Mobile commerce (mCommerce) is finally flexing its muscle, as we all learned this past holiday season when mobile shoppers achieved their first billion-dollar day on Black Friday ($1.2 billion, to be exact). That’s a 33% jump from the year prior. Given the consumer interest in shopping on their smartphones and tablets, retailers must engage mobile shoppers with offers, coupons and deals delivered on their ever-present mobile devices. When setting an mCommerce strategy, however, be sure to take inventory of both your retail brand and your customers to understand the approach that fits best.

Leverage Your App
If you have a mobile app, it makes perfect sense to use it to deliver discounts, coupons and more. Our 2016-2017 Great Omnichannel Expectations Shopper Survey Report revealed that shopper preferences are trending toward digital passes instead of paper coupons. Of the North American shoppers we surveyed, 33.7% prefer using discounts delivered through a mobile app and 29.1% want offers sent to their smartphones instead of paper coupons.

It’s well worth the effort. Consumers who have chosen to download your app are likely to be among your most loyal customers and therefore likely to respond to offers. What’s more, this mCommerce offer strategy can help with driving traffic to your store. You can push coupons regardless of the mobile shopper’s location, or choose to send app-based offers once the consumer is nearby or in your store.

Email’s Still Relevant
Not everyone is app-happy so don’t overlook the continuing relevance and power of email. Of consumers 14 to 18 years old (Gen Z), 40% will always read email on mobile first, and 29% of consumers 19 to 34 years old (Millennials) do the same. Email is simple but effective. A marketing offer sent via email at the right time can nudge a mobile shopper in the right direction, drive up conversion and also help in directing her to your store.

Geolocation: In-Store Offers
Location-savvy retailers can take advantage of geolocation to push offers to shoppers in their stores. Think of it as rewarding the mobile shopper for make a store visit. A number of mCommerce solutions on the market can help to manage this strategy, which often leverages beacons and other wireless technologies.

Geolocation 2.0: Offers Based on In-Store Location
Going even a step further, advanced technologies enable retailers to push offers based on where the customer is located within the store. For example, a shopper standing in the cookie aisle may receive a two-for-one deal on Oreos, or the customer hovering by the endcap of Yankee Candles may see a coupon for 30% off all of the brand’s candles appear on her smartphone screen. Often the key to effective mobile commerce is context and relevance, and what better way to be relevant that to know the mobile shopper’s exact location and nudge them down the path to purchase for products they likely already want?

Marry Content + Commerce
Storytelling has become an essential element of retail so jump on the bandwagon and use content to immerse customers in your brand. Image-rich blogs and engaging videos in a mobile commerce-friendly format draw in the customer while strengthening your brand identity. If you’re a pet supply store, maybe a brief video of a cute puppy trying new organic dog food will attract eyeballs and clicks (with shoppable, actionable links included at the end, of course).

Don’t Forget About Loyalty
Last but not least, set a strategy to reward your most loyal mobile shoppers. Consider ways to engage them and increase “stickiness.” It could be something as simple as early access to sales via the app or exclusive pricing. Of course, offering coupons that can only be used in the app is a great way to encourage shoppers to adopt mobile commerce and keep it first and foremost in their minds.

mCommerce will continue to influence the retail industry, so be sure you’re not missing out on connecting with smartphone-wielding customers. With myriad mobile marketing tools out there at your disposal, you can find the right technologies and partners to help you craft a winning mobile commerce strategy.

Download “2016-2017 Great Omnichannel Expectations” Shopper Survey Report

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