How to engage customers

How to engage customers in the shopping aisle with mobile technology

Mobile technology is an integral part of determining how to engage customers in the shopping aisle. Consumers consistently carry their smartphones with them as they shop and typically, they use their mobile devices to enhance their in-store experience. In fact, one survey showed that 77% of consumers used their phones while in the shopping aisle to gain product information and find deals. Brands that wish to engage consumers during these pivotal moments need to take advantage of mobile-based opportunities to share product information, gain attention, and influence consumer decisions at the point of purchase.

It’s said that “location is everything” when it comes to sales, but in today’s retail climate, location is dynamic. Brands creating a shopper marketing plan must account for the constant movement of consumers. Mobile allows brands to capitalize on that movement and encourage consumers to interact with products while in the store. As the likelihood of purchase increases based on a product’s proximity to the customer, mobile can provide several opportunities to drive consumer interest which many other digital marketing methods can’t.

Influencing Customers With Psychological Cues

Marketers have studied psychological cues and how they impact consumer behavior since the free market began. Everything from the color of a product to the way it physically feels in hand can influence how a consumer reacts to the brand. Mobile can be a crucial part of this process, as it allows brands to leverage several sales-driving cues, including:

  • Scarcity: These days, scarcity is more often referred to by the new phrase “fear of missing out” or FOMO. It uses limited-time opportunities to encourage consumers to engage with a brand. When the consumer knows they only have a limited amount of time to cash in on a deal or event, they’re likely to act more quickly. CoverGirl took advantage of this on National Lipstick Day, which fell on July 29 this year. The cosmetic company partnered with Target as well as a mobile app to offer a 25% discount on certain lipsticks to celebrate the event. The limited time offer drove interest in the brand and prompted consumers to act fast, which quickly led to increased sales.
  • Reciprocity: Reciprocity is a strategy that most shopping apps, like Shopkick, use. When an individual receives something from a person, brand, or business, they feel the urge to return the favor. Brands can use rewards points, which are typically available through shopping apps, to trigger this reciprocity. With Shopkick, consumers can gain kicks (rewards points) for scanning items in the store. The mobile program leverages reciprocity while encouraging consumers to seek out products in the shopping aisle. The physical process of handling the item and receiving a reward primes consumers for purchase, which increases the likelihood of a returned favor, or a purchase.
  • Authority: Consumers often turn to their smartphones for advice when they’re in the store. Brands that display authority through a helpful mobile strategy can build consumer trust. An excellent example of this comes from the well-known pasta company, Barilla. The brand provides an informative online experience which offers a wide range of recipes to consumers—even those who may not have extensive cooking skills. It also includes simple but useful information, like how to decipher between different types of pasta, and which pastas best compliment each sauce. By helping consumers discover new recipes and increase their knowledge of pasta, Barilla becomes an authority the consumer can trust, which improves engagement and brand affinity.
  • Social proof: Social proof works by using word-of-mouth to encourage consumers to follow a specific trend. When consumers talk about a brand favorably, these brands should seek out ways to capitalize on this buzz. Social proof can be best understood through the Pringles flavor stacking campaign. The brand noticed that many consumers were reposting videos of individuals “stacking” Pringles chip flavors to create unique combination flavors of their own. When consumers caught on to the clever idea, they were quick to try out the stacking for themselves. Pringles decided to use that trend to leverage further sales, and even created an interactive web-based experience where users could virtually combine Pringles chip flavors. When Pringles effectively took advantage of social influence, consumers engaged with the brand, learned about its offerings, and shared that information with others.

How to engage customers in the shopping aisleMobile marketing acts as an ideal way to capitalize on psychological cues as it’s rapid, dynamic, and scalable. Brands can simultaneously leverage several of these cues through the use of mobile apps, increasing their overall marketing impact. Of course, brands may not have the budget, time, or ability to create a proprietary app. Luckily, third-party apps like Shopkick allow brands to capitalize on trends while maximizing their marketing ROI.

How to Engage Customers Using Third-Party Apps

Third-party apps can provide an opportunity for brands to connect with a new audience of consumers. These apps are typically designed to leverage multiple cues like scarcity, reciprocity, authority, and social proof, so that brands can maximize their marketing efforts.

Additionally, third-party apps take the responsibility of finding an audience off of the brand. Shopping rewards apps generally have a built-in user base, as consumers seek out unique, mobile ways to earn rewards for shopping. By partnering with one of these developers, brands can gain the attention of an active audience of shoppers, further expanding their marketing reach.

Knowing how to engage customers using mobile apps can be tricky, as brands don’t want to be invasive with a consumer’s private information.

Knowing how to engage customers using mobile apps can be tricky, as brands don’t want to be invasive with a consumer’s private information. However, mobile is vital for capitalizing on several critical psychological cues which effectively drive sales. By partnering with a third-party app provider, brands can discover ways to engage with a new audience of consumers.

Shopkick offers our partners the opportunity to connect with potential customers when they’re most receptive to psychological cues which drive sales. For more information on our innovative app and how it can help engage consumers on behalf of your brand, contact us.

Image courtesy of Rawpixel

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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.