There are several steps along the path to purchase where brands can leverage ways to boost customer engagement and increase sales. Brands can reach consumers as they browse the shopping aisle and guide them to their products using mobile app marketing. This marketing strategy is particularly impactful for CPG brands that wish to stand out among their competitors on the shelf.
Modern smartphones offer brands many opportunities for in the moment marketing. Even the simplest devices on the market come equipped with powerful video streaming capabilities, cameras, and GPS systems which can be used to enhance marketing. Brands can leverage these technologies in many ways to boost customer engagement. When it comes to consumer behavior along the path to purchase, there are three crucial junctures where brands should target consumers; at the entry, in the shopping aisle, and after checkout.
Ways to Boost Customer Engagement
#1: Create a Memorable Moment at the Entrance
Top of mind awareness (TOMA) is the pinnacle of brand affinity. When a brand is top of mind, a consumer remembers it first and seeks it out over other options. However, this is a challenge in CPG sales as consumers typically go to the store to purchase more than one item. With many things on their mind, it can be challenging to get a consumer to spontaneously recall a brand—especially if it’s for a product they weren’t thinking of purchasing before their visit.
One crucial opportunity for brands to make themselves top of mind for consumers is upon entering the store. Mobile apps and beacon technology make it possible for a brand to send a targeted message and create that awareness. Bomb Pop utilized this technology in its Fourth of July marketing campaign with Shopkick. A part of the brand’s marketing plan was the deployment of branded messages when consumers reached the store.
This virtual greeting made consumers aware of the brand and increased their purchase likelihood. In a survey following the product interaction, 68% of purchasers reported they weren’t planning on purchasing Bomb Pop products at the store, but chose to do so due to Shopkick. This strategy works as it makes the branded greeting the first message the consumer sees on entry, and puts the brand at the top of consumers mind early in their shopping trip.
#2: Leverage Shopping Apps
Priming consumers for sale by getting them to handle products is a proven conversion method for in-store sales. When consumers pick up a product, they feel a sense of ownership over it which makes them more likely to purchase. Brands that wish to drive consumers to products and boost product engagement can leverage shopping apps to do so.
In a campaign with Tyson, Shopkick was able to incentivize consumers with kicks (rewards points) to seek out select items in the store. Consumers would scan the UPC of these products with their phone’s camera and receive kicks. During this campaign, Tyson saw a 25% scan to purchase return and a total sales impact of almost $200k.
Gamification played a crucial role in this strategy. By turning the shopping trip into a fun digital scavenger hunt, the brand drove interest in their products and encouraged interaction. Product handling drove engagement which increased sales.
#3: Follow Up With Rewards
Brands have another chance for interaction in the customer journey which can drive brand loyalty. By delivering enhanced rewards for purchase, and offering consumers the ability to collect points on their favorite products, brands cultivate relationships that drive long term sales.
The key to this strategy is simplicity. The more steps to a rewards program, the fewer consumers participate. For CPG brands, that’s particularly challenging as there is no way to provide rewards at a product level through a POS system. That means the consumer must take extra steps to receive the reward.
Traditionally, consumers would enter UPCs on a website or mail in receipts for proof of purchase to receive brand-level rewards. However, with camera phone development came a streamlined process for validating purchases. Consumers can instead scan receipts with their phone’s camera and receive points. Kellogg’s is one such CPG brand who leverages this mobile strategy. Through their family rewards program, consumers participate to earn gift cards and branded merchandise. The brand allows consumers to scan receipts and upload them to a website to quickly verify purchases and collect rewards. This process drives brand loyalty across Kellogg’s entire family of products.
The best ways to boost customer engagement occur on the path to purchase.
Third-party apps are also an option for brands who want to provide this service. By partnering with app developers, brands gain access to new audiences that may be unfamiliar with their products. In some cases, the rewards can even supplement a branded program to offer an even more significant impact for brands.
The best ways to boost customer engagement occur on the path to purchase. By becoming top of mind at entry, priming consumers in the shopping aisle, and rewarding them after making a purchase, brands drive sales and loyalty. Mobile platforms offer many opportunities to leverage this, which is why brands should use a combination of third-party and proprietary apps to deliver these campaigns.
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