Today’s hyper-connected omnichannel consumers jump from one touch point to the next throughout the day, while browsing inventory, researching specific products and completing transactions. To succeed in this marketplace, retailers must implement solutions that provide access to products and information via shoppers’ channels of choice.
For Caché, a nationwide, mall-based specialty retailer of sophisticated women’s apparel, that channel of choice often is a mobile phone or tablet. Approximately 95% of the retailer’s upscale customer base owned an iPhone or iPad as of January 2013, according to Kevin Metz, VP of e-Commerce at Caché. A large percentage of those users view the Caché web site from their Apple devices, as well as access digital data before entering one of 261 Caché stores nationwide.
To drive a stronger synergy between in-store and digital channels, Caché has released a new mobile app that focuses on the omnichannel shopper’s in-store experience. The new offering is powered by technology from Usablenet, a provider of mobile and multi-channel customer engagement solutions, and built specifically to provide more real-time functionality and engagement to Caché customers in stores.
The mobile app is the latest addition to a variety of initiatives Caché is rolling out to better connect with omnichannel shoppers, Metz explained in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. Omnichannel “is all about providing a consumer access to your product in the way that she wants it and when she wants it,” he said. “Though a growing number of our customers are shopping online, an even greater percentage is accessing digital portals for information before shopping our physical stores. We recognize the importance of digital in driving shoppers to the store. Our goal is to provide the optimal way for consumers to leverage mobile devices in various touch points, including physical locations, where now we connect with customers through mobile devices to help drive sales.”
Developed in partnership with Xtify, a technology company specializing in push notification strategies, the app delivers push notifications targeted by location, history and user preference to deliver relevant information about new collections and promotions, while simultaneously driving traffic to nearby Caché locations. A barcode and QR code scanner connects in-store shoppers with Caché warehouse information to help locate designs in alternate colors and sizes not available in stores, and enable consumer to complete an online purchase directly through their smartphones.
In-store mobile barcode scanning also allows consumers to receive content such as ratings, reviews and other product information immediately, making it easier for shoppers to research products in the store. A streamlined and secure checkout process, paired with stored member registration information, enables simpler omnichannel transactions.
Push notifications are a valuable piece of the new mobile app, which uses geo-targeting capabilities that identifies the location of a Caché customer’s mobile device, Metz said, “allowing us to dynamically pop a tailored message when she’s within a certain distance of a store.”
Just as Google Analytics provides insight into what online shoppers are doing, the Caché mobile app is configured to recognize if a consumer has scanned an item from a new products or sale page, for example, and then create a relevant push notification triggered from that knowledge.
“We can use these insights to drive customers back to certain functions or areas of the app, instead of just pushing out sales and new product messages,” Metz stated. “The combination of scanning and push notifications makes the app very effective. The ability for me, as a marketer, to obtain information from specific campaign criteria and leverage it across a mobile app is impressive.”
Together the Cache mobile web site and app “complement the store experience,” said Carin van Vuuren, CMO of Usablenet, “and lay the foundation for a true multichannel experience for customers.”
By the end of January 2013, Caché will release a new marketing campaign that addresses mobile capabilities, including the mobile-optimized site, new mobile app and other enhanced functionalities that may be announced, Metz reported. The campaign will play out through digital venues as well as print pieces including catalogs, postcards and in-store materials such as dressing room mirror clings and POS signage.