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How to improve mobile options in the New Year
The Christmas holiday is here and that is putting new light on how brands will compete in 2013. Mobile is one space that is ripe for a better shopping experience, and with more than $35 billion spent online over the holidays, it makes sense for mobile brands to up the experience factor.
Kristina: How can brands use mobile to better engage customers?
Laura Marriott, CEO, NeoMedia Technologies: Although we have been talking about mobile marketing since 2005, the industry is still in its infancy. Brands are still just beginning to fully appreciate the value of even simple mobile media, such as mobile-optimized websites. Of course, most major brands have mobile websites, but it's still not the norm for the majority of companies. There continue to be concerns regarding measurement across multiple mobile media elements, but we are also making significant strides here. Anything that brands can do to make the experience easier for the consumer is going to help to catapult mobile as the dominant media channel. And QR codes, as one mobile media element, make it easy with just a simple scan to interact with a brand. Particularly for the holiday season, brands must deliver relevant, high value information that drives sales, provides a high quality experience after the scan and places QR codes where they are easy to interact with and scan. The strategy for QR code holiday campaigns should be tightly integrated with the whole media strategy.
One less than optimal implementation we see with mobile campaigns is that brands are simply pushing their websites or ads to consumers on their mobile devices, but there is no call to action or reason for engagement via mobile. With QR codes specifically, many retailers fail to engage consumers after the scan. Here are a few places where brands can have QR code scans land consumers this holiday season that will help them complete the purchase funnel - from scan to buy:
• Mobile rebate - Send the customer back money if they buy from their mobile device.
• Mobile layaways - Allow consumers to save items they plan to buy so it's ready for pick-up at brick-and-mortar locations.
• Showrooming page - Share a page that compares your product to similar products, both in price and features. Don't fear Showrooming, make it easy for them.
• Coupons - Offer the consumer a coupon for immediate purchase in the store or on their device. This is the obvious yet effective mobile offer.
Kristina: I've seen several studies showing an increase in customers using mobile to check prices, etc., while in-store. Based on this, how important is it for retailers to be able to hold or lay away products for an interested mobile consumer?
Laura: Differentiation and retention are both critically important. The challenge will be to keep the consumer in the store and purchasing products from the retailer, and mobile is a great way to do this. In the mobile industry too often consumers are driven to a website that doesn't provide value or isn't optimized for mobile, ultimately giving the consumer a negative experience. The 'after the scan' experience needs to be valuable and relevant - such as a mobile coupon, rebate or layaway. A mobile layaway option, for example, means that the consumer is more inclined to further engage with the retailer because they have to visit the store to pick up their item. By strategically placing QR codes where consumers are more likely to interact, like at store entrance, at shelf and on signage around the store, retailers and brands can help to drive foot traffic and increase the consumer's level of engagement.
To combat the issue of showrooming, retailers can also offer an instant rebate or coupon to consumers when scanned in store for a particular product to encourage immediate purchase. In addition, brands can share content that compares the product to similar ones, both in price and features created by the retailer in the store.
You can read part one of my chat with Laura and NeoMedia Technologies here.
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