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Mobile Minute [Video]: How Mobile Is Boosting Loyalty, Driving Sales

by Jen Quinlan  |  
July 30, 2013

From personalized recommendations to loyalty points and promotions—mobile empowers shoppers.

How are retailers as well as shoppers benefiting?

Google finds that 53% of shoppers use their smartphone in-store to make price comparisons, and 90% use their phone for pre-shopping research.

What marketers need to know:

For shoppers, mobile means better customer service. Now a salesperson's tablet can be alerted when a top customer is in-store, giving the salesperson pointers on how to customize the shopping experience.

For brands, frequent mobile users actually end up buying 25%-50% more in-store. All this points to how businesses need to better embrace the smartphone shopper.

Say Foursquare pushes a promo during peak allergy season while you shop at Walgreens. Or Aveda uses Passbook to send styling videos before your next salon appointment. Or Hallmark knows it's your mom's birthday and invites you to its kiosk with a personal gift recommendation.

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Jen Quinlan is solutions marketing director at Mutual Mobile, a provider of mobile solutions for clients such as Audi, Cisco, Google, Jaguar Land Rover, Philips, and Xerox.

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  • by timo Tue Jul 30, 2013 via web

    Great column, Jen. The right mobile platform does grow customer base, sales, margins and loyalty, by optimizing the customer experience across channels, enabling users to but what, when and where they want:

  • by Seshu Madabushi Tue Jul 30, 2013 via web

    Great article - question is how would a sales person know that a top customer is in the store? The examples quoted here for large companies with big budgets - how can small business make use of this mobile revolution? Would you as a customer be willing to download an app from the coffee shop around the corner? Also what are your thoughts on using the mobile web for the same kind of experience vis-a-vis an app? Would like to get some thoughts on the above topics.


  • by Gracious Store Tue Jul 30, 2013 via web

    Smartphones can be very good for customers but not too good for marketers, as customers compare prices and always choose to buy from the retailer who offers the lowest price

  • by Jen Quinlan Tue Jul 30, 2013 via web

    @seshu - Great feedback. You're right in that the examples highlighted in the video were primarily targeted at large-scale companies that have the budget and infrastructure to create in-store experiences that integrate with mobile.

    For smaller companies, it depends upon their business objectives, target audience's needs and interests, and the technology landscape. Upon balancing these three focus areas, even small businesses can help prioritize not only what they could do with mobility, but more importantly what the should do. Just because you can build an app, doesn't mean it makes business sense to do so.

    A great place to start can be getting to know your audience better to understand how they:
    - Use their mobile devices as part of their in-store experience engaging with your company today
    - Would like to use their mobile device with your company (pre / during / post their in-store visit) in the future
    - What device(s) they leverage

    Uncovering answers to these questions can help you prioritize where to invest to provide true utility to your existing customer base.

    Side note: In addition to interviewing your existing customers, you may also find of value data mining your website's analytics data. This can be an excellent source of input as to what are people on mobile devices trying to accomplish today on your website? What information are they looking for? What devices or operating systems are they using to navigate your site? What pages are we seeing the biggest drop-offs take place on? Answers to these questions can also uncover potential opportunities or additional areas to investigate in your survey.

  • by Jen Quinlan Tue Jul 30, 2013 via web

    @Gracious_Store - Good point. For a lot of companies, mobile devices can be leveraged during the shopping process (in-store or during pre-planning their in-store experience) for shopping comparison.

    Here are some use cases I've seen with clients on how mobile can add value to the in-store experience and drive benefits for the company via retaining customers, driving brand loyalty and driving conversions:
    - Planning your in-store experience / utilizing mobile as a "wish list" or "trip planner"
    - Finding my local store's location, hours, driving directions
    - Depending on the store format, obtaining access to store layouts to ensure efficient in-store visit (I can find where the product I want is located w/in the store)
    - Review ratings and reviews of products in-store to influence me to make a purchase I wouldn't have otherwise considered
    - If I am buying a car product in-store, I can download a "how to" app in-store to teach me how to install a car speaker once I leave the store and I'm away from the point-of-sale display units that include useful tips and information
    - Social Integration: Having the ability instore to share a product with a friend to influence my purchase
    - Loyalty: Having the ability to in-store keep track of my last purchases to utilize the phone as a shopping recommendation tool that can point me to complimentary items. Keep track of my accrued loyalty points so I can redeem them in-store / redeem coupons in-store.
    - Build wish lists in-store around holiday season, share your wish list with friends or family members to request gifts you'd really like this year
    - While in-store obtaining tutorials on how to utilize a product that could be confusing or necessitate in-store labor to explain. Example: enhance the cosmetics department of a retailer with a mobile experience to help in-store shoppers obtain tips and tricks to learn how to apply this seasons' colors and products (when a store clerk is busy with another customer)

  • by ORM Thu Aug 1, 2013 via web

    Interesting article. Mobile is really a powerful tool for retailers and there are a lot of ways to innovate and making the most of it.
    We recently discusssed the relationship between Loyalty, Engagement and Mobile. Worth a read if you like this topic:

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