This growing dependence on mobile necessitates that businesses follow suit in establishing a smartphone presence in order to reach users. This can occur by way of mobile advertising, optimized sites and specialized features and plans. Current consumer usage trends include mobile payment, apps and QR codes.
Coffee empire Starbucks is a leader in rolling out mobile payment options – they partnered with Square to allow customers to charge all credit and debit transactions through their smartphones. Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, JCPenney and Finish Line are all said to be planning similar payment plans. For some, this leads to a potentially business-altering question: are tangible wallets on the way out?
Cash registers and wallets, of course, are not yet truly threatened. Many users rely on their smartphones more as an accessory, in which to better the experience – and over three-fourths of smartphone owners report using their device at some stage of shopping. In a “Next-Gen Retail” survey, comparison shopping, access to coupons, customer reviews and shipment tracking ranked as some of the top reasons users access mobile.
Smartphone apps are becoming more relevant as brands find it easier to establish a direct relationship with consumers through them. Essentially interactive methods of marketing, apps such as Johnson & Johnson’s “Magic Vision” allow product advertising while engaging consumers.
Brands within the consumer packaged goods industry (CPG), in particular, are also taking advantage of mobile QR codes. According to Mobile Marketer, these codes “provide a value-add via product information, coupons or recipes.” This allows a more direct brand impact on shoppers, accessible anywhere, and this trend is certainly on the rise in conjunction with increase mobile usage. A Comscore study, illustrated below, shows they are largely being utilized in accordance with advertising and product packaging.
Overall, consumers who use mobile devices for retail purposes report feeling more money-smart, informed and efficient. As this method of shopping begins to reign over the traditional, it’s critical for marketers to ensure websites are optimized for mobile devices. For more information and a digital marketing audit, contact us today.