Back-to-School Mobility Planning - There's an App for That!

Man in flannel shirt uses tablet and credit card to make a purchase.

Looking back to the first cave drawings, the first printing press, and even the first calculators, society has advanced beyond our initial comprehension of those “firsts.” LinkSource Technologies® is a company known for innovation and being the first in their industry to effect change in the status quo. New technologies and tools are designed to make our lives easier, more productive and more entertaining, yet not every business is equipped to make these rapid changes. As the next generation prepares to head off to class, it’s time to look at how companies integrate technology and mobility to create a winning strategy.

Back-to-school items have evolved with the times, and so has the way in which people shop for everything. It’s not simply brick-and-mortar anymore; it’s become a hybrid.

According to research from the Rubicon Project (a tech-based ad firm) and the National Retail Federation (NRF), between 43-60% of school shopping will be made via a mobile device this year. This is a big jump from a mere 10% only 5 years ago with numbers expected to reach a whopping $83.6 billion in sales.

Steve Koenig, senior director of market research at Consumer Technology Association (CTA), says "Tech is increasingly playing a role in education and not only do more consumers plan to buy tech for back-to-school, they also plan to spend more on tech purchases during one of the largest shopping seasons of the year. Among the planned tech purchases for back-to-school, 6 in 10 are accessories for devices."

The annual back-to-school survey by International Council of Shopping Centers’ shows that this year 58% price compare using mobile devices, 39% acquire coupons, 38% check in-stock products and about 30% considering a purchase will snap a photo first. While savvy consumers are finding ways to leverage mobile experiences to save time and money, they aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the benefit of mobility.

Man uses a mobile credit card reader to process a transaction while connected to the IoT.

A cultural shift in how purchases happen has also made its way into the B2B space. If a company doesn’t have a website or if it hasn’t been updated in years, they are deemed less credible. If their site doesn’t have a clear message or is confusing to navigate, clients will find another option in the sea of competition.

It may seem cliché, but the popular phrase, “There’s an app for that!” rings true as it has become a necessity for retailers to offer mobile apps for easier, more convenient shopping. J.C. Penney spokesperson Kate Coultas states, “Our app users are valuable customers, making three times as many trips to our store and purchasing 3.5 times more than non-app customers. We’ve recently redesigned our mobile app with new features and the back-to-school season marks the first time we’ve launched a TV spot promoting our app along with an exciting new download offer. Through this new marketing we hope to build awareness of our app and increase downloads, which will allow us to drive sales and build deeper relationships with our customers."

As hordes of college students head back to school, they’ll be shopping for dorm furniture, clothes and bulk ramen noodles, while using their smartphones to make the purchases on the fly. Although retail ranks high in terms of sales, sites like Amazon are seeing an increase in revenue across the board, including textbook rentals, back to school supplies, clothing and now, even groceries.

The evolution of buying habits and the preferred purchasing methods have changed significantly over the last 30 years. However, the core tenets of reaching the consumer where they spend most of their time, as well as building relationships and trust, are still just as vital to today’s successful businesses around the globe, no matter the industry. Mobility is simply connecting people to what they need, in the way they want.

The same mentality plays into the B2B market. People need and demand connectivity, speed, mobility, cloud services and more to adequately do their jobs. Companies that don’t plan for mobility are either left behind the times or create security risks for themselves via shadow IT occurrences.

LinkSource partners with clients to simplify their technology experience whether through mobile device management, wireline, migrating from a legacy environment to the cloud as well as software asset management. For more information on how LinkSource helps businesses navigate the complexities of present-day on-demand technology, please click on the button below.

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About LinkSource Technologies®:

LinkSource believes that migrating to new technologies should be a seamless and simple experience for their clients. They work with clients to identify their unique business requirements and advise on secure, reliable, cost-effective solutions.

LinkSource partners with organizations to simplify their technology experience. They are recognized technology advisors in the Telecom, Cloud and Cyber Security industries and manage millions in annual client revenue for some of the most prominent global brands. LinkSource is known for thinking outside the box to create opportunities where others see obstacles. Their highly skilled, innovative team bring a fresh perspective to common problems. To learn more about LinkSource and their services, visit their website.

To learn more about LinkSource and their services, visit their website.