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Mobile marketing strategy and apps for the retailers

Date Added: October 21, 2011 11:00:14 AM
Author: jrehene
Category: Business: Financial Services

The year 2010 was the year of the smartphone. Brands such as RIM’s Blackberry, Apple’s iPhone, the Google Android and a host of intuitive and interactive mobile devices found quick and widespread adoption across the world. Predictions for future smartphone usage are aggressive with Gartner anticipating that smartphones will constitute 40% of the total mobile handset market by 2012. Most often for retailers, mobile marketing strategies mean getting their websites optimized for mobile browsing and sending messages about offers to consumers’ phones. But do these leverage the full potential of smartphones? Is this the best customer engagement that retailers can achieve? Mobile Applications for retailers (Apps) are feature-rich, easily accessible and provide quick results for users on the move. Most are available as free downloads and offer short intensive bursts of engagement, allowing customers to drill down to specific tasks without having to browse through an entire retailer website. Gartner’s Q42010 report: ‘How Can Retailers Get started in Mobile Commerce?’ indicates that consumers are more interested in seeing Mobile Applications from retailers than browsing their mobile websites. Gartner’s 4Q10 survey of 1,000 U.S. mobile phone consumers throws up the following facts about how smartphones are influencing future shopping behaviour: • 77.8% smartphone users will search for a store location on their phone • 64.9% will access competitor pricing information from their smartphones before visiting a physical store • 69% will search for products or product information from their smartphone In a tough economic climate, retailers need to capitalize on these trends to move beyond traditional advertising and websites to build brand loyalty among customers. Investing in a mobile retailing strategy is very different from a mere internet presence and there are compelling reasons why retailers need to integrate mobile marketing strategies into their operations. Consumers carry their smartphones at all times including while shopping, making these the most powerful, personalized medium for relationship building and branding. Smartphones are always on, they are connected and they support voice and data. Equipped with location-awareness and cameras, they can help retailers create innovative sales and service experiences for customers. Most often for retailers, mobile strategies mean getting their websites optimized for mobile browsing and sending messages about offers to consumers’ phones. But do these leverage the full potential of smartphones? Is this the best customer engagement that retailers can achieve? Mobile Applications for retailers (Apps) are feature-rich, easily accessible and provide quick results for users on the move. Most are available as free downloads and offer short intensive bursts of engagement, allowing customers to drill down to specific tasks without having to browse through an entire retailer website. Gartner’s Q42010 report: ‘How Can Retailers Get started in Mobile Commerce?’ indicates that consumers are more interested in seeing Mobile Applications from retailers than browsing their mobile websites. US retail giants like Amazon, Wal-Mart, H&M and Tesco have adopted various home-grown and third-party Mobile Apps that allow their customers to interact with them in interesting ways. Thus a user searching on Google’s Mobile App for “nearest coffee outlets” can locate the Starbucks closest to his location. And shoppers with a Tesco account can search products and add them to their online cart, virtually shopping for the week’s groceries while on the move.
 
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