“May I help you find something?”, asks the store associate. “No, I’m just browsing.” answers the customer who is staring at their mobile phone standing in front of a product they’re researching.

Have you seen this yet? Have you done this yourself? I know I have found myself on many occasions expanding my product research to incorporate web browsing in-store.  Retailers have always looked for ways to best support customers in product discovery mode. The store associate, of course, is the primary area of investment, but all kinds of creative signage has been deployed over the years to aid the customer. More recently, some retailers have realized that the little placard next to the product on a shelf or the tag itself is quite limited. Companies such as Best Buy  have offered QR codes directing that customer to their own web content to mitigate them from searching online and landing on a competitor’s site. This seemed novel back in 2010 and many wrote it off as specific to products with high consideration. Yet today we see mobile devices as an appendage of the human body, often extended and available to capture a moment, collaborate with friends and family, or research the answer to … well, anything.

Mobile is transforming retail, and as this transformation gains momentum, retailers face the challenge of understanding how their customers use mobile and how it impacts their brand. The new Adobe white paper, “How Mobile is Transforming the Retail Industry,” takes you through the latest trends, insights and best practices for delivering mobile experiences that leave both consumers and retailers satisfied.

We are now in an age where everything truly is at our fingertips. The near limitless amount of information certainly influences our shopping behavior. As marketers and retailers, we need to take advantage of this more and insert ourselves back into the driver’s seat. Rather than let the customer learn that our competitor down the street is offering a deal on the product they’re interested in, we need to change our strategy to focus on the mobile experience. We need to think phone, tablet, desktop vs. desktop, desktop, desktop. Take a look at the trends we identified. Are you seeing these in your business? Are you living these yourself as a consumer? Out of all the best practices offered in this whitepaper, if you change just one thing in your day, I’d offer this. Stop reviewing any campaign or design on your laptop. Ask to see it on a tablet or your phone.