Mobile commerce enabler PredictSpring announced at Shop.org in Los Angeles that it partnered with direct-to-consumer accessories brand M.Gemi to launch the latter’s new store associate app, according to a company press release.
The app, which aims to align e-commerce and offline retail functions and resources, is now available at M.Gemi stores in New York City's Soho neighborhood and Boston's Prudential Center. It’s also available onboard the M.Gemi Andiamo Tour, a traveling gelato truck that journeyed around the Northeast, offering one of the brand’s most popular sneaker lines, the Cerchio.
App features include Clienteling, which allows store associates to access customer information, as well as current online cart status; mPOS for enabling mobile checkout; a Showroom Scheduler option for store associates to schedule appointments with customers; and Real-Time Inventory — a one-click ability to check online inventory availability and arrange for shipment directly to the customer.
Like many retailers, M.Gemi must figure out how to evolve the role that its store associates play at a time when brick-and-mortar stores are becoming showrooms, customers are using mobile smartphones during the shopping process and often while they are in stores, and those same shoppers expect the same endless aisles of inventory that they would find on a website.
These shifts may be changing the way shoppers feel about store associates, with at least one survey from earlier this year suggesting that some shoppers feel better informed than the store associates they meet in-store. It's time for retailers to adapt the roles their store associates play by arming them with more tools and data to help them better serve customers on the sales floor.
The new app from PredictSpring seems designed with this aim in mind, letting store associates do a number of things for customers while engaging with them face-to-face.
The app also represents a new dimension we haven't seen from PredictSpring before. Since being launched a couple of years ago by ex-Google exec Nitin Mangtani, PredictSpring has been on a self-prescribed mission to keep shoppers from jumping off of retailer mobile apps only to finish their shopping and close their transactions later on websites.
The mobile commerce company has been particularly successful working with fashion brands and retailers. Early on, it worked with Cole Haan and Charlotte Russe, and in the last six months, PredictSpring has launched new apps for Tommy Hilfiger, Destination XL and Pacific Sunwear.
All of these apps have been aimed at customers and for customer use. A store associate app should go a long way toward increasing PredictSpring's total value proposition to retailers — and retailers are at a point where they need to help themselves as much as they need to help their customers.