Retailers have countless tools at their disposal and numerous opportunities to get their names in front of consumers, ultimately to drive brand loyalty and affinity. However, with finite dollars in any advertising budget, it is important to allocate your money to the most strategic, effective mediums. A rapidly growing channel that retailers should consider is mobile marketing. The benefits of mobile marketing in retail are too effective to ignore, and retailers are taking notice. Researchers estimate that the global mobile marketing market size will grow 18.9% per year, from $10.5 billion in 2019 to $25 billion in 2024.When compared to traditional marketing channels like TV, print, and radio, mobile tends to more effectively capture the attention of consumers. Why? Because mobile is where most consumers are spending their time. The average person spends the equivalent of 100 days per year online (no matter the device). The average 3 hours and 43 minutes that consumers spend on mobile per day now exceeds the 3 hours and 35 minutes spent watching TV.
When compared to digital marketing channels like social or email, mobile is often the first point of contact—in fact, 65% of all emails are opened on a mobile device and about one-third of all purchases are made on a smartphone. Nearly 80% of shoppers go to a physical retail location to buy the items they want or need now, but they use mobile devices for guidance on where to go, and what to buy.
Retailers who focus on mobile marketing have three main advantages over competitors—the ability to attract shoppers based on location, circumvent loyalty fatigue, and tie online and offline loyalty programs together in a simplified way.
Utilize Location-Based Notifications
Location-based mobile marketing targets shoppers based on their location. There are many ways to effectively implement location marketing:
- Automated marketing messages can be triggered based on a person’s proximity to a beacon or geofence.
- GPS data can lead a shopper to the nearest local store selling what they need.
- Geo conquesting allows you to target your competitors’ market with attractive localized offers.
- Apps with stored location data can be used to suggest stores and specific products tailored to the individual.
Although audiences have to opt-in to this form of marketing, they generally do so because they find it very insightful.
Why do retailers love location-based marketing?
- 83% of marketers say they can run more successful campaigns when location data is taken into account.
- 84% of marketers use location data in their marketing and ad campaigns, and 94% plan to use it in the future.
- 94% of Millennials own a cell phone that they use frequently throughout the day (often to plan shopping trips).
- 9 in 10 marketers say location-based advertising has increased their sales.
- Targeting is the primary use of location data, but 52% use it for engagement, campaign strategy, and personalization.
- Researchers found location marketing to be 20x more effective than displaying generic ads.
- Mobile is the primary vehicle for geolocation, preferred by 81% of marketers.
Reduce Loyalty Fatigue
What was once viewed as a benefit years ago has become so common that the incentive has lost some of its power.
The average person belongs to 14 loyalty programs, but only actively participates in 6.
Early loyalty programs were fraught with problems—strict participation requirements, confusing reward structures, and poor redemption communications, to name a few.
One solution to the problem is to partner with a mobile loyalty program that works across a number of retail chains, like Shopkick. With this type of platform, shoppers grow familiar and comfortable with the user interface, build up points (“kicks”) quicker, and consolidate space on their phones with one streamlined app.
Retailers can tap into a wider prospective customer base using Shopkick, in addition to retaining and strengthening loyalty amongst existing shoppers.
Three Qualities of a Top-Performing Loyalty App
Encourages user interaction
Shoppers are looking for a user-friendly experience.
To create an effective shopping app in-house requires time, money, and numerous resources. A retailer would have to do the following
- Conduct research
- Identify needs
- Choose essential features
- Streamline login and checkout
- Enable search filters and indexing
- Guarantee payment security
- Utilize high-quality images and graphics
- Create a dynamic interface that works on mobile devices of all sizes
- Highlight product information
- Speed up loading times
- Employ expert customer service
- Promote the app across channels
Rather than reinventing the wheel, retailers can partner with an existing app that consumers already know, love, and use on a regular basis, saving them valuable time, money, and resources.
Reduces smartphone clutter
The average smartphone user has 60 to 90 apps downloaded, but 96% of time is spent in the user’s “Top 10” apps.
In fact, two-thirds of apps are used once after download and then never again!
Given these statistics, retailers may want to think twice about developing their own store loyalty apps.
Even those with their own apps already may be looking for re-engagement strategies to increase loyalty.
In addition to apps for social media and email, the most-used apps are for video viewing, web browsing, location mapping, and shopping. Partnering with a shopping app can greatly extend one’s reach.
Narrows consumer choice
Consumers know how much they’re worth to retailers. Given the stakes, why shouldn’t they expect a bit of appreciation in exchange for their attention and purchases?
Even before the global pandemic, decision fatigue was an unfortunate byproduct of America’s highly cognitive, distractive, “plugged-in” way of life.
Decision-making fatigue can make even the simplest of choices—like what brand of pasta sauce to buy for dinner—completely overwhelming. Increasingly, consumers are welcoming tools to simplify their options and effectively make the choice for them.
By using a mobile shopping app, consumers can effectively narrow down their choices to pick among retailers offering rewards for their loyalty.
Offer an Omnichannel Loyalty Experience
Offer an Omnichannel Loyalty Experience
Shopkick offers shoppers the opportunity to interact with brands and retailers, and earn rewards points called “kicks” throughout the entire shopping journey, whether at-home or in-store.
Shopkickers can discover new brands or products while browsing on their mobile devices through the Shopkick app. They can choose to either shop at a brick-and-mortar location, or they can make a purchase in just a few clicks. Users are rewarded with kicks no matter where or when they decide to shop.
There is no need to enter a special code or physically carry a reward card around. All shoppers need is their mobile device, which 80% of consumers already use for making online purchases or browsing in-store.
The advantages of mobile marketing in retail are still developing, but the current collection of benefits are enough for retailers to consider strategy implementation. Evolving capabilities include mobile pre-order and pickup, contactless checkout, augmented reality, robotic shopping assistance, facial recognition, and smart mirrors.
Additionally, customers are increasingly scanning items with their mobile devices at the point-of-purchase to discover more about the products before buying. Heading into 2021, shoppers will continue to choose retailers who augment the shopping experience with mobile technology.