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Wet Seal exec: Evolve and present new opportunities to mobile consumers

SAN FRANCISCO – A Wet Seal executive at the Mobile Shopping Summit said that it is important to evolve with consumers and not constantly present them with the same old offers, deals and ads on mobile.

Mobile trends were the topic of conversation during the “Mobile As The In-Store Enabler – Driving Traffic And Sales In Your Bricks and Mortar Operations” session. The panel was moderated by Bernadine Wu, CEO of FitForCommerce, New York.

“Something will work amazingly for a while and then not anymore,” said Alyssa Montes, direct marketing analyst at The Wet Seal, Foothill Ranch, CA.

“Two or three years ago we used to do these cash rewards,” she said. “You would walk in and purchase something and we would staple this cash reward to your receipt and you would come back and get a reward on the next visit.

“First time it was amazing, second time it was OK and the third time it crashed and burned.”

Keep me interested
According to Ms. Montes, it is important to keep it interesting for consumers.

Consumers should not get used to the same incentives and offers each time. People grow tired of that same offer.

“Consumers want something new,” Ms. Montes said.

The executive said that there are many emerging mobile trends.

Wet Seal is currently working on an iPad and Android application.

“We’re taking that mobile app that we created and extending it in-store,” Ms. Montes said. “You have to evolve with your customers.”

Mobile science
According to Neil Strother, practice director of mobile marketing strategies and mobile services at ABI Research, Kirkland, WA, there is a lot of science and analytics with coupons.

“It’s also art,” Mr. Strother said. “A lot of it is heavy technology – the rules of the game is changing.

“Consumers are now more in control,” he said. “It’s that exchange – you’re a trusted brand, I know you as a customer, so reward me as I go in to your location.

“I know you and you know me.”

Mr. Strother also said that many retailers do not know how to look at tablets.

Is it a mobile device or not?

“It’s something in the middle,” Mr. Strother said. “It’s a portable device.

“A lot of the usage is at home,” he said. “I think that tablets are still too new to be used in the retail store.

“Companies are still figuring it out.”

Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, San Francisco, agreed that tablet devices are primarily used at home and many consumers are not carrying them around like they are carrying their mobile devices.

“They’re portable, but I’m primarily using it at home, in a place or in a coffee shop,” Ms. Ask said. “I think you definitely have to treat them as different devices.”

Ms. Ask said that retailers are still looking at mobile as something new and it is all about trial and error.

“This is new and people still need to trial and test and adapt and see what’s working best and worst for them,” Ms. Ask said.

Final Take
Wet Seal taps mobile to engage consumers