All posts in “Retail Mobile Marketing”

1

The Biggest Opportunity For CPG Brands On Mobile: A Killer Loyalty Program

Mobile is the new first screen. On average, people check their phones 150 times per day. More than one-third of consumers are “mobile-only.” 

With stats like this coming out daily, we (should all) get it. Mobile plays an undeniably critical role in the customer journey, and brands without an engaging mobile strategy will continue to lose loyalty and revenue. But for CPG brands, mobile presents a harder challenge than most other consumer-facing industries. Retailers like Target are providing fun and engaging experiences to make the in-store experience thrilling — everything from in-door mapping to disseminating offers as a person moves about the store. Sports and entertainment arenas are using beacons to help people find their seats or nearby food or restrooms. Hotels are letting people unlock their rooms with smartphones.

Mobile innovation is all around us, except, that is, for most CPG brands. Apps draw the most engagement, but the go-to app for many CPGs thus far — a straight coupon distribution channel — fails. Without selling direct-to-consumer (online or physical), coming up with a creative enough utility app that people will use and talk about, like the Zyrtec AllergyCast App, is challenging.

The biggest opportunity for CPG brands on mobile lies with loyalty programs. Loyalty programs lend themselves perfectly to mobile because they focus on building customer relationships, and, with mobile’s ability to be real-time and context-aware, participation, engagement, and advocacy in loyalty programs will soar. Marketers can’t simply bring an existing loyalty program to mobile; a winning mobile loyalty program will follow the below rules:

Be Simple: Like us on Facebook. Check in at a partner retailer. Share this fun content. Watch a video. Take a picture of the proof-of-purchase. Mobile is about simplifying tasks, so whatever it is you’re asking your customer to do in exchange for rewards needs to be completed in a single step, swipe, or tab.

Have Creative CTAs: Consider how you can leverage the uniqueness of emerging channels to engage with your customers. A healthy snack, for instance, can reward people on steps tracked on a fitness-tracking bracelet. A sports drink could reward people when they check into a gym or stadium. Identify the scenarios in your customers’ lives where you can organically participate, and the brand will be top-of-mind throughout daily activities.

Be Context-Aware: Because mobile allows you to have an understanding of what is happening around a person, marketers have the opportunity to contextualize the experience by setting rules of engagement. Do you serve a different video when it’s raining versus sunny? Something as simple as tailoring the message to the time of day or complex as upping the offer value when the market takes a tumble will resonate more with the individual — driving conversions, engagement, and social conversations.

Provide a Frictionless Experience: Connect to the mobile wallet for seamless redemption of offers and points management. If an offer is about to expire or the deadline is approaching to redeem points for a reward, remind your users via push alerts. Similarly, if an offer is redeemable at a specific retailer, draw geo-fences around locations to target people as they come close, luring them inside to redeem the offer today.

Leverage the Coveted Place in the Mobile Wallet: Once a person has a loyalty card or offer saved in their Passbook, iBeacons can interact with the phone providing opportunity for engagement in the physical world. Partner with retailers that have beacon technology in their stores to remind people of offers in their Passbook or to disseminate product information or other specials as they move throughout the store.

As more CPGs explore ways to build and strengthen customer relationships on mobile, loyalty programs will be one of the primary strategies pursued. To break through the noise, CPG brands must be able to automate contextually aware programs by setting up rules of engagement that dictate how a person should be treated in a specific situation.

5

Mobile payments: The outlook for 2015

Apple reports that 1 million people are already using the Apple Pay mobile-payments system it launched in October, and Whole Foods, one of the initial retailers offering the service, “processed more than 15,000 Apple Pay transactions” in the first couple of weeks, according to the New York Times.

And in the month following the public availability of Apple Pay, Google Wallet transactions were up 50 percent, and the number of new users doubled.

With mobile payments sure to stay top of mind in 2015 and beyond, here is my outlook for the industry — and it’s not all rosy.

Fragmentation plagues the industry, hindering widespread adoption in the near term.

Many of the top retailers have their hands tied to CurrentC, a “clunky” retailer-led mobile payment initiative that, by relying on QR codes, keeps “friction” in the supposedly “frictionless” experience of paying with a smartphone. Some of the retailers that are not bound to a three-year exclusive contract with CurrentC will attempt to build out their own mobile-payment systems in an effort to keep a tight grip on their increasingly valuable customer data. And finally, existing players like Square and PayPal are building offerings to compete with the likes of Apple. That will all lead to a very disjointed space.

The mobile payment industry will be a tangled web for some time, delaying a universal change in consumer behavior. Mobile commerce will only take off once it is a habit — when people reach for their phones instead of their wallets to pay. “Habits, rather than conscious decision-making, shape 45 percent of the choices we make every day,” the New York Times reported, citing a Duke University study. If the stores people visit have various systems in place and differing capabilities for accepting mobile payments, consumers will simply forget to use their smartphones to pay, even when they are in a store that accepts the system they are signed up with (and people won’t use multiple systems). For widespread adoption, one or two power players that capture widespread consumer participation and work across different operating systems will need to be accepted universally.

Brands focus on integrating coupon redemption and loyalty programs seamlessly with payment.

One of the most critical things for mobile actions is simplicity. On smaller screens, every ask from a brand must be completed in one or two taps. People won’t start paying via mobile, then go into Passbook to dig out a saved offer, then go back to a brand app (or physical wallet) to pull out their loyalty card. Understanding consumer intolerance for hassle on mobile, retailers are working feverishly to automatically bring in all aspects of the transaction (offers, payment, loyalty) so that they can, say, automatically scan Passbook for a loyalty card or any usable retailer or manufacturer coupons. While this is not available publicly yet, the selling point of mobile payments to consumers is that it streamlines the checkout process. So until retailers take the thought out of it, adoption, engagement, and advocacy will suffer.

Consumer adoption and comfort level of mobile payments will be hindered as hacking continues.

“Secure” has been a word that has been pitched with every mobile payment solution, and while mobile payments may well be safer than traditional transactions, consumers are not buying it, not wholly, at least. CurrentC was hacked before it even launched, and large retailers continue to be targeted. Mobile payments combine two things with which we all feel a heightened level of susceptibility: smartphones and our credit card information. As hackers become more aggressive than ever, security breaches are only going to continue. To ease consumers’ fears, retailers and providers like Apple must amp up their lines of protection and put generous resources toward educating shoppers on the many ways they are protected.

Mobile payments hold a lot of promise for both the consumer experience and merchant operations. As adoption accelerates, it will be important for brands to not look at mobile payments as just an exchange of funds between a customer and a company. The “ability to pay” via plastic or even phone has become a commodity, and brands need to instead consider payments as part of the overall customer journey. At this point, the real value is in enabling relationships via the always-on mobile channel where consumers are willing to have a conversation if the brand or retailer offers genuine help.

The-Holiday_by-Paul-Keleher

The Holiday Mobile-Marketing Strategy That Retailers Really Need

The amount of ads, offers and promotions that people experience throughout the holiday season is reminiscent of what a person would experience standing right in the middle of Times Square for more than 10 weeks. For consumers, it’s noisy and distracting and so people are tempted to tune it out. For retailers, it’s expensive and necessary.

This holiday season can be different. By leveraging mobile devices, personalization tools and contextual signals, retailers can better interact with consumers on an individual level, reaching out when relevant, providing a better experience and ultimately reaping a higher return on marketing efforts.

The six strategies below should be a part of every retailer’s holiday marketing program this year:

1. Provide omnichannel, consistent and cohesive experiences.

Creating a single view of customers across every touch point is a must. Consumers expect to receive a consistent experience whether they’re in a store, online, reading email, engaging with social media or using a mobile device.

Customers should not have to feel like they are Adam Sandler in 50 First Dates, having to remind the company about who they are, their prior relationship with a company (loyal) and their history. If a customer saves something to a wish list online, the retailer should remind the person of that if he walks into a store and perhaps provide a tailored offer.

Too often today, valuable data is lost because all sources of customer information are not integrated. All data streams (from transactions, customer relationship software and email) need to rely on a single profile, which will let retailers provide motivating experiences, content and offers.

2. Predict intent.

The holiday season represents a hurdle for marketers trying to personalize offers at a time when people are shopping for a wider, more diverse group of customers.

Retailers should look at historical data to anticipate what customers might be seeking based on last year’s purchases and what they’re likely to purchase again. For instance, if Cali bought a baby boy’s jacket last year, she should receive an offer for toddler boy clothing.

Anticipating consumers’ intent when they open a retailer’s app, come into a store or land on its website can significantly improve the rate of converting visitors into buying customers.

For example, when Taylor walks in the store, don’t send him a “10 percent off” offer for men’s clothes but instead offer greeting like this: “Welcome, Taylor. You may take 10 percent off a purchase of scarves, bags and jackets. These items are perfect for any woman on your list.” The store would be acting on a prediction that he’s likely looking for something for his wife, while providing some gift ideas.

3. Marry location with profile data to automate personalized mobile interactions.

Use of geo-fencing — and better yet beacons — is great for targeting customers while they’re in close proximity to a store or even inside it. But someone won’t be motivated to act merely as a result of being in a location that’s referenced in a message.

Pushing messages to consumers based solely on where they’re standing is almost guaranteed to annoy them. Instead, bridge a person’s offline and online worlds by personalizing an interaction based on the brands of goods they’ve purchased (say, mid-tier items), offers they’ve redeemed in the past (a preference for a percentage off over a dollar discount) and what they’re likely to be seeking today — as well as their location.

4. Optimize every tap to drive conversions.

Take advantage every time a person opens an email or app or clicks on an ad. Too often in mobile paid media, no attention is paid to the landing page a person sees after tapping on an ad. Optimize the page, test different scenarios and calls to action and target the marketing as much as possible.

5. Create rich segmentation schemes.

One size certainly doesn’t work in marketing unless the product is a scarf. Move past grouping consumers by just basic demographic traits (gender, location, age) and instead segment them based on behavior, purchases, product and brand preferences, social conduct, habits and real-time context.

6. Motivate shoppers with more than just offers and deals.

While consumers certainly look for a deal, retailers need to consider other supplemental images, reviews, videos and celebrity endorsements to perhaps inspire a purchase. Using beacons to push rich media when someone is standing next to a display can be very motivating (such as showing a photo of an A-lister wearing a jacket that a woman is considering for her husband).

During the holiday season, people are bombarded with deals on everything, from monstrous TVs to dog beds. While there are some shoppers who have meticulously picked out the perfect gift for all the people on their list, many shoppers look for inspiration and ideas until Dec. 24. Marketing should go further than a mass distribution of deals. It should help consumers by personalizing and contextualizing retailer interactions, while anticipating their needs in real-time.

apple_pay

It’s (Apple) Pay Day for marketers

Ordering a Big Mac will never be the same. McDonalds, of course, is one of the early brands accepting Apple Pay, the technology that could very easily prove to be the most important product Apple has launched after the iPhone.

The way we pay for things in our everyday lives is finally catching up to our mobile-obsessed world. If you think about the four most recent innovations in the payments industry — the introduction of the credit card, the development of the debit card and ATMs, the launch of online banking, and the non-bank online payment systems such as PayPal – we’re about due.

With Apple Pay, secure, contactless payments will spread like wildfire. Because after all, if anyone can give mobile payments the boost it so desperately needs, it’s Apple.

Brands need to leverage the launch of Apple Pay to not only streamline payments, but to take a close look at the entire consumer purchasing process to simplify and modernize every step. Retail locations are becoming marketing centers, not just fulfillment centers, and require brands to adopt relationship marketing inside and outside stores.

While Apple Pay is designed to enhance the fulfillment process, it also opens many doors for brands to focus on marketing and improving the overall consumer experience. Payments are just the beginning. Here are some examples of ways to remove friction from the buying process:

Staying at a Hotel

As soon as you arrive at the hotel, you get an alert that you are checked in and should head to your room. An overlay pops up in which you select a credit card via Apple Pay as you head to the elevator. Knowing your history of attending the complimentary happy hours, the hotel sends a message about tonight’s event once you have settled in, with the opportunity to select your beverage of choice. As soon as you arrive, a staff member greets you with your drink, mentioning the special currently available at the spa (your weakness). The deal is too good to pass up, so you make an appointment on your phone, confirm the card for tomorrow’s massage and head out to your dinner plans.

Shopping

After being sent an offer for 10 percent off at a clothing store, you add a few items to an online wish list for when you stop by the store. The jacket you want is on backorder in your size. A few days later, as you find yourself near the store, you are surprised when you get a push alert that says the jacket is now in stock. Without even opening the app, you respond to the message, telling the store to get your entire wish list ready for you in a fitting room. You arrive, head straight to the fitting room (skipping in-door traffic jams and lines), make your selections, and check out seamlessly at the counter. And of course, that 10 percent off offer was deducted automatically, having been saved in your Passbook.

Picking up your groceries

What if you are reminded to pick up dog food while you were at the store, because the retailer anticipated you are about to run out, saving you a trip back out when your spouse so gracefully reminds you? Grocers will start optimizing the experience by predicting things you may forget, based on your past shopping behavior (i.e., dog food every 3 months). They can then make personalized recommendations for items based on your preferences. For example: “You might love this pesto recipe – here’s where to find the ingredients in the store!” Grocery stores will also reduce friction by mapping your route to pick up items on your list, based on real-time foot traffic flow.

Mobile is a window to everything in life — physical and digital. With Apple Pay launching, consumers will be taking out their phones right after important buying decisions. This presents an opportunity for marketers to participate before the decision point as well, using the phone to motivate the decision maker with offers, information, and recommendations.

Every customer interaction needs to be personalized. The person behind the counter does not need to know the financial details of the customer who is using Apple Pay, but in order to up-sell and cross-sell appropriately and provide excellent service, she should know what the person has bought recently, how loyal they are, what they have recently added to their wish list, and more.

The checkout may soon be frictionless with Apple Pay, but as 2015 quickly approaches, marketers need to think about how they can expand the seamless experience throughout the entire customer journey.

future-of-content_Jeremy-Stockwell

Why the Future of Retail Will Blow Your Mind

For the past few years, brick-and-mortar retailers didn’t have a fighting chance to compete with the personalization and convenience provided by online shopping. By cultivating mountains of rich customer data, online retailers had the upper hand. Every action and inaction — from what customers clicked on and how much time they spent looking at certain products to their social activity and response to email programs – helped online retailers tailor each email, pop-up or recommended product to drive sales and provide a superior experience. For consumers, it was a welcome reprieve from the antiquated task of visiting a store, being treated as a stranger and receiving often-questionable customer service. This new customer journey had new engagement touch points across marketing, sales and service, and traditional retailers struggled to keep up. The tides are turning, however. After years of showrooming and online retail commanding more attention along with emerging technology like iBeacons and immersive personalized mobile experiences, the data-driven shopping experience is set to land inside brick-and-mortar stores. The lines between the physical and digital worlds are blurring, and the ease, convenience and excitement

previously reserved for online shopping will soon be pillars of tomorrow’s shops. Below are nine mainstays of the future of retail: 1. Personal shoppers for all: Retailers will focus on transforming mobile apps into a personal concierge of sorts when shoppers enter a store. In-store beacons will automatically wake up consumers’ apps to deliver highly relevant and personal content. Shoppers will be welcomed upon entering a store

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or department. The “personal shopper” app features will point out where they can find favorite products, alert them of products they might like and tell them about items being considered, like which celebrity

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wore the sunglasses in question. 2. Fewer (foot) traffic jams: In-store mapping and smart navigation will become highly accurate, thanks to real-time data generated from beacons. By tracking the whereabouts of shoppers, managers can better design layouts to streamline the flow. If a person has a shopping list, at a grocery store, say, the best route to pick up everything will be provided through a mobile device the second that person walks through the door. It will account for real-time situational factors like current movement throughout the store or congested aisles. If the shopper veers off course or adds anything to the list, the recommended route will automatically be refreshed. 3. Juicy bait hooks passersby. Retailers will target people who walk by their store through highly personalized offers or messages about things like new styles or reminders about items saved on a wish list. A woman passing a beauty store may be prompted to enter after receiving an alert that she is likely running low on moisturizer, given the date of her last purchase and previous buying behavior. 4. Self-checkout 2.0. One of the most frustrating parts of in-store shopping, is waiting in a line to check out. More retailers will follow retail pioneer Apple’s lead with its EasyPay self-mobile checkout. The customer find what he or she needs, scan it, selects a payment method and finalize the transaction, without waiting in a line or talking to an associate if not needed. As consumers become increasingly comfortable with contactless payments, the ability to control when and where the checkout happens will become more prevalent. 5. On-demand customer service. Previously a customer might have searched to no avail in a store for a sales associate for help in finding a size or answering a question. Leveraging mobile applications, retailers will maximize staff resources and enhance the customer experience by allowing shoppers to virtually request assistance. Through point-of-service applications or mobile or tablet devices, sales associates will instantly and automatically access a shopper’s profile, customer preferences and buying history to provide a better and efficient experience. Predictive analytics will be leveraged to know what a customer wants before he or she asks for it. From the floor, associates will be able to order out-of-stock items seamlessly and select a shopper’s preferred delivery method while also making personalized recommendations on other products. 6. Virtual fitting rooms and aisles. The rich virtual world will continue to supplement the physical world via consumers’ phones and connected wearable devices. Shoppers will access information and special offers through augmented reality while moving through a store or seeing how they would look wearing something without trying it on. Plus consumers will be able to opt in to access recommendations, such as for bathing suits based on their body shape and size, virtually try them on and then walk to the counter where a sales associate will be waiting with them. 7. Out-of-store, out-of-home shopping and flexible fulfillment. To compete with Amazon, eBay and other vendors with short-wait and free deliveries, more retailers will offer a menu of flexible fulfillment options, whether it’s a preorder and pickup in a store or shopping in a store offering free home delivery. Companies will introduce shopping capabilities in other arenas, similar to the Tesco Homeplus virtual shopping experience in the Seoul subway system. As consumers continue to hunt for speed and convenience, retailers will seek opportunities that grant customers the ability to shop, pay and schedule delivery in unique environments, from parks and airports to bus stations and stadiums. 8. Power to the consumer. In the palm of their hands, consumers are carrying around their own big data tools. They can scan bar codes and compare prices, check reviews or snap a picture and ask their friends for advice. Consumers have more power than ever before in the shopping experience and as a result, companies will provide rich information and social capabilities optimized for every screen, while integrating scanning and other tools to unlock content in their apps. Customers will shop around and more retailers will take broader steps toward transparency. 9.The power of tribes. Powerful communities are being formed around brands and experiences — from runners and cross-fitters to foodies and gamers. More communities will be tied to brands and experiences as never before and will influence major buying decisions. The in-store shopping experience is on the verge of great transformation. Forward-thinking marketers have undertaken inspiring experiments in the effort to enhance store offerings. Retailers of all sizes, though, will soon adopt data-driven strategies to compete with their online cousins on convenience and personalization. As overhead costs stay high, retailers will adopt mobile-first approaches — that leverage beacons, augmented reality and cross-channel customer profiling — to bridge shoppers’ online and offline worlds. In the age of mobile-dominant consumers — who have expectations of real-time, highly relevant and personalized experiences — omni-channel innovation is no longer a merely something nice

to have at a physical store. It’s a must-have. Shoppers, then, are poised to be the big winners.

8ways-to-target_by-Hans-Splinter

8 Ways Retailers Should Target Smartphone Users

Not surprisingly, mobile played an increasingly important role this holiday shopping season. According to Deloitte’s Annual Holiday Survey, 68 percent of smartphone users planned to use their devices for holiday shopping, and these consumers would spend 27 percent more on holiday gifts than non-smartphone owners. During the holiday shopping season in particular, consumers experience sensory overload with all of the promotions and advertisements they come in contact with. On mobile, it is critical that retailers hyper-target all messages based on real-time situational factors and robust customer profiles and implement dynamic pricing on an individual level. If marketers push irrelevant content, consumers will perceive it as an annoyance and intrusion that will negatively influence not only their holiday shopping behavior, but also behavior throughout the coming year. Retailers need to start analyzing all of the behavioral (app and web), transactional and demographic data gathered this holiday shopping season to start the creative targeting planning for the coming holiday shopping season. It no longer cuts it to tailor messages only on past purchases or geolocation and demographic data. Advances in predictive analytics, marketing automation and cross-channel profiling paved the way for marketers to target their mobile audiences in much more resourceful, highly personal and relevant ways. Here are eight ways retailers should be segmenting their customers: Shopping cart abandoners: Predictive analytics can anticipate which customers are likely to abandon their cart as well as which deal (e.g. “Free Shipping” or “5% off”) is more likely to inspire them to follow through on their purchase. The lone mall wanderers: Leveraging location data and automation tools, a retailer can target shoppers who are in a mall but have yet to walk through its doors with a push alert featuring a personalized offer to entice them in. Eleventh-hour shoppers: Marketers need to start engaging with habitual procrastinators early on, recommending items and highlighting sales for gifts. Pushing a message when the individual comes

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data, retailers can predict who likely plays host during the holidays and send information on home decorating items, hosting tips and festive recipes to drive engagement and loyalty. Social butterflies: By accounting for social influence, retailers can court customers with a large Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram footprint with special offers and deals. Those posts could then be seen by thousands of

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other people. Early-bird buyers: Which customers err on the side of early? Retailers should start targeting holiday campaigns to this cohort when other customers might balk at the timing. Some people don’t mind holiday gift ideas in September, while others would cringe at the thought of it. Deal fishers: Retailers are always competing to provide the best deal, especially around the holidays. Retailers need to segment their deal-hungry audience based on which offers motivate them the most to make a purchase. While some people will get excited about free shipping on orders over $100, others only care about discounts on home goods. Thrifty brand loyalists: Some people want a certain brand, but wait for the price to fall and then purchase a vast quantity. Most commonly, this segment emerges on the day after Christmas and the following weeks. Retailers need to implement dynamic pricing on an individual level, providing these thrifty brand loyalists with deep discounts that will pay off in the total purchase bill.