New York—Fears that mobile will replace in-store shopping are proving to be unfounded. Nine West is a great example of a brick-and-mortar retailer that is using mobile technology to enhance the in-store experience and grow sales.
In fact, since Nine West’s 2012 iPad app launch, online traffic has doubled and the app now generates between 20% and 75% of daily transactions in stores equipped with the technology, according to Scott Bowman, group president of global retail and international development for The Jones Group, the parent company of manufacturer/retailer Nine West,
Here, salespeople at the store can sit with a customer and flip through Nine West lookbooks to show other color options or overall styling, or, help them place orders on NineWest.com. Mobile checkout is especially convenient as consumers don’t need to wait on cash register checkout lines nor do they need to lug boxes of shoes home.
The system also connects what’s happening at the stores with the app. For an example, a sales executive can upload a photo from the store to the app’s look-book (the app is updated each night) and the next day all Nine West apps will display the new photo.
Nine West will launch phase two of the app in first quarter, which will focus more on internal operations for store managers.
Mobile web developer EachScape Inc. built the app in six weeks “for less than six figures,” according to Bowman. Michael Facemire, senior analyst at Forrester Research Inc., praised the app to Internet Retailer for its dual ability as a customer and employee app. Internet app plus an employee-oriented app designed to provide store information and operations data. “Having a tool that allows you to access both ends of that space is key going forward,” he says noting it provides both store information and operations data. He expects more retailers to adopt in-store tablet apps in the near future, which will enhance their overall image and customer satisfaction, he says.
To read Accessories Magazine‘s feature on location-based apps as well as how other brick-and-mortar retailers are fusing the online and in-store experience, click here.