How will customers change their shopping habits with mobile?

With mobile device in the hands of customers and quick adoption of smartphones, will it redefine the shopping habits of customers? I believe it will. 

Mobile will increasingly act as research and shopping tool in their hands. Right now, I don't think it is widely used but with increasing app downloads & penetration, mobile internet adoption etc. this is certainly going to change shopping experiences - right from the way they search for products/brands/services and helping them choose & buy them too.

I believe it will  be a " check, learn, ask & walk "(CLAW) shopping model on the mobile. It will be a mix of ' text & mortar' shopping. Mobile will overtake internet shopping in my opinion and adoption of mobile in certain categories will be significant.

Which categories need to get ready for this change?  An nice study by emarketer can used as a benchmark by marketers to ensure they get ready for this shopping  habit transition. In countries like India, China & Japan where the mobile penetration & growth is high - the impact will be felt the maximum.




This mobile shopping habit will have to encompass a mix of mobile apps, call-in advisors, chats, mobile alerts, location based services, mobile coupon downloads & redemption@ the store. Marketers will have to plan for an Integrated Mobile Shopping Experience (IMSE). 




Have you measured the ripple effect in your company?

I read an interesting post by Fred Reichheld's on the influencing effect of good customer experience in a way that happy customers and employees collaborating with each other and how this behaviour seems to extend between customers too. Reichheld writes:

"It didn’t take long to figure out that the caliber of customers who frequent a business - and the way they treat employees and one another- often play a vital role. In air travel, consider the difference between a flight where you’re sitting next to a noisy jerk on his cell phone and one where your neighbor sits quietly and maybe offers to share his newspaper. At a baseball game, a beer-swilling loudmouth can ruin the experience, while an avuncular neighbor who explains the nuances of infielder positioning to your kids can enhance it. In a hotel, you might have a thoughtful neighbor who keeps his TV volume low or an idiot who slams the door at midnight. In fact, other customers create a big part of our experience in retail stores, fast food, hospitals... most businesses, in fact."

I agree with him completely and this indeed has a huge ripple effect.It is true across some of my experiences too. One of them is Jet Airways. Every time I travel with Jet Airways in India, the consistency of the quality of customers who travel along with me and employee service is quite evident across cities. In fact, I would say that this also resets expectations of service within the company and helps them break their own benchmarks on this service. Also, the positive word-of-mouth is also a contributing factor. For example, I have seen many customers talk to me positively about their experience during flights and it has a lasting impact on the service levels of the employees.

This can be true of small companies too. Here's a small restaurant that has created a ripple effect and  influenced my customer experience in Mumbai( India) called Rajdhani. What I really appreciate about this place is that they have a counter in front of the restaurant that has a count of number of "dinners or lunches" served till date! It runs into several hundreds of thousands of servings.This has a ripple effect on the pride of the employees serving you on the table. They are agile, involved, empathetic and quick to proactively respond to what you need. They have interesting signs through which they communicate with each other to ensure you are served without you asking for it! The customers in the restaurant too have a great experience which in turn converts into repeat customers and positive word-of-mouth.

Measuring or observing the ripple effect on your customers, between your customers, amongst employees and even with your channel( retailers) partners is a good metric of the quality of customer experience your brand is delivering in the market place.