Customer Focus

IRX 2017 Top five mobile innovations

Speaking at IRX 2017, Michael Braybrook, director of enterprise solutions at intelligent mobile engagement company mGage, listed his top five mobile innovations. Here are his choices, and the reasoning behind them.

Chatbots

Chatbots, says Michael Braybook of mGage, can help businesses answer common questions around the clock. By interacting with a chatbot instead of a contact centre, consumers can do their digital chores out of hours. Chatbots, argued Braybrook, can “probably answer 80% to 90% of queries” while also taking contacts that don’t require human contact out of the queue.

Emojis

It’s easy to see emojis as a joke, says Braybrook, but they represent the fastest-growing and most easily recognised language – and one that’s used by a new generation. He points to an experiment by Domino’s Pizza in the US which enabled customers to order their pizza by emoji, and then track delivery of the product using the system. “It’s really interesting to see the impact it’s had,” said Braybrook. “People start talking about the brand.”

Location-based services

These, says Braybrook are getting better all the time, and are used in cases from tracking customers via wifi to offering maps, navigation and information services. “In Selfridges, for example,” says Braybrook, “a location-based use would find out if shoppers are there, offer them an offer. If they are walking past it would pull them in with an offer. Once in the store, once you know where they are you can target them with an offer, or give them a card for free coffee at Starbucks on the fourth floor. Targeting people who are in-store, using wifi technology will become more prevalent in the industry.”

Using Google innovations

Google is putting the mobile web first, from beaming wi-fi into Africa to enabling mobile apps that rely on wifi rather than on voice. In retail, text messages are read and answered more quickly than email. These are a good way of communicating time sensitive messages, says Braybrook, such as targeting customers around pay day or around a bank holiday weekend. Given that 60% of all purchases are made a mobile, text messages can also be used in product search. Google’s click to text extension – a button that asks shoppers to text for more information – shows a way for further messaging innovations. Retailers might reply with a link to a video, for example. “In SMS,” says Braybrook, “messaging videos can be longer than the 15 seconds usually recommended for social media videos, because people are surprised to get it.”

Voice search

By 2020, says Braybrook, citing Gartner, consumers will manage 85% of their relationship with a brand without interacting with a human. “They’re going to be searching on a phone and talking to a chatbot,” he said. Already customers are talking to Alexa and using Amazon Dot, as brands take ownership and implement strategies. The best response to a voice search, argues Braybrook, is a relevant descriptive video. “Right now it’s very new, and the best way to start is with video answers to search enquiries.”

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