By Stephanie Crets
Customers want options when they’re out shopping. They want to check their phone to see if their purchase could be cheaper at a different store, if they can get a better deal by buying it online or if there are any coupons available.
SessionM, the self-described market leader in mobile data management and engagement tools, recently conducted a survey of more than 50,000 randomly selected mobile users. The purpose of the study was to gain a better understanding of how using our mobile devices impacts and influences decision-making while shopping for consumer packaged goods (CPG).
I was surprised to read that 82 percent of people still prefer to shop for CPG in store. Going to the store seems like such a hassle when I can get everything delivered to my home, but there is more of an instant gratification attributed to in-store purchases. Regardless, one-third of those surveyed said they planned to make a purchase via their mobile device this year, so perhaps that percentage will be lower next year.
The study also found that 65 percent of consumers used their mobile devices for a variety of things to enhance their shopping experience, such as searching for coupons, comparing prices and accessing a shopping list. That number seems almost low, considering the prevalence of mobile technology used in our daily lives.
Patrick Reynolds, vice president of marketing at SessionM, tells RM that brand-specific apps and mobile coupons can both be beneficial to driving mobile shopping. “If you have a high frequency of purchase relationship, like Starbucks, where people often visit every day, a brand-specific app is ideal,” he says. “Lower frequency brands might consider banding together ala plenti to reduce app clutter and increase utility.”
SessionM works with clients as part of a coalition, along with standalone apps. “The real differentiator isn’t whether or not the app is brand-specific, it is whether or not it is delivering perceived value,” Reynolds says. “That often comes down to personalization and engagement specificity.”
Loyalty programs have grown in popularity with the expansion of mobile shopping with 65 percent of consumers belonging to at least one brand loyalty program. And most consumers aren’t loyal unless they’re getting something beneficial from it. Seventy percent of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a brand’s product that they don’t currently use in exchange for points that could be redeemed for a reward.
SessionM suggests five ways that brands can use mobile-first loyalty to strengthen their consumer reach:
- Connect and familiarize: Customize and tailor the campaign across all channels to better connect with consumers.
- Influence: Offer customers coupons, product information and more while they shop and “give them purpose on their path to purchase.”
- Reward: Offer rewards and loyalty points for buying brand-specific items.
- Build: Mobile allows companies to access data to analyze purchasing trends and understand the kinds of campaigns that work.
- Start now!
“Consumer preferences when it comes to receiving deals really runs the gamut, depending on factors like demographic and retail type,” says Reynolds. “The best advice is to give the customer options, or let them self-select based on their individual preference.”