Turning Browsers into Buyers

It’s become the norm for some retailers to decorate for the holidays before consumers even have their Halloween decorations put away. As people browse through stores and catalogs, they’re looking for the perfect gifts and also hoping to find the best prices. Earlier we released the Adobe Digital Index 2013 Online Shopping Forecast, which predicts that in store price checking, commonly referred to as showrooming, will become the norm this holiday season.

The report found that 35% of 18 to 34-year-olds already leverage mobile devices to compare prices while in stores, well above the 22% average. So how can retailers turn these browsers into buyers? One way is by using mobile app experiences to drive increased brand loyalty.

“Mobile apps are almost twice as engaging for consumers than mobile web experiences, so many forward-looking companies are using mobile app experiences to embrace and enhance the showrooming experience,” says Brad Rencher, senior vice president, Digital Marketing Business, Adobe.

With the Adobe Digital Index 2013 Online Shopping Forecast predicting that mobile optimized retailers will transact more than 20% of their sales via smartphones and tablets, a 47% increase YoY, retailers with mobile apps are in a good position this holiday season. Here are a few examples of retailers poised for success:

Lakeland—A well-established retailer in the U.K., Lakeland offers a digital app with seasonal editorial content that features products in the context of the recipes, tips, and projects for that issue. The brand affinity created by offering customers more than just products increase the likelihood that they will purchase, and return in the future.

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Bass Pro—Within the outdoor/sporting goods category, Bass Pro delivers inspirational, lifestyle-focused content. The retailer’s digital app includes aspirational articles and sensory information for adventurous consumers, and features products in the context of a particular lifestyle. Activities that once seemed out of reach are now possible with the advice and equipment from Bass Pro.

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Boden—This fashion retailer uses its digital edition to take consumers on a journey through different locations and themes. Each section has its own style and focuses on complete looks, rather than individual items. Shoppers are immersed in each cohesive theme, and can easily shop for complete outfits already styled by Boden.

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EXPRESS—The EXPSTYLE catalog from EXPRESS takes a fun, storytelling approach. A campaign video in each issue sets the tone, and the chapters appeal to individual style preferences and looks with seasonal items that shoppers are seeking.

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Sears—The Sears Outdoor Living catalog is a visually rich app with tabs that enable consumers to easily navigate through categories. They can browse collections by style, watch videos, and expand sections for additional detail. Interactivity is used to create the catalog’s immersive, lifestyle-focused experiences.

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Lowe’s—The Lowe’s Creative Ideas for Home and Garden magazine offers a library of creative ideas, themed for the season. As consumers scroll through the sections they can tap items for more information, easily bookmark their favorite ideas, or tap a “Shop this story” link to learn more about the products featured.

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These brands understand that it is their expertise and compelling content that engages and inspires consumers, not pages and pages of products. Consumers can browse the digital apps from home, or use them to better understand products when they’re in the physical stores. Adding value to each interaction with consumers builds loyalty and increases the likelihood that when it comes time to make a purchase, for themselves or for someone on their list, they won’t bother to shop around.

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