With companies such as eBay generating $20 billion in mobile transactions, it’s easy to understand why retailers are investing an exponential amount of time and money on making their businesses more mobile friendly.
In a recent webinar titled: Making It Personal: Mobile Engagement, One Shopper At A Time, executives from Forrester Research and Digby discussed how consumers’ move to mobile is impacting buying behaviors, as well as how retailers can implement new technology to create more personalized mobile experiences.
“Mobile is much more than just the extension of the desktop,” said Doug Wick, Director of Product Management at Digby. “It has strategic value beyond any other marketing channel that we’ve seen because of the amount of intimacy customers have with it, the level of ubiquity and the fact that everyone always has their mobile device with them.”
Because consumers are constantly connected to their mobile devices, retailers have the ability to engage and communicate with the consumer in real time, regardless of their location. Mobile also provides retailers with a plethora of behavioral data on customers that is invaluable to their business.
Wick explained that mobile devices “can serve up much more contextual information, and it allows you to hyper-personalize the engagement.”
Location-based, mobile offers can be the tipping point for conversion. For example, if a consumer receives a targeted offer for lipstick as she walks down the cosmetics aisle, she is more likely to take advantage of that incentive.
Supporting the impact of location-targeted marketing, Wick noted that “making your mobile experience sensitive to the customer’s proximity to the store — such as knowing how close to a store they are, whether they are in the store, where in the store they are — gives retailers a powerful piece of information.”
Invest In Technology When The Time Is Right
While mobile technology can help improve the in-store shopping experience, it’s important that retailers determine the most effective way to integrate mobility into their marketing and engagement strategies.
To help retailers facilitate this process, Thomas Husson, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, explained the POST method, which is an organized approach to adding mobile to the retail marketing equation. Steps include:
- People: Understand and review your target audience;
- Objectives: Decide you company’s short- and long-term goals;
- Strategy: Establish a plan to complete the above objectives; and
- Technology: Select the technologies that will allow you to apply your strategy.
Husson suggested that retailers put technology aside temporarily as they re-evaluate their approach. “These are just enablers for new experiences. To differentiate, you really need to build an experience step-by-step throughout the customer lifecycle. You need to understand the value you can deliver through mobile.”
Retailers should first focus on connecting their mobile app to their CRM systems, Husson said. Later on, other technologies can be incorporated into the mobile experience to provide additional benefits to consumers.
“There are multiple technologies enabling immersive and more hyper-located experiences,” Husson said. “I think that — in order to truly scale — technology needs to deliver convenient experiences not just for consumer, but also for the retailers. It’s just going to be about how retailers and brands integrate mobile into the overall marketing strategy so that they can go beyond technology to really deliver more contextualized experiences.”
Click here to access an on-demand version of the webinar.