The smartphone—it continues to change retail and COVID-19 has only accelerated that trend. Retail Dive recently reported that retailers have seen a 36 percent increase in mobile app downloads and 54 percent growth in in-app purchases during COVID. Expanding on this finding, Retail Info Systems explained that “at the start of the year, American shoppers were continuing on the path they have been on for the past few years. They were increasing their ecommerce browsing and spending, and continuing to shop primarily in the store. And when it came to the store, it was all about a data-driven, tech-fueled experimental environment.” That was before everyday activities were deemed risky. As stay-at-home orders began to sweep the nation in March, consumers quickly changed how they shop. The heightened demand for seamless, socially distanced shopping tested the capabilities and flexibility of grocery stores, brick-and-mortar retailers, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. And for many consumers, smartphones became the shortest distance between them and the items they want to buy. The sudden and widespread increase in mobile browsing and buying has created multiple opportunities for retailers to leverage customer data and exceed customer expectations. Through data, retailers can better understand consumer spending patterns, where and when customers engage with brands, and which offers are most likely to result in a sale. With the holiday shopping season upon us, now is the time for retailers to focus even more on mobile and embrace the three strategies below. #1. Your mobile app users are your VIPs. Is your mobile app sitting passively on your shoppers’ devices just waiting to be used or (gasp) deleted? Or is your mobile app delivering delight to your most valuable and dedicated shoppers? Hyper-personalized product discounts, meaningful loyalty rewards, and local store updates unique to each user can create a sense of serendipity for your shoppers—and can position you as their go-to retailer. As a retailer, you gain invaluable behavioral data with every swipe, click, and purchase. And as you capture this data in real time, you can also use it in real time to improve each individual’s personalized shopping experience. Yet this winning scenario for customers and retailers alike can only be realized with unified, actionable customer data and insights. #2: Less physical experiences increases demand for digital ones. Curb-side pickup, buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), same-day delivery—the pandemic has changed these “nice to have” shopping experiences into everyday occurrences. But these options for safer, socially distanced shopping can go from ultra-convenient to worst-experience-ever real quick. An ability to successfully execute these kinds of transactions requires a seamless integration of all your technology systems—customer data, logistics, payment confirmations, and sales associate communication. Did I mention scalability is essential? Sixty-two percent of U.S. consumers are shopping online more now than pre-COVID, according to Bazaarvoice. With consumers still wanting to engage with their favorite and most trusted brands, “shoppertainment” experiences have moved from the physical to the digital world. Social media quickly became the social meeting place as the pandemic unfolded. Brands found creative ways to engage consumers—sales associates became live stream video hosts, brand-backed fundraisers took flight, and a night of live music changed locations from “dive bar” to “home edition.” The sudden shift in consumer behavior also highlighted the importance of chat bots, informative videos, interactive social media selling like CommentSold, and engaging email campaigns. Each of these experiences creates an opportunity for retailers to better understand their customers and improve future interactions. #3: Exceed expectations with stellar customer care. A whopping 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for better customer experience. Coupled with an increased demand for contactless payments during the pandemic, and it’s clear that providing seamless and secure mobile payment options is essential. Customer service—and more broadly, customer experience—isn’t weighed entirely on interactions with store associates, chat bots, or timely and accurate delivery of orders. Rather how consumers engage with brands from start to finish—including ease of making mobile payments—all contributes to the overall customer care experience. And the insight gathered from customers who make mobile payments can help brands position themselves for the future. Reap the Rewards of Leveraging Your Customers’ Mobile Data. As you focus your sights on 2021, the ability to quickly act on unified customer data—including mobile customer data—will be key to effective omnichannel marketing and delighting customers with meaningful experiences. Find out how Treasure Data Customer Data Platform (CDP) helps leading retailers elevate experiences and grow sales. Visit Treasure Data Retail Solutions.