Making Mobile Commerce Work in Retail
The burgeoning mobile market continues to create new complexities for brands and retailers, especially as consumers increasingly use mobile devices to shop, and mobile payment, loyalty and gifting capabilities continue to advance. However, as mobile wallets continue to generate buzz, the rate of mobile payment adoption remains slow. For example, in its "Mobile Wallets for the Masses" report, research firm Yankee Group stated that while nearly 70 percent of consumers are interested in adopting mobile payments, less than 14 percent have actually completed a mobile transaction in the past six months.
As such, brands and retailers today should be hyperfocused on providing consumers with a better, more unified shopping experience that also creates higher value for them. An example of this would be one that delivers relevant and personalized offers and messages (e.g., come to a new store opening and receive a 15 percent discount) to highly segmented individuals (e.g., affluent women within a 15-mile radius) in an effort to drive specific actions and behaviors — i.e., drive traffic to the opening of a new luxury brand store and cultivate loyal customers. While there's more than one way to approach this, there are some best practices retailers and brands can follow for creating brand advocates through consistent and relevant experiences across all engagement and buying channels. Here are a few to follow:
1. Engage consumers during the mobile design phase. When it comes to mobile, it's common for retailers to become reactionary and rush to offer consumers something and then wait to see what sticks. This is a costly approach that rarely generates great results. Rather, retailers and brands should be more calculated and find out what type of mobile solution would best dovetail into their unique shopping eco-system and provide the most value for their customers. It can't always be about discounts and coupons. Consumers want a pleasing and convenient experience, one that encourages, recognizes and rewards them for shopping with your brand, regardless of whether they choose to use their mobile device, shop online or do all of the above while in-store.