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Bed Bath and Beyond overhauls mobile program in personalization push

Bed Bath and Beyond is putting more faith in mobile with upgrades to its applications and plans to introduce mobile devices to store floors, part of a new strategic focus on personalization.

During its earnings call for the past quarter, the big box retailer mentioned a relaunch for its two retail apps, mobile site and rollout of devices to employees at bricks-and-mortar locations. Bed Bath and Beyond is also valuing more user-generated content online and mobile for inspiration for other shoppers to drive sales, and hopes that its mobile focus will help maintain a homeostasis.

“More than 50 percent of Internet browsing now happens on mobile devices, therefore, it is imperative for companies to keep their mobile apps and Web sites fresh, easy and fast,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “The other benefit of adding more features to mobile apps is that it helps drive consumers to use the app more frequently and keep it on their precious screen space.”

Mobile retail value
The household goods retailer is hoping to continue driving sales through a valued mobile approach by relaunching its two mobile apps later this year. The retailer’s flagship app, as well as its children’s retailer app, BuyBuy Baby, will see new improvements that focus on keeping current with developers’ software and consumer behavior.

Updates to the retailer’s mobile Web sites will occur along with the app upgrades to ensure consistency and an updated experience. Bed Bath and Beyond is hoping for a more personalized experience through its revamps for customers by creating individualized recommendations and including updates to its mobile couponing feature in which customers can save and redeem discounts.

Store associates will have a new opportunity to connect more with in-store shoppers through the use mobile device, which will be implemented on the floor so employees can access information such as inventory and product information. Associates will also be able to place in-store orders for customers through these devices, a strategy that will maintain a strong consumer-retailer relationship often lost in online-centric commerce.

Accessories retailer Fossil is taking a similar approach to in-store mobile as Bed Bath and Beyond’s most recent strategy and forged a more personal and streamlined in-store experience with a mobile point-of-sale system that employees can access on a variety of devices (see more).

Beyond mobile experiences
The company will be furthering its investments in mobile and digital retail properties, but is hoping that in doing so, it will eliminate extra tech costs in the future.

Bed Bath and Beyond is also investing more in data to gain insights on its shoppers through behavioral and third party insights. Also, its new point-of-sales system is projected to complete its rollout this year, with future integration for checkout on mobile and online.

The retailer also recently took its wedding registry to the next level via a new print-to-digital tool that easily adds an item from a catalog by holding a smartphone over the page and tapping a hot spot (see more).

The recent tech investments will also incorporate user-generated content online, in a push cognizant of consumers’ love of personal content created by other consumers.

“Bed Bath and Beyond’s use of user generated content helps develop a more intimate relationship with its customers and drive a more personalized engagement with the brand,” Mr. Naumann said. “When consumers get personal with a brand, it enhances their loyalty and leads to future purchases.

“The key is to turn new customers into loyal customers and loyal customers into brand enthusiasts,” he said.