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Safelite fosters mobile companionship with self-serve capabilities

Auto glass repair brand Safelite has launched an improved Web site experience that includes reduced steps and faster functionality to obtain a price quote and schedule an appointment via mobile.

The enhancement includes a more visual process to help customers enter the right information to ensure part accuracy, while also eliminating forced bail-outs that require follow-up phone calls. A series of videos featuring Safelite technicians further supports the self-serve capability, explaining what to expect during, before, and after service and also answering common customer questions about vehicle glass repair or replacement services.

?Businesses who aren?t encouraging customers to use their apps and mobile sites will lose out to the competitors who are,? said Katie Meurin, director of marketing with Zco Corporation.

?According to Statista almost 20 percent of global Web traffic was coming from mobile devices in 2013 and that number has just been increasing year over year. For a while there was a wait and see period on mobility but that has passed.

?How long can you be successful when you're ignoring 20 to 25 percent of your consumers? Staying competitive in an evolving mobile climate means making it as easy as possible for your customers to shop, compare, and purchase ? both in and out of the physical store,? she said.

Safelite did not respond to press inquiries.

Ms. Meurin commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Consumer dictated schedules
Safelite anticipates customer needs and has created a solution that provides the ultimate customer experience, not only for vehicle glass services but for any service provider.

Safelite video

Online shoppers want retailers to make it easier to purchase their goods and services. Consumers also want Websites and stores to work better together.

Safelite mobile options

While smartphones play a big role in the online experience, user interfaces have some catching up to do to win over consumers. Online shoppers who use multiple devices said in a comScore survey that they would prefer to shop on a desktop computer over mobile because larger and clearer images help them comparison shop. Therefore, it is no surprise that when shopping on mobile devices, 41 percent of respondents said they prefer a retailer?s full website versus a mobile website, 34 percent, or mobile app, 25 percent.

Omnichannel drives brand loyalty
The demand for cross-channel convenience is becoming more prevalent for the savvy shopper. In fact, 40 percent of purchases are made crossing channels, whether searching in store and purchasing online or vice versa. Retailers who embrace the various channels and options that customers favor will deliver a positive customer experience and ultimately drive sales and brand loyalty.

?Make the mobile experience quick to load, large enough text for small screens, and fat fingertip-sized buttons for navigation,? Ms. Meurin said. ?Add a product image and prominent ?Buy? or ?Add to Cart? button to encourage purchases.?

?Use a click to call feature. Don't overdue it on content - assume mobile users are going to be more actionable and less informational searchers - stick to the essentials.?

?For local retail businesses a mobile searcher is commonly going to be looking for your hours, address, and phone number ? so make those easy to access,? she said.

Whether they are shopping online, in-store, or on their mobile device, consumers expect access to the same wealth of information and options.

Using kiosks, store-provided mobile devices or a customer's own smartphone, these solutions let shoppers do things like check prices, get product information or find an associate at the exact moment they want one. They can also provide data on customer flow, recommend related items to shoppers, and track how promotions influence purchases, leading to satisfied customers and smarter merchandising and stocking decisions.

?Self-service allows customers to peruse at their leisure; there is power in controlling your own timeline for shopping,? Ms. Meurin said.

?This is why mobile showrooming is becoming so popular; customers can shop in a store, test the products, and then make the purchase on their devices.?

?It is better to enable shoppers to buy on a mobile device and leave with their purchase than take the risk that they?ll use their phones to buy elsewhere! I think a lot of times when consumers are just doing research before a purchase, they aren't ready to interact with sales rep ? a self-service mobile experience helps nurture them through the sales cycle,? she said.

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York