The necessity of providing a mobile experience isn’t debatable.
Research across all industries and company-sizes has produced a wealth of credible data to substantiate that if you’re not focusing on mobile, you’re at risk of becoming irrelevant.
Why? Because consumers want a mobile experience and will seek out companies who offer it.
Despite the overwhelming need for mobile, however, we find that many pawnbrokers are hesitant to adopt this channel because of concern that mobile apps will reduce in-store traffic.
Does this sound familiar?
In this blog, we’ll address this real concern by:
- Reviewing relevant mobile trends that show how important mobile impacts customer experience.
- Sharing stats and pawnbroker stories that prove mobile actually increases in-store traffic.
- Providing additional benefits of mobile that improve bottom-line results.
Why Mobile Matters
1. Mobile internet usage continues to rise, while desktop internet usage decreases.
According to the 2019 Mary Meeker report, the number of hours spent on the internet continues to increase every year, but the disparity between desktop and mobile is becoming greater. In 2018, Americans were spending 3.6 hours per day on mobile (12 times more than a decade prior) and just 2 hours per day on a desktop or laptop (which has stayed pretty consistent since 2008).
2. Consumers Live in Mobile Apps
Nearly 90% of time spent on mobile devices, it spent in mobile apps.
If you have mobile solutions, this presents a huge opportunity to attract attention from customers and prospects.
If you don’t have mobile solutions or if your mobile solution is browser-based, it leaves the door open for competitors to steal your most valuable asset—the attention and loyalty of your customers.
Pro Tip: Other mobile solutions, like Fast Pawn by PawnMate are URL/browser-based, meaning they are NOT accessible in Apple or Android app stores. Solutions like this do not enable pawnbrokers to leverage consumer appetite for mobile apps or provide the experience consumers actually want.
3. Competition is Fiercer (and They’re Coming After Your Customers)
Consider OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon and First Cash. Each of these competitors is flush with cash and has the means to reach your customers in a scalable and significant way.
Strategizing and diversifying how you combat competition is more important than ever.
How are you going to compete to win and keep customers? What software are you investing in that will help you market and sell in more channels, including mobile?
5 Ways Mobile Improves Pawnshops
Hopefully, you’re starting to see why an investment in mobile technology is necessary.
Like any investment, you want to know what your return is going to be—what benefits you’ll reap, and what kind of results to expect when you take the step to advance your business.
Let’s explore the key ways mobile impacts your bottom line.
1. Mobile Increases On-time Loan Payments
According to the National Pawnbrokers Association, the number one reason that customers default on loans is simply that they forgot about the loan or the due date!
Mobile solutions like text messaging and push notifications allow you to schedule and send automatic loan and payment reminders to customers. And a mobile app makes it easy for customers to make payments anytime, anywhere from their phone.
What would it mean for your bottom line if you increased on-time payments and if you could do that without wasting valuable employee time making phone calls or sending ad-hoc messages?
2. Mobile Increases eCommerce Sales
ECommerce continues to rise, fueling the demand for apps that provide an effortless way for consumers to browse, shop, and buy online.
Currently, the U.S. does around $400 billion in online retail sales—and is expected to reach nearly $600 billion by 2024. That’s 10.4% growth by 2024.
Do customers and prospects get consistent text messages promoting your online inventory?
Can customers and prospects use an app to browse, shop, and buy your items?
Do they have a way to save items on a Wish List in an app so they can easily purchase later?
If the answer to these questions is “no,” you’re more than likely leaving thousands of dollars of the table . . . or worse, turning it over to competitors who are using mobile to steal your customers.
What would it mean for your bottom line if your eCommerce sales grew 10% over the next few years?
3. Mobile Increases In-Store Traffic
A common fear among pawnbrokers is that mobile apps will decrease in-store traffic.
Consumers want an omnichannel experience, meaning they want the flexibility to interact with your company through a variety of channels seamlessly (text, email, mobile, in-store, online).
This doesn’t mean they abandon in-store interactions. It just means they don’t want to be limited to that single channel for every type of engagement.
The most innovative Bravo customers use text messaging, emails, and push notifications to send shoppers in-store promos and sales.
Pro tip: Mobile discounts have a 10x higher redemption rate than traditional coupons.
Use mobile as a way to grab consumers’ attention and give them a good reason to visit your store (and bring a friend).
If you’re not convinced by Bravo’s proprietary data, consider this: Walmart found that shoppers who downloaded their app, shop in-store 2.5X more frequently than those without it!
4. Mobile Increases Loans and Layaways
We compared the results of Bravo customers with our mobile solutions to those without.
Here’s what found:
Customers with MobilePawn:
- Wrote 84% more loans
- Wrote 348% more layaways
Customers with Bravo’s Mobile Messenger:
- Had a 128% higher loan balance
How would it impact your cash flow, interest, and revenue if you experienced an uptick in your loans and layaways even by 20%?
5. Mobile Improves Customer & Employee Experience
Mobile solutions provide self-service options for customers, significantly reducing the amount of time your employees spend on non-revenue-generating tasks like taking phone calls.
Here’s an example of how MobilePawn is helping Randy Wooten, President of Huntington Super Pawn provide a better customer experience:
"MobilePawn has helped us cut down on 25% to 30% of our calls because customers can look up what they owe and when they owe it. Customers really enjoy MobilePawn. Using the app, customers can pay their loans and layaways, without the inconvenience of leaving home, driving down to the store, and standing in line. MobilePawn is the way of the future.”
Look at how ShopKeeper helps David Crume, Owner of Heartland Pawnbrokers, provide a great experience for his employees:
"One of my top three favorite things about Bravo, in addition to MobilePawn and eCommerce, is Shopkeeper. Bravo Shopkeeper enables my employees to upload photos instantly to the online inventory listings, which helps items sell faster.”
The appetite for mobile channels from consumers continues to grow and grow rapidly. While the shift toward mobile might feel intimidating, it presents so many notable opportunities for growth for pawnshops.
In an industry that some still consider lagging, mobile is a way to differentiate from competitors, delight customers, and improve employee experience, all while increasing loans, layaways, on-time payment, redemption rates, in-store traffic, and online sales.
Contact a product expert today to learn more about Bravo’s suite of mobile solutions including, MobilePawn, Shopkeeper, and Mobile Messenger.
About the Author:
Tally Mack is a fifth-generation pawnbroker and eCommerce enthusiast. She loves traveling, being outside, and working out.
Before taking the reins as CEO, Tally served as Bravo's Vice President of Business Development, leading the company's sales and marketing organization. She's been instrumental in leading and executing many of the company's strategic shifts, including the acquisition of CompuPawn and the recent launch of UsedGuns.com.
Tally earned her Doctorate of Law (J.D.) from DePaul University College of Law in 2013 after attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies. She also completed the Key Executives Program from Harvard Business School in 2013.
Tally is a pawnshop lover and eCommerce enthusiast—dedicated to the success of both her employees and customers!