The age of mobile engagement

by / Sunday, 17 November 2013 / Published in White paper


When customer engagement becomes a key factor to success, retailers need to revisit their
existing engagement tools and channels. In recent years we witness a shift in the way consumers
interact and shop, their sense of entitlement has increased and they expect more. For today’s
consumers ‘more’ means to be heard, their requirements attained and their lifestyle matched.
More means they can unleash the traditional bondage to time and places and be connected
any brand, anywhere, anytime. For the retailer ‘more’ should mean using advanced technology
to engage with their consumers and gain their loyalty.

research shows that in the first quarter of 2013 nearly a quarter (24%) of total website traffic
came from mobile devices, up by 78% from the same period in 2012 and increased by 109%
since 2011.1

Percentage of website traffic coming from mobile devices


But it is not just about browsing. It is about the special advantages derived from the characteristics
of  mobile devices in general and mobile apps in particular. It is the ability to have bi-directional
relationships and stay connected beyond the occasional visit. This makes all the difference. So,
adding a mobile app as a new sales and loyalty channel is no longer a nice to have but rather
a must.


Today mobile app means true engagement

Traditional methods to reward and retain customers are no longer sufficient. Today’s shopper
has grown up to accept the discounts and the convenience offered virtually and would prefer
to buy everything online. This is the reason mobile apps can be such powerful tools to reach a
much more diverse demographic audience and influence their purchasing decisions. Mobile
apps allow brands not just to monitor and reward loyal customers but also to push highly
targeted offers or promotions; for example, targeting regional customers based on their location
or buying patterns.

The mobile app as a marketing tool can provide retailers with an enormous opportunity – an
opportunity supported by the escalating statistics of smartphone users. As smartphones and
tablet become part of everyone life, accessing mobile apps can be easily done anywhere and
it means shopping can begin with an online search waiting for the bus, on the train or just at any
social event.2

Active Mobile App Users Worldwide, 2012-2016 (billions)


No wonder The New York Times published on January 2012 ,7 an article saying: “analysts say,
as people change their search habits on mobile devices — bypassing Google to go straight to
apps”. 3

What is even more intriguing are the findings of the latest Loyalty Report from Maritz Loyalty
Marketing which reveal that “73% of smartphone users are interested in interacting with their
[loyalty] programs through their mobile devices.”4

Today, having a mobile app is no longer just a differentiator of choice. When the goal is to serve
and retain customers at the lowest possible cost, mobile apps are the most effective means to
fuel satisfaction, stickiness, and trust. It is a foundation for future loyalty and customer relations.
A truly must have, retailers should introduce mobile apps not only to assist with their operations,
but most of all to increase customer loyalty.