If you’re ever having a bad day, one of the best things you can do for yourself is participate in a little “schadenfreude,” a German word meaning to get satisfaction or pleasure from the misfortune of others. Take this YouTube video, for example, where a woman is texting as she walks in the mall. Her lack of attention at what’s in front of her results in her falling into the mall fountain. If you’re really having a bad day, you should watch the remix, which pokes fun at her explanation and anger over being laughed at.

While funny YouTube videos are always a nice way to spruce up your day, in all seriousness, the mall fountain video does encourage some discussion on how prevalent our cell phone usage is these days and how we’re increasingly using them more as we shop. In one study where global consumers were asked questions about their mobile communications habits, 82 percent said they embraced connected digital services. The next time you go to a store, take a look around to see how many people are on their phones.

Shopping and mobile usage go hand-in-hand, and shoppers are using their phones for a wide variety of things: to take pictures of things they bought to put on Pinterest, air complaints on a company’s Facebook page, or look around to see whether or not they can get a particular item cheaper somewhere else. It really has become an age where the consumer has all of the power. Therefore, with that in mind, the question must be asked of how a supply chain can thrive in such an environment. Here are several things that come to mind.

A good warehouse is the key to customer satisfaction: If your warehouse is out of sorts, you’ll lose money and customers too. Your warehouse is the backbone of your supply chain and will determine inventory and order fulfillment, so treat it as such and ensure that good practices are being followed. For example, if you’re noticing more inefficiency in labor than usual, why not consider using a labor management system?  This will allow you to put the right amount of people on when they’re needed and avoid overstaffing or understaffing.

Your call center is the voice behind your business:There is nothing more frustrating than calling a call center about an issue and knowing right off the bat that the person on the other end of the line really doesn’t care about your situation at all. Prevent angry customers with proper training and an established protocol to ensure customer success. A growing number of people are taking their cases to Twitter or Facebook as well, so this is an area where good customer service can be achieved too. If customers leave comments, make sure to have someone ready to answer them in a timely matter.

Visibility is pertinent in online retail:Most brick and mortar stores have online storefronts as more customers become comfortable with e-commerce. When a customer hits checkout and submit, they expect to be aware of the order’s status throughout the process until the item reaches their door. If you aren’t able to provide tracking information and status updates, they probably won’t shop with you again.

Although mobile phones and digital communications are changing the way retail is defined, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. By adapting, you can embrace this new type of consumer and enjoy new avenues for revenue.

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Ashely is always on her phone like everyone else in the world. To see more, check out her Twitter @ashelymarie1985.

The face of retail is under constant metamorphosis, but its underlying foundation has perhaps been previously revolutionised only by the invention of the credit card and the advent of e-commerce.

Now, their combination has ushered in the era of m-commerce: a literally mobile technology that has quietly seeped into every corner of our lives, turning retail into a ubiquitous experience. It has changed how we view and respond to the very act of shopping itself.

Not convinced? Take a look at our list of several ways that mobile commerce is reshaping the retail landscape:

The Way Customers Select Shops And Products 

The days of thinking endlessly about the product you want and consulting with a dozen people before actually the actual purchase is, for many, now a largely redundant activity. Nowadays, the Internet provides many methods of pre-shopping, a premeditative act that allows us to compare prices, check reviews, find store locations, check opening times, and check for deals – all in the palm of our hand, whether sitting in front of a screen or in an actual shop.

As customers become more empowered, with the ability to quickly gather knowledge and experience, so they also expect faster gratification. But, at the same time, customers have also become more wary of actually buying items. We expect assurances, offers and incentives. Events like Father’s Day or Valentine’s boosts sales because retailers are increasingly aware that they give us concrete reasons to buy products. 

The Way Consumers Buy Items 

Customers shop less and less in actual stores. With the promise of augmented reality mirrors or projections just around the corner, a reality of pure online shopping may not seem too farfetched. According to recent Google research, 84% of mobile shoppers use their phones to search products while in actual stores.

We also use our phones more to pre-shop and our tablets more in actual purchasing. An Emarketer report predicts that by 2017, tablet m-commerce sales in the U.S. will have risen to 71.5% versus only 27% for smartphones. This suggests that retailers looking to renovate their online presence to aim at m-commerce should have a variety of design options that emphasise interactivity. 

The Way Retailers Advertise And Promote Products 

Retailers have been increasingly responding to the m-commerce market by catering for mobile and tablet screens. This means creating well-designed, cross-platform apps that are interactive and shareable on all screen sizes, and that can remember what you have bought, your payment details and predict what you want to buy. Customers also look for flexible loyalty programs that perhaps offer mobile coupon discounts or use geo-targeting to alert shoppers to their in-store offers on the move.

The use of wireless technology like Near Field Communication, which has allowed the increase of one-click payment options like Amazon Payments or PayPal, have helped to streamline and centralise user experience, as well as provide an increasingly assured level of security. Brands also frequently use QR codes to provide a level of interactivity and communication between reality and an online browsing experience. 

The Way Sites And Products Will Become Centralised 

Because we are now able to view products on numerous sites and compare them – or even see competitive products directly on price comparison websites – pricing has become a transparent process. Rather than compete on pricing, marketplaces such as Amazon or Ebay focus on user experience and sheer convenience of browsing, with a vast customer base that provide valuable reviews and a hierarchy of trusted vendors. Their specially designed mobile apps also allow the customer to easily access the sites from any corner of the world at any time. 

The Way The Act Of Shopping Will Change

As mobile technology evolves and adapts, so retail experience becomes ever more tailored to our personal tastes. Retailers are changing how they promote brands through interactive advertising and loyalty programs, as well as phone apps and other technology.

Meanwhile, we consumers are slowly but surely revolutionising the way we shop: we are more informed, more engaged, and have more expectations. At the same time, we are also more sceptical and less likely to purchase. We tend to endorse certain sites that have proved reliable and trustworthy. We’re more loyal, but less trusting. Ultimately, our mobile companions are providing the key to an ever-changing retail experience.

How do you think m-commerce is changing the way we approach retail? Share in the comments below.

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Joey Phinn is an avid phone customizer and spends much of her time redecorating gadget interfaces. She recommends K3 Retail