“How Mobile Bridges the Gap Between In-Store and Online” by Alex Campbell via Total Retail

“How Mobile Bridges the Gap Between In-Store and Online” by Alex Campbell via Total Retail

Credit: by Anita Kot

To deliver on consumer expectations and keep their loyalty, brands must incorporate mobile messaging into their marketing strategies

This holiday season, retailers prepared for an influx of in-store and online shoppers at levels even larger than before the pandemic. With 42 percent of consumers planning to shop equally in-store and online for the holidays, it’s essential for retailers to create an omnichannel strategy that reaches all shoppers — no matter which buying journey they choose to do their holiday shopping.

The holidays pose an excellent opportunity for retailers to connect with shoppers using mobile marketing. Retailers and brands can use data and mobile strategies such as push notifications, SMS and mobile wallet to meet consumer expectations and drive sales in-store and online.

1. Use data to understand shopper behavior.

First- and zero-party data are key in the midst of data privacy concerns. First-party data is information brands collect through engagement and shopping behavior, while zero-party data is information customers voluntarily offer directly to a brand. By using first- and zero-party data, retailers can know customer preferences and shopping styles, then use that information to better reach customers both in-store and online.

Mobile is a high impact channel for retailers to use data to track how customers shop. When a brand understands customer behavior, it can cater to omnichannel shoppers by linking data across all channels. Thus, brands can use mobile marketing to meet shoppers where they are, creating tailored content that will catch customers’ attention.

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2. Send mobile messages at the right time and place.

Furthermore, brands can use mobile to send timely notifications to customers and motivate them to visit a store. For example, brands can send a push notification to a customer at a time of the day when they’re near a physical store location while they’re doing their holiday shopping.

Brands can use mobile messaging to make every customer buying journey frictionless and rewarding across every touchpoint.​ For example, they can offer mobile wallet passes to increase conversion rates by redeeming promotions in-store and online or allowing customers to scan a mobile wallet pass to earn loyalty points.

One specialty retail chain has seen several benefits from implementing mobile marketing tactics, including retaining more customers, increasing promotion conversions, and driving app downloads. With a mobile wallet, customers are able to save on products and quickly access offers while shopping in-store or online. As a result, the retailer enrolled more than 76,000 subscribers in just two months. Those shoppers saved more than 10,000 mobile wallet offers directly to their phones.

3. Engage with customers through personalization.

Consumers expect an influx of advertisements from brands during the holiday season. Brands can use personalization to stand out from the crowd and generate content that shoppers actually want. Seventy-one percent of consumers expect retailers to deliver on personalization — not as a nice to have, but as a requirement for purchase.

The ability to reach shoppers on their devices comes with a responsibility to be relevant. With mobile, brands can create tailored content, such as birthday messages or in-store-only promotions, that will catch customers’ attention and entice them to visit a brick-and-mortar location. According to our data, personalization is essential, with retailers that use personalization having a 200 percent higher clickthrough rate than average marketing campaigns.

4. Meet shoppers where they are with mobile.

To deliver on consumer expectations and keep their loyalty, brands must incorporate mobile messaging into their marketing strategies. The holidays are a pivotal time for brands to connect with customers and live up to the expectations they have for brands. Brands can achieve this by meeting consumers where they are and making the holiday shopping experience as convenient, seamless and personalized as possible — whether online or in-store.

Alex Campbell is one of Vibes’ co-founders as well as chief innovation officer. For over 20 years, Alex has helped shape mobile marketing both within the company as well as the industry.

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