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GUEST OPINION How retailers can mobilise mobile marketing in their Christmas campaigns

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Tick tock. Tick tock – the countdown has begun for the most critical time of year for retailers. The lead-up to Christmas is typically when most retail brands make their biggest profits. It’s also when Consumer-First Marketing should be used to maximise your sales.

What do we mean by Consumer-First Marketing? In its broadest sense, it’s a marketing approach that places integrity and empathy for the consumer, as well relevance, at the forefront of all marketing engagement. This combination can increase customer loyalty and make it easier for consumers to transact with your brand.

It blends consumer passion and company purpose to create marketing magic.

With the 2017 Christmas retail season already gearing up, here are some areas you should focus on to maximize your Consumer-First Marketing efforts:

Mobile is Now Your Customer HQ

According to a recent study by Forrester Research and the National Retail Federation in the States, US retailers experienced a 65% year-on-year sales growth from 2015 to 2016 on mobile phones alone.

Marketers need to think of mobiles as more than m-commerce or a channel because it really is the central point for many of your consumers’ experiences with your brand – both online and offline.

US retailer, Walmart , has invested heavily in-app ordering and leveraging GPS data to alert store personnel when a customer is in range to collect their goods.

It’s also widely known that consumers use mobiles when visiting stores to do product research on the spot. According to Google , 84% of smartphone shoppers use their phones whilst in a physical store.

Consequently, everything about the experience with your brand needs to be viewed through the eyes of your consumer using a mobile device. This includes all the touchpoints along the typical customer journey – research, buying, collections, returns, and so on.

We’d go so far to say that mobile is omnichannel retailing and if your company isn’t executing experiences well on the device, then your strategy isn’t truly omnichannel.

Customer service is everything

Yes, automation is making us more efficient as humans, but that doesn’t mean that good, old-fashioned face-to-face customer service has a lower priority. The efficiencies we’ve gained through the evolution of technology should help brands provide better service, not less.

Making customer information accessible to store staff empowers them to take more ownership of the in-store experience.

One of our retail clients leverages customer profile data to allow store staff to dispense rewards and coupons to the customer at the point of sale. The brand has had a lot of success driving loyalty among existing customers because of this focus on using technology to enable staff to deliver better customer experiences.

Simplicity is the key

We can get so involved in the glitzier, shiny side of marketing, that making tasks easier for customers is often lost.

From a digital perspective, tasks like re-designing existing digital assets, responsive coding, giving more utility to emails and push notifications, to name a few, can be huge ways to improve consumers’ engagements with your brand.

Think of the reasons why you enjoy the Amazon experience. It’s the convenience, isn’t it?

Another of our clients is a great example of facilitating ease of use. Cool Blue is a leading eCommerce brand in the Netherlands. Cool Blue sought to reduce return rates on its products that are mostly complex electronics, computers and appliances.

The brand created a unique email automation for each of its product stock keeping units (SKUs) with instructions on how to use, set up and implement each product. As a result, return rates were greatly reduced and revenue significantly increased.

To the customer, it’s a simple experience, but it’s one that has proved to be incredibly helpful. If we have learnt anything from this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday figures, it is the growing importance of brand loyalty in the ever-competitive race within the crowded festive marketplace. With Boxing Day and clearance sales just around the corner, and eCommerce conversions continuing to trump in-store purchase figures, brands must mobilise their mobile marketing campaigns this year – or risk a place on the naughty list.


Christopher Baldwin is Head of Marketing, Northern Europe, at Selligent

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