Monday Sep 17, 2012

Mobile Deals: the Consumer Wants You in Their Pocket

special offerMobile deals offer something we talk about a lot in social marketing, relevant content. If a consumer is already predisposed to liking your product and gets a timely deal for it that’s easy and convenient to use, not only do you score on the marketing side, it clearly generates some of that precious ROI that’s being demanded of social.

First, a quick gut-check on the public’s adoption of mobile. Nielsen figures have 55.5% of US mobile owners using smartphones. If young people are indeed the future, you can count on the move to mobile exploding exponentially. Teens are the fastest growing segment of smartphone users, and 58% of them have one. But the largest demographic of smartphone users is 25-34 at 74%. That tells you a focus on mobile will yield great results now, and even better results straight ahead.

So we can tell both from statistics and from all the faces around you that are buried in their smartphones this is where consumers are. But are they looking at you? Do you have a valid reason why they should?

Everybody likes a good deal. BIA/Kelsey says US consumers will spend $3.6 billion this year for daily deals (the Groupons and LivingSocials of the world), up 87% from 2011. The report goes on to say over 26% of small businesses are either "very likely" or "extremely likely" to offer up a deal in the next 6 months. Retail Gazette reports 58% of consumers shop with coupons, a 40% increase in 4 years.

When you consider that a deal can be the impetus for a real-world transaction, a first-time visit to a store, an online purchase, entry into a loyalty program, a social referral, a new fan or follower, etc., that 26% figure shows us there’s a lot of opportunity being left on the table by brands.

cashierThe existing and emerging technologies behind mobile devices make the benefits of offering deals listed above possible. Take how mobile payment systems are being tied into deal delivery and loyalty programs. If it’s really easy to use a coupon or deal, it’ll get used. If it’s complicated, it’ll be passed over as “not worth it.”

When you can pay with your mobile via technologies that connects store and user, you get the deal, you get the loyalty credit, you pay, and your receipt is uploaded, all in one easy swipe. Nothing to keep track of, nothing to lose or forget about. And the store “knows” you, so future offers will be based on your tastes.

Consider the endgame. A customer who’s a fan of your belt buckle store’s Facebook Page is in one of your physical retail locations. They pull up your app, because they’ve gotten used to a loyalty deal being offered when they go to your store. Voila. A 10% discount active for the next 30 minutes.

Maybe the app also surfaces social references to your brand made by friends so they can check out a buckle someone’s raving about. If they aren’t a fan of your Page or don’t have your app, perhaps they’ve opted into location-based deal services so you can still get them that 10% deal while they’re in the store. Or maybe they’ve walked in with a pre-purchased Groupon or Living Social voucher.

They pay with one swipe, and you’ve learned about their buying preferences, credited their loyalty account and can encourage them to share a pic of their new buckle on social.

Happy customer. Happy belt buckle company. All because the brand was willing to use the tech that’s available to meet consumers where they are, incentivize them, and show them how much they’re valued through rewards.

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