Faster than walking back to a POS terminal for data, more versatile than a dedicated scanner and able to bring answers to a customers’ side in a single bound, smartphones are quickly proving to be the key to delivering a data-fueled, elevated shopping experience. Retailers leveraging mobile devices in stores are posting sales growth numbers 25 to as much as 219 percent higher than competitors, according to IHL.

Expert advice and immediate gratification are the two biggest reasons customers go to stores. When they get there, they don’t want to have to download the store’s app to get the help they need, or grab a store-owned scanner to locate and scan their own products. They want informed help from a knowledgeable associate. In fact, 57 percent of shoppers felt they received prompt, personal service when they knew that store associates were collaborating to help them on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, and 88 percent were somewhat or extremely likely to buy as a result, according to TimeTrade.

Retailers can achieve the same high sales growth and customer satisfaction that early adopters are already achieving by following these six simple steps.

1. Design Your Own Customer Experience

Every retail brand is unique, and the shopping experience must reflect that. So a great mobile program starts with identifying customer journeys and defining how those can be turbo-charged with mobile. Will customers be looking for associates to provide fast access to extended inventory? Rich, personalized content and promotions based on their search and purchase history? Do they want to get in and out quickly? These answers help prioritize mobile app rollout and guide device selection. Samsung devices support customer experience innovation with a device ecosystem and customizable platform that help retail associates run complex cloud-based applications to deliver information quickly.

2. Choose the Right Device for the Job

Today’s mobile devices vary widely. The Samsung device portfolio, for example, not only includes a wide variety of smartphones, tablets and wearables, but within each of those device types are varied screen sizes, processors, connectivity options, battery life capabilities, rugged options and more. For example, a high-touch format such as a furniture store may call for a clienteling solution where the associate and customer can share a screen, and the customer can sign off on purchase, delivery and service documents — making a Galaxy Tab S4 tablet with an S Pen the ideal choice. An associate picking orders for click-and-collect and processing mobile checkout, on the other hand, may be best served by the Galaxy S9. (For a few pointers on picking the right device, use this quick assessment for personalized advice and recommendations.)

3. Ensure Device Security

To serve customers, retail mobile devices access a lot of sensitive material, like pricing data and payment gateways. Protecting that data is critical. Every Samsung device is built on the Knox platform, which bakes in security from the chip up, using a process architecture known as TrustZone. This isolates sensitive computations from all other operations, and tightly defines processes so it can identify and prevent malicious applications from taking root. Samsung devices scan themselves continuously, looking for inconsistencies that suggest an attack and protecting the device from their impact. And with the next-gen Galaxy S10 and S10+ smartphones, ultrasonic fingerprint ID ensures that only the authorized user can access the phone.

4. Preconfigure at Scale

Issuing mobile devices is a large-scale project that promises big dividends. To make rollout and ongoing enrollment tasks flow smoothly, retailers need tools to manage and automate the process, minimizing touches while ensuring every device arrives at the store ready to go, right out of the box. Samsung Knox Configure enables retail IT to bulk download and custom configure a whole fleet of devices with just the apps and settings associates need to get the job done, so the investment can start paying off fast.

5. Manage the Fleet

As you commit to mobile technology, it’s important to adopt best practices for device management. With Knox Mobile Enrollment, you can add thousands of devices to your enterprise at once without having to enroll each one manually. Continuous management of the device fleet can be automated at a granular level with a mobile device management (MDM) solution such as Knox Manage, which enables IT managers to remotely manage and configure device settings, including pushing updates to all devices simultaneously and whitelisting/blocklisting certain applications.

With these tools, retailers can manage device security and track important factors like OS status and battery life — ensuring that store mobile devices are always operating at the top of their game. And if a device goes missing, IT can remotely locate it, lock it, reboot it and wipe its content to ensure any sensitive data remains unseen by unauthorized users.

6. Train and Support Associates

As routine store-floor tasks become more automated, many store associates will see their jobs transition to new tasks such as picking items for click-and-collect, processing transactions away from a cash/wrap and, above all, working more closely with customers. Familiar, intuitive devices like the Samsung Galaxy family, together with quality training and support, are key to smoothing the transition and bringing new associates up to speed. Walmart, for example, is rolling out an associate-designed mobile app that simulates potential in-store situations to help train new employees.

Savvy retailers have caught on to the essential role that in-store mobile must play in retail’s digital transformation. RSR found 65 percent of retail “winners,” versus 38 percent of all others, say there will be more selling activity in stores over the next two years, while IHL discovered that retail leaders are empowering associates with better tools 71 percent faster than average retailers. With a well-planned mobile program, retailers can quickly get on board with this transformation, setting the groundwork to stand out in the world of next-gen, data-fueled retail.

Learn how you can improve retail associate performance with data and mobile devices.