If there’s one thing I’m sure of as a marketer, it’s that mobile is more than its channel – it’s a behavior.
The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets has created an ultra-connected mobile consumer, which has permanently disrupted the shopping experience. Mobile devices have become a habit we’ve integrated into our daily lives that have dramatically changed the ways we interact with the world.
In fact, Google reports that 79 percent of mobile consumers are using their devices to aid in shopping activities and 84 percent use their devices in store. In response to this, retailers have taken the approach of testing and building varying approaches to connect with consumers across the shopping journey from online to in-store. For example, consumers can download the Home Depot app and read product reviews in-store by scanning product UPCs. Beyond in-store, the app displays real-time inventory, makes it easy for consumers to buy products online and pick-up in store and even locate products through the use of an in-store map and aisle locations.
Urban Outfitters, on the other hand, is relying on loyalty and social as key drivers for their mobile strategy. Urban Outfitters added a news feed to its mobile application to encourage repeat visits and help consumers stay up to date on sales and events. Furthermore, the UrbanOn app syncs with users’ social networks, while distributing reward points when users mention the brand on Twitter or Instagram. Other features intended to drive store traffic and frequency include integration of the Urban Outfitters music player and ongoing access to sales, new collections and events.
Both examples, although very different audiences, exhibit the following three key characteristics that drive impact with mobile and seamlessly move shoppers from the second screen into physical stores.
Ditch the random and make it locally relevant.
Consumers want messages that are relevant to them – for the products they want, at the stores in their neighborhood. While retailers have been focused on what’s ‘sexy’ in local – iBeacons, geofencing and other technologies – we need to consider how consumers already interact with their devices and take advantage of that behavior.
Anything that adds work on the consumer side — from opt-ins to turning on their location settings – may sound good on paper, but today’s mobile consumer quickly tires of novelty that requires effort.
Like Home Depot, Lowe’s has been an early adopter of localized mobile marketing. The home improvement retailer mastered the art of the simple with its brilliant mobile campaign leveraging Vine, a mobile app that enables users to create and post short six-second home improvement video clips. Not only are these clips simple – “Keep bugs out of your sandbox with a little cinnamon” or “Use caulk to make it stay put” – but they’re also in tune with home improvement shoppers’ local needs. This is a perfect example of how a brand enables consumers to access tips to common home improvement problems in a mobile-friendly way while on-the-go and ultimately, drives these mobile shoppers to make a purchase in a local Lowe’s store.