With the ease and amenity of mobile payment options, consumers are projected to spend more money this holiday season than they normally would, according to research conducted by Stratos, the makers of the Bluetooth Connected Card Platform. Mobile payment apps such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet are predicted to have a big impact on 2014′s Black Friday shopping season. Others services like Snapchat with its new Snapcash payment service app are quickly entering the playing field. Developed with payment company Square, Snapcash takes advantage of the Snapchat instant messaging feature by allowing users to send and receive money instantly.
So how can brands and retailers leverage mobile this holiday season to ensure they’re meeting the needs of today’s multi-device digital consumer while continuing to take advantage of online opportunities? Here are some quick ways marketers can prepare to successfully celebrate and cash in on this season of mobile commerce.
Check Your Holiday Display: Optimize your Brand for Mobile
By now, most brands have optimized their websites to cater to mobile users, but you’d be surprised at how many in specific verticals have fallen behind, according to research firm IAB UK. This week, Google announced that it would introduce 'mobile-friendly labels' on search results to indicate which links are best optimized for smartphones and tablets. In addition, Google is also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a search ranking signal. That means it’s time to start matching up with mobile behaviors and expectations of smaller screens, rather than simply transferring desktop sites to mobile.
Spread the Cheer: Promote your Mobile Capabilities
With half of all online traffic coming from mobile devices, and a third of mobile users researching products online even when in stores, Black Friday is looking to be a mega mobile shopping event. But to fully capitalize on this audience, marketers need to make sure they’re promoting a brand’s complete mobile capabilities to the consumer audience, including mobile payment options, iBeacon technology and any local offers that can only be accessed through geo-location features. Brands should think about not only promoting their products and services, but also their digital communications channels, urging users to register and/or download apps for more personalized brand information and special offers.
Include all the Trimmings: Offer Multi-Payment Options
Although this post is focused on mobile shopping and engagement, it’s wise not to discard older payment methods, but rather allow both options. Even mobile payment users are not ready to abandon their credit cards entirely. While smartphone users may pay for gifts at department stores, they are less likely to use the same system for other forms of payment such as the grocery store, restaurant or travel during the holiday season.
Make It Special: Personalize the Mobile Experience
When it comes down to it, brands who will best succeed in mobile engagement and conversion are those that can leverage digital channels to provide meaningful and helpful information, for a more personalized mobile shopping experience. For instance, Macy’s is using iBeacon technology in combination with Shopkick, a location-based coupon dispenser app used by top national retailers including Best Buy, Sports Authority, J.C.Penney and Target to provide more personalized customer experiences by sending real-time information to shoppers’ mobile devices. Retailers can send push notifications about product specifications, how-to videos, coupons, and more tailored content and offers pulling info from past purchasing and in-store behavior. Based on how customers move within a store, iBeacons offer retailers insight on purchaser patterns, allowing them to use product placement and even architecture to increase sales.
It’s these more personalized user experiences that will result in repeat customers and leave marketers with a little extra comfort and joy this holiday season, as well as all year long.