By Melody Adhami on November 11, 2014
There’s no denying the impact mobile has had on the customer journey. What was once a linear journey with clear start and end points, is now cyclical. Mobile has blurred the lines between the pre- and post-shopping stages and is giving brands the opportunity to constantly stay connected with their customers, and vice versa.
While most brands are understanding the importance of going mobile, by way of web and/or apps, there is still a gap between how mobile technology can be leveraged at each point in the customer journey (the pre-, in-store, and post-shopping stages) to drive brand engagement and in-store traffic.
Ask yourself: Have you ever researched a product on your mobile device? Whether it’s through a mobile site or app, chances are you have. And you’re not alone: Almost 60 percent of mobile users use their devices to research a product before purchasing. That’s one of the beauties about mobile: it has empowered customers to take control of their shopping experience by giving them the ability to research and discover the products available to them.
That’s why the pre-shopping stage is so critical to brands; it’s the perfect opportunity to connect with customers and stay top-of-mind. One key way of achieving this is via push notifications. Push notifications are a great vehicle to generate awareness in regards to promotions, coupons, new product releases, and even marketing campaigns. A recent study by Urban Airship has found that when used correctly, push notifications can increase response rate by over 300 percent.
With push notifications, brands can get the user’s attention even if they were not thinking about shopping. However, having a push notification strategy doesn’t mean quantifying the number of messages you send, rather it should focus on delivering quality notifications.
More and more mobile users are utilizing their devices in-store to access pertinent information that can help them with their purchase decisions. Need proof? Nearly 85% of mobile users use their device in-store to do everything from price comparisons, to reading reviews. That’s why it is critical that brands stay one step ahead of customers by providing the key information that customers will be looking for when in-store.
Mobile technology has made it so the user interface can change, depending on a user’s location. For example, once in-store, the features and functionalities that are more relevant and timely for users can be displayed to encourage fast access to information. One great example of a brand deploying such a tactic is Apple.
Mobile apps are also a great channel to provide customers with added conveniences. Time-saving features such as mobile coupons, digital cards and wallets has not only made shopping a faster and more efficient process, but can improve a customer’s experience with the brand. You need to look no further than Starbucks for an example of a brand that has mastered this from start to finish. The ease at which users can purchase Starbucks products in-store is a testament to their mobile strategy aimed at giving users a convenient experience.
The customer’s journey no longer ends when a user completes a purchase; in some ways, it’s the start of a re-engagement strategy that has brands continuing the conversation with customers to drive them back to the brand.
One such strategy that can be leveraged via mobile technology are time-based offers. Time-based offers are a great way to give users with a sense of urgency to come back and make a purchase. Rewards strategies are also efficient in driving engagement with brands. For example, giving users a credit off their next purchase (ie. percent off, or dollars off) is a great tactic to encourage customers to re-engage with a brand.
There are a multitude of opportunities and technologies that retailers can take advantage of through mobile. The key is to understand customers shopping behaviours in order to continue engaging with shoppers even after the purchase has been made.