailers that lack an effective mobile customer engagement strategy. There is a growing ‘showrooming’ phenomenon where by shoppers first visit stores to look at products, but then turn to their mobile phones in order to find the best price, completing the purchase online with a competitor. This behaviour was revealed in the survey when 42 per cent of those who said they had used their mobiles in a shop revealed they had used it to track down a better deal elsewhere.

The closure of several major high street stores over the past few months has highlighted a key issue that retailers need to address – customers are changing their behaviour in response to new technologies and new ‘paths to purchase’.

Retailers need to adapt by taking advantage of mobile, and adopting a seamless approach across online and off-line channels, reinforced by special daily deals, voucher codes, mobile-optimised websites and tracked affiliate programmes.

The world of retail is changing because technology is transforming the way we search for and buy products. Apps and smartphones are leading the way, driving consumer behaviour that demands an always on, multi-touch, multi-channel response from retailers. Companies which fail to embrace these new channels will be left behind. Not only do they need to be more aware that the demands of the ‘smart’ consumer are constantly changing, but they should also be offering a multi-channel experience to consumers that can convert clued-up consumers into loyal customers.

About the author

Dan Cohen joined Tradedoubler in 2011 to set up the Publisher Development Team. Prior to that, he worked in online advertising for seven years, holding strategic roles at ITV and GWR Radio, and a number of senior roles at affiliate network, dgm.

About the company

Tradedoubler is an international leader in performance-based digital marketing and technology. Founded in Sweden in 1999, Tradedoubler pioneered affiliate marketing in Europe and remains the most successful pan-European affiliate marketing company, combining strategic international insight with detailed in-country expertise. It helps 2,000 advertisers achieve their business goals through its high quality affiliate network of 140,000 publishers and was the first to offer an integrated e- and m-commerce offering to help advertisers extend their online programmes to users on mobile devices.

Tradedoubler is committed to close collaboration with each customer, helping them to generate revenue and succeed on a national and international scale. Among Tradedoubler’s advertisers are American Express, ClubMed, Dell, Disney, Expedia and CDON. The share is listed on Nasdaq OMX on the Stockholm Exchange.  

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