Judy Chan, senior product marketing manager at Urban Airship Wallet, says mobile wallets are the key to a simpler shopping experience.
What is the one thing you never leave the house without? For most of us, it’s our phone. After all, in our ultra-connected world, our phones provide immediate access to all aspects of life that are most important – a call to a family member, an email to a co-worker, a Facebook post to friends. As technology evolves and improves, we are able to use our phones in more ways than ever before – for banking, entertainment and real estate to quote just three examples.
Retailers, too, must take heed and prioritize mobile as a key communication and engagement channel. According to a survey from SessionM, more than 90 per cent of consumers use smartphones while shopping in retail stores and more than 54 per cent use their devices to compare prices, and search for product information and reviews. With communication and engagement at the forefront of all good mobile marketing strategies, it’s important to consider another mobile technology tactic that will continue to impact the retail experience for brands and consumers alike: mobile wallets.
Not only do mobile wallets make paying for things more seamless, they combine convenience and value to consumers, storing coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards alongside payment information. And, given the growing popularity of contactless payments, which have seen an increase of 100 per cent during 2015 alone according to Juniper Research, it’s clear that mobile wallets are here to stay.
If the stats aren’t convincing enough, here are the top four reasons brands and retailers must pay attention to mobile wallets in 2016 and beyond:
Brands have a new, easier opportunity to directly connect and engage mobile consumers, which is all of them.
With mobile wallet, retailers can reach more of their customers without the investment, discovery and download hurdles of apps. A simple link click from anywhere - your web site, social channels, digital ads and more - stores the wallet pass within the device’s native mobile wallet. That’s not to say apps aren’t an important part of a complete mobile strategy. In fact, when paired with the mobile wallet, brands can create the ultimate cross-channel mobile experiences, automatically surfacing coupons or gift cards to device home screens based on locations or times, while offering a front door to deeper business interactions through apps.
Customers receive personalized information, compelling them to act.
Using mobile wallet, brands and retailers can interact with pass holders through push notifications, reminding them of expiration dates or dynamically updating the pass itself; for example, showcasing a new offer when an old one ends. Brands can also target customers - whether a small segment, a specific individual or the whole user base - with pass updates reflecting new loyalty points earned, current gift card balances or this week’s offers, to create ongoing value.
Retailers can attract new customers across numerous markets.
With mobile wallet technology, industries like retail, travel, food and beverage, entertainment, healthcare, wellness, services and more can attract new customers. That SessionM survey also found that 57 per cent of consumers are more likely to shop at a store if they receive messages or push relevant deals and coupons while they shop. Furthermore, 77 per cent of respondents said they are more likely to shop at a store that has a loyalty program. By identifying where and when a wallet item can add value, retailers can count on attracting new customers across the board.
Brands and retailers can benefit from cost savings that come from mobile wallet.
There are great benefits to going digital with mobile wallet. Brands that have made the transition from plastic to digital report 10-20X cost savings. Likewise, companies using mobile wallet have reported high retention rates, with up to 90-95 per cent of customers retaining wallet passes after promotions have ended. A single wallet pass added to a customer’s phone opens the door for long-term engagement.
Alaska Airlines customers know this first-hand. Without an app download, they cannot receive real-time travel information. With mobile wallet, however, they have immediate access to their boarding pass without downloading an app. Airlines can send alerts about gate changes, flight delays or flight changes.
Outdoor retailer REI is another great example. It uses the platform for online engagement, sending special offers and coupons to customers on a consistent basis to keep them interested and engaged.
Mobile wallet gives customers a simple way to use mobile to get more from their favorite brands and retailers, all while making their lives a little easier. Businesses, in turn, don’t need an app or even a website to engage with customers over mobile. That’s a win-win: happy customers and happy companies. Gain inspiration for a new world of marketing via mobile wallets with this guide.
Judy Chan is senior product marketing manager at Urban Airship Wallet