The internet experience is no longer a stationary activity. Look anywhere and you’ll see a number of people performing daily tasks and functions from their mobile devices on the go. We’re taking photos, sending texts, shopping online, checking email, accessing social networks, getting directions – and even making phone calls occasionally. As mobile devices have become integrated into numerous aspects of our lives, it’s no wonder we’ve become attached to them.
According to a Pew Research Center report, 46 percent of smartphone owners say their device is something “they couldn’t live without.”1 And mobile ownership is on the rise. The same 2015 Pew report found nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. adults own a smartphone.2 That’s up from just 35 percent in 2011, and younger Americans are expected to only escalate the mobile adoption rate.
With adoption and usage on the rise, the mobile channel presents a strong engagement opportunity for merchant brands to resonate with potential customers. Consumers are exposed to merchants in new ways via engaging content sourced from social media, web, and email.
Building a mobile ad campaign can include any number of mobile strategies. At its most basic, mobile marketing can be as easy as using your customer database to send SMS (short message service) texts to mobile devices of target customers. But with digital marketing tools like social media and networking sites, location-based platforms, and mobile app technologies at your disposal, you have many more advanced options to consider.
A simple, yet highly effective mobile tactic is coupon deal promotions. Tried and true in the traditional form – 96 percent of American consumers are coupon users – digital coupons may promise a healthy return.4 Not only can you attract new customers with deals and discounts, using eCoupons to reward loyal shoppers can help you build a robust loyalty program. Digital coupons and promotional deals can be paired with other mobile marketing technologies to entice local shoppers into your store.
Mobile wallets are opportunities for retailers of all sizes to engage customers dynamically with loyalty programs. Digital loyalty programs can leverage benefits of the mobile device and are responsive to consumer preferences and interests. Additionally, digital loyalty can transmit additional context and create stronger interaction with the consumer. Push notifications deliver content to the user at the right time, by using the smartphone technology called Geolocation to deliver alerts to devices within a close proximity to your store. Retailers can leverage the wallets embedded into Apple and Android operating systems to house loyalty credentials. With upgrades to terminals to enable contactless technology and utilizing Apple’s VAS and Google’s Smart Tap technologies, retailers can enroll and redeem loyalty with a simple tap of the consumer’s device.
The caution with these new technologies is to maintain relevant content and avoid over saturating the customer. Additionally, we advocate for supporting loyalty engagement which creates a relationship which will keep your customers coming back. Leveraging a good deal won’t be the incentive your business needs if you can only make that connection once. To pursue new customers and retain the recurring customers your mobile marketing strategy must provide them with ongoing offers and timely content that peaks their interests and holds their attention. For you the merchant, it is just as important that your loyalty program delivers you additional data and context which you can use to reinforce your appeal to the consumer.
Mobile technology is creating new channels to help businesses like yours expand their reach and establish a closer relationship with customers, a relationship that consumers are now taking the initiative to establish. Proactive businesses will help facilitate cooperation between digital marketing and customer interaction. As the medium expands and gains even wider acceptance, the businesses that choose to adapt now will gain the advantages of early adopters because, as the data shows us, mobile technology isn’t going anywhere – and it’s moving forward every day.
Guest article written by: Andy Wind is the mobile wallet product manager at Vantiv, a leader in payment processing services and related technology solutions for merchants and financial institutions of all sizes.
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