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Mobile in-store experiences are boosting sales

LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ – Talk this week at the Mobile Shopping Summit 2014 focused on combining the influence of mobile with in-store sales as brands and retailers become more heavily reliant on and comfortable with mobile technology.

Mobile Marketer’s Caitlyn Bohannon asked exhibitors and attendees, “What is a key trend you saw involving mobile commerce at the Mobile Shopping Summit?”

Here is what they had to say, in alphabetical order by company name.

Momchil Kyurkchiev, co-founder and CEO at Leanplum, San Francisco
The main trend I saw at the Mobile Shopping Summit was a shift in mentality for large brands from treating mobile as a testing playground to treating it as a business unit. Personalized mobile experiences hold the key to unlocking customer lifetime value, and it seemed that for most brands that meant exploring marketing automation use cases around location, such as geofencing and iBeacons.

Karyn Andrade Bordoni, marketing manager at Mowingo, Inc., Los Altos, CA
I think retailers are going to continue to leverage location, via beacons, and we will see more stores roll out this technology in the future. Beacon deployment is still currently in the test phase, as seen by the Lord & Taylor and Macy’s pilot programs, and our own experiments.

The fact is, while we as consumers are married to our mobile phones, in order for retailers to jump into the mix, they have to be able to monetize and measure their efforts with beacons. That’s going to take a while, but this proximity-based mobile messaging has become incredibly important as another targeted channel to reach customers, since retailers have flooded the email channel, which I think is in danger of becoming worthless.

Retailers need to remember, it’s not about quantity; it’s about providing timely, location-based, and contextual notifications, in order to deliver the most relevant experience possible.

Michael Georgoff, vice president of new products at RetailMeNot, Austin, TX
Everyone has finally recognized that the true value of mobile is a companion and influencer for offline, real world experiences.  And with that recognition, as a group we’re starting to grapple with next order challenges like attribution, using hard numbers to prove to skeptics that mobile drives sales at scale in stores.

Keith Halasy, director of marketing programs at Urban Airship, Portland
I gained a lot of insights in the area of mobile engagement, but I was struck by the number of conversations with people looking to get statistics that support ROI on mobile apps – sales driving by push, rescued shopping carts from reminders, incremental revenue driven by push to segmented users. It’s great to see interest is pushing further and scaling up.  

Sara Livingston, director of marketing solutions at WeatherFX, New York
One of the biggest trends that consistency came across in the conference is the importance of a seamless user experience across platforms, and how even as consumer time spent on mobile increases, mobile cannot be considered a catch-all and solve-all platform.

Notably that the users’ experience on mobile is fundamentally tied to what they’re trying to achieve, either through finding information, the transaction or sharing information, and that is not the same across all retailers. As a result, there is not one-size-fits-all solution for how retailers should approach mobile, and if they should be focused on app versus mobile Web.

Also, all of this is tied to the users location, such as in-store versus on the go versus at home, and it is extremely important that retailers are factoring in all of these components and messaging users differently.

As for beacons, they will definitely have a tremendous impact on the in-store targeting experience, but not quite yet. As neither retailers nor the supporting tech are in a place to truly activate at scale outside of initial testing.