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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : July 08, 2011

App vs. Browser: 3 Questions with John Caron, Modiv Media

A mobile commerce hub is rapidly changing things up in the mobile space. The platform gives shoppers the ability to scan items from store shelves to receive personalized product offers. Along with the rapid adoption of QR codes by the American public, these mobile offerings are changing the way consumers shop, research and convert.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: The app vs. mobile browsing debate has some brands confused about how best to capture the mobile space...what are your thoughts on apps vs. mobile browsing?

John Caron, Modiv Media Senior Vice President, Marketing: Mobile browsing is a great way to put it. Apps that are integrated to a store's systems and processes, loyalty program, check-out and brand is what will actually change shopper behavior in-store. Custom apps drive a higher (and faster) level of functionality that shoppers are quickly preferring and demanding. If retailers deliver a vacuous, low-value mobile experience to start, they run the risk of turning off shoppers and will have a heck of a time regaining their trust and engagement. A mobile enabled website is a must-have, but apps are still preferred by shoppers because of the convenience, speed and overall experience. Disguising a mobile website as a mobile app is not a sustainable strategy for the future and will put retailers at a disadvantage to those who truly engage their customers.

Kristina: QR and 2-D barcodes have been really skyrocketing in other parts of the world, but in the US, adoption seems a bit slower. Do you see the American adoption rate increasing as we move toward the latter half of 2011 and into 2012?

John: I've personally seen a much larger number of [QR codes] on consumer products. The key to adoption is based on the value behind it. Remember back in the dot-com days when companies had unique URL's that were nothing more than a tracking mechanism for the marketing team? Their efficacy dropped as consumers realized that there was little value in typing in the URL. QR codes will follow the same path. Retailers will become more savvy with the content behind the QR codes and the unique value presented to the shopper, which will lead to faster growth. And, it will be exponential when it happens. We see a great opportunity for retailers to use unique QR codes in-store to drive behavior and influence purchase decisions in support of in-store location based services.

Kristina: I just finished reading a study about mobile commerce, which said groceries and apparel were 2 categories consumers were most interested in 'paying by mobile.' As more people adopt smartphones and appropriate devices, do you see m-commerce really taking off?

John: Absolutely! But, m-com will come in many forms such as payment, mobile shopping and in-store mobile commerce. Payment is exactly that - paying for the goods or services you buy via your mobile device. It can be with a mobile wallet, NFC or directly from the smartphone (something we find very interesting). Mobile shopping is primarily driven by a mobile web experience. When you're shopping with your smartphone or tablet, you're actually engaging with a mobile commerce site. The true m-commerce experience will be driven by a retailer-branded app that is connected to the in-store POS system and leverages the retailer's loyalty program and CRM data to drive a personalized experience. M-commerce is about a comprehensive experience that engages the shopper, from check-in to check-out, helping them shop faster, smarter and better.

Tags: mobile apps, mobile browser, mobile content consumption, Modiv Media

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