As we transition to 2018, retail marketers are taking stock of the past year and preparing for what’s ahead. The retail apocalypse that was forecast back in the spring is either overblown, just beginning or…nobody really knows.

So what steps can retailers take right now not just to survive in 2018, but to thrive?

1. Put Digital Front and Centre

Your digital and mobile identity are now (or should be) integral to your brand.

A customer’s smartphone is also the key to customer identification and personalization of the in-store shopping experience.” More than ever, today’s retailers can’t afford to sit on the sidelines and ignore the mobile app lifecycle.

2. Engage Shoppers with Better Context and Personalisation

Expansion of mobile capabilities represents a huge customer engagement opportunity for retailers. Adding location-aware marketing automation or analytics to an existing app (or integrating them from the start) is one of the best ways to expand engagement opportunities.

With a mobile app and location-based technologies, retailers can:

Personalise the in-store experience and give customers the VIP treatment
Engage shoppers with strong offers in real time based on who and where they are
Guide shoppers through stores with an indoor GPS-like experience
Target shoppers with messages delivered in the relevant context of their daily lives—even at a competitor’s door
Leverage location data to build more granular customer profiles and target or segment ads more effectively.

3. Use Mobile to Improve Efficiency and Empower Store Staff

Shopper engagement isn’t the only way mobile can help retailers compete. Mobile technology can help retail staff work more efficiently and get products in customers’ hands with the least amount of labor.

For example, some stores are testing location tech to speed restocking. Mobile indoor mapping and navigation can guide employees on the most efficient route to the proper location for restocking each item. This solution is particularly useful for seasonal workers who are not as familiar with store layouts and where products belong on store shelves and racks.

Mobile can function as both a customer experience tool and a multifaceted business solution. Exciting times, to be sure!