Monthly Archives: July 2014

Retail Expands In-Store Mobile

Mobile has changed the way consumers discover, research and purchase products in virtually every business segment. While consumers continue to
rely on mobile for more and more functions, many retail organizations have
not fully taken advantage of everything mobile has to offer. New research is available that shows how many retail organizations are deploying mobile }
tactics in their locations

iBeacon-signal● 60% of businesses are going use tablets to enhance customer experience
●54% plan to use mobile for in-store inventory location
● 48% are going to use ereceipts and 47% are going to use mobile for point of sale transactions
● 46% are going to use mobile apps as sales tools
● 42% are going to employ alternative payment options such as paypal or
google wallet
● Four in ten will be using mobile for associate to associate communication
● 20% will be using NFC (near field communication) tactics
● 14% plan on introducing iBeacons or Blue-Tooth notifiers in-store

What This Means To You

Your customers are moving in a mobile-first direction. Is your business?
Most companies are including mobile in their messaging strategies and keep it top of mind when developing campaigns and offers, but what about the in-store experience?
Outfitting your associates with mobile can improve customer satisfaction and efficiency.   The easier you make it for your customers to find and purchase items, the more likely they are to make you a preferred destination.
Think about something as simple as an ereceipt.
How many customers keep their receipts? An ereceipt lets them have a record of the transaction without having to keep a piece of paper. It also gives you a messaging avenue to the customer.
By giving your associates the ability to check inventory on a mobile device, they can help customers find an item vs. them wandering around your location. If they are looking for a product you don’t carry, your associate has the ability to suggest a replacement. For products that are not in stock, you can refer them to another location or off to ship it to them, thus saving them from making a trip to your competitor. Don’t think of mobile as something that draws customers away from your brick and mortar location, think of it as a way to improve and enhance your customers experience in your store. For more information on how mobile can create more sales opportunities for your business, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: eMarketer; The Etailing Group

Roadblocks to Mobile Payment

Our last few posts have dealt with the next phase of mobile interaction. The latest reports show us that some consumer segments are using mobile devices to make point of sale payments and the types of items that are most likely purchase via mobile wallet. While consumers rely on mobile devices for ever increasing functions, point of sale payments is one that hasn’t caught on en masse. Today we’ll look what, in the consumer’s mind, is keeping them from moving toward mobile payments and what you can do to encourage it.

Blog-Pic-mobilepayments-2● 46% of consumers who won’t use a mobile wallet because of security concerns- Security of mobile payments
● Nearly 40% believe that it’s easier to pay with credit cards, cash or debit cards
● Almost one-third never even thought about using their mobile device to make payments
● 18% do not see a benefit in using a mobile wallet
● Less than 10% site either not having the necessary features on their phone or think it would take up to much time to set up

What This Means To You

Corporate security breaches have made many consumers weary of the security of their data. There is also a fear that if they lose their phone, their banking information is at peril. But, once more people start using mobile payments those fears will most likely subside.
As a business, you may not be able to affect consumers view on security, but you can prove it’s value.
One of the main reasons behind mobile taking over so many functions that were reserved for desktops and laptops is convenience. Using a mobile device saves consumers time. The information they need and the actions they need to take are in the palm of their hand. Consumers are conditioned to never be far from their mobile device.
Show how mobile payments can make checking out easier – tap and go, scan and go, click and go. One of consumers’ biggest pet peeves is waiting in line. Show how paying with their mobile device can get them out of your store faster. You also need to promote the fact they can pay with a mobile device. One in three consumers never even though about paying at the register with a mobile device. Not all of them will, but knowing they have the option could make them more amenable in the future. To get consumers to set it up and possibly download an app, you may need to incentivize the behavior. Mobile payments can make it easier on your accounting, register security and be an added convenience to shopping to people who shop at your location. In today’s businesses environment, you need to take advantage of every opportunity to separate yourself from the competition. For more information on how mobile can give your organization a competitive advantage, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: BrightLocal

Consumers Reaching For the Mobile Wallet

In yesterday’s post, we looked into some factors that may lead to more consumers’ making mobile point of sale payments. Today, we’ll delve into the types of things that consumers are currently paying for via mobile wallet and some tactics you can use to be more mobile.

shutterstock_86160289● Currently, nearly half of all mobile point of sale payments are between $20 and $30,
● Nearly 60% of the items bought by consumers who frequently pay via mobile wallet are less than $10
● 35% of mobile wallet users by items such as coffee, drinks and snacks, 32% buy apparel items such as clothes, shoes and jewelry
● 20% buy groceries and just roughly 18% buy books, movie tickets and games & apps
● Just under 15% use it for fast food or general retail
● Other items are electronics, flowers & gifts, health & beauty services, automotive related services and travel products

What This Means To You

Most mobile point of sale are items are small, inexpensive items that consumers probably don’t spent a good deal of time making a decision on (not counting the guy at the fast food place, who stares at the menu board for 5 minutes and eventually gets the #3 like he always does).
If your business is one that retails smaller items, mobile payments could make sense for you.  Also, if you sometimes have remote locations such as a farmers market, fair or craft show, event.
The first step is promoting the fact that you accept mobile payments. Not many people will think to ask, letting them know you take payment mobile-ly could encourage them to pay that way. Some mobile payment vendors provide signage and also will bonus customers with account credit for signing up.
When signing up with a vendor, do your research. Check them out on social media and see what the reviews say. You need to do your due diligence because your customers will also. Look at the process, from the customer’s point of view. What to do they need to do to sign up? How long will it take? How much information is needed on their part to sign up? Mobile is all about convenience. It not only needs to be easy to use, but easy to sign up as well. The fact is that mobile could be a viable alternative for some customers who may pay with cash. For many organizations, this means easier accounting and less loss. For more information on utilizing mobile to make your business more efficient and effective, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: BrightLocal

An Opportunity for Mobile Payments?

Consumers are rapidly moving into a mobile-first mode. It’s not just mobile-first that is growing; the number of mobile-only users is growing significantly. While more and more consumers are using mobile devices to do things were once only desktop functions, point of sale payment remains mainly a physical task. New research is showing that conditions are ripe for mobile to become the preferred way consumers pay for things.

shutterstock_92978851● 50% of consumers carry less that $20 cash on them at any time, less than a third have $30 or more on them
● 32% of consumers have used a digital wallet but nearly 80% are aware of mobile wallet functions
● Over 40% of adults 18-29 have used a mobile wallet, only 18% of adults over 44 have made a mobile point of sale payment
● Mobil wallet use is currently very infrequent. Among those who are mobile wallet users, less than 7% are using them on a daily basis and 33% use it weekly

What This Means To You

2 factors that could move consumers into paying mobile-ly; shoppers are not carrying cash like they used to and a recent study showed that one of consumers biggest pet peeves is waiting in line.
One of the biggest hurdles to mobile payment acceptance will be the lack of a singular app or vendor. Currently, 80% of mobile payments are made through PayPal and 40% are made through Google Wallet. A recent survey showed there were more than 10 other services that consumers are using to make mobile payments. For mobile POS to fully take old, an easy scan-and-go or secure near field communication function must be used. Customers will not want the hassle of emailing a payment while standing at a register (or worse, waiting behind someone who is emailing a payment). One thing you can do take advantage of market conditions is investigate is advance mobile payment.
Early adopters to this tactic are movie theatres and other ticketed event businesses.
It could also work well when consumers are buying set items, when the price is determined before the sale is made and they are not looking to buy other things. It might work great for buying TV, but not so well for say, groceries.
One of the benefits of mobile payments is customer data. Savvy businesses will be able to integrate contact information from the mobile device, to the items that were purchased and merge them into a CRM function. This will allow your business to better target specific items to specific customers and move your messaging from being a pure advertisement to a value to the consumer. For more information on how to create more engagement with customers, please

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com
Sources: mCommerceDaily; Thrive Analytics

Hispanic Millennials and Mobile

Millennials make up the next big consumer wave and they are very reliant on mobile devices. For many years, the Hispanic community was overlooked as a buying segment but now most businesses see how important their spending power is. The intersection of these two groups, Hispanic Millennials, are a growing subset that combines important attributes from their cultural and age groups to provide a lucrative audience for your business

mobile-hispanic● There are 21 million Hispanic Millennials (Age 18-34) in the US. The make up 20% of the total Millennial population
●40% of Hispanic Millennials consumer online media in both English and Spanish equally
● 36% consumer more online media in mostly English or English only, 25% consumers it in mostly Spanish or Spanish only
● Nearly 20% of Hispanic Millennials are interested in getting advertising messages on their mobile device. This compares to just 9% on non-Hispanic Millennials
● 77% OF Hispanic Millennials said that ads on their mobile device provided them with useful information about new products and services
●23% said they would likely purchase items they saw advertised on their mobile device

What This Means To You

Hispanic Millennials are a large consumer groups that may not be as hard to reach as prior Hispanic consumer groups who relied more on Spanish for information. The fact that Hispanic Millennials are heavy mobile users gives you the opportunity to but messages in the palm of their hand.
Prior research has also showed that Hispanics are more likely to use social networks than others.  The combination of mobile and social media is a great bedrock to build loyalty programs on.
If your business is looking to maximize revenue from existing Hispanic shoppers or create awareness in the Hispanic community, mobile is a natural starting point. The platform allows you to direct messages though several means and gives mobile consumers the ability to share your messages with others. These peer to peer recommendations are very powerful. For more information on reaching target audiences, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: eMarketer; ThinkNow; Experian

Who Influences Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers remain an incredibly powerful segment of consumers. This group is in a period of transition and the disruptions they are facing means that what they spend their money on and the sources that influence them are likely to see great change. New research report is out that looks into what sources Baby Boomers trust for product research before making a purchase.

baby-boomer-magnet● Seven in 10 Baby Boomers put their trust in the opinions of friends and family
● 56% rely on consumer web sites and publications
● 16% are influenced by social media content
● 14% trust blog postings

What This Means To You

Most consumers do not rely on one source of information before making a purchase. In fact, there are multiple factors that go into the opinions of those who we trust for information. It’s important to look at influence as a holistic sense. This is especially true when looking at friends and family as a source of information. Who influenced them in a way that they either have a positive or negative opinion about a product or service? This is just one of the reasons you need to have a strategy when it comes to your marketing efforts and they have to work together. Conflicting messages can lead to confused influencers. It’s also important to have a diffused method of marketing. Using just one platform or media type will not give you the audience you need to compete in a very fractured marketplace. It will also not give you the buzz to stay top of mind
with influencers. For more information on keeping your brand top of mind, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: eMarketer; Marketing Strategies International

Online Reviews Affect Opinion

Last week, we posted information on consumer’s use of online reviews. Today, we’ll look into how online reviews the impact the consumer’s impression of businesses. New research shows that just how reviews can affect the way potential shoppers feel about your organization.

customer-online-reviews● Over 70% of consumers say that positive reviews instill trust in a business
● The number of consumers who feel this way have increased by 14 percentage points in the past 2 years
● Overall, 90% of consumers notice online reviews
● Nearly 90% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
● 32% put more trust in companies with multiple positive reviews

What This Means To You

The line between online recommendations and virtual ones are becoming blurred.  While personal recommendations may fade, change or be affected by time, online reviews are there forever. That can be both good and bad. It means that a positive review is something that can continue to help generate new customers for years to come. It also means that a bad review won’t go away by on their own and could be a danger sign to potential patrons for a long time. But the difference between bad personal recommendations and bad online reviews is the fact that you can find and mitigate most bad online reviews and promote good ones. When most people just say bad things about your business, you never really find out what they are saying, if it just patently false or something you can fix to make your business better. A bad online review gives your organization a teachable moment. Negative reviews are something that you should not ignore. Don’t get defensive. If it is a customer service issue, respond to the review by apologizing for the offending act, let the reviewer know that plans have put in place to fix the problems and invite them to patronize your business again. But you can’t act on pure lip service. If a customer has the same problem twice, you can bet the review will much worse the second time and you have no chance at getting them to shop with you again.
If it is something operational with your business, look at it as a chance to make improvements. Maybe they have caught on to something that has been costing you business for a while.
Remember to a customer perception is reality. Good perceptions can build your business and a negative one will cost you potential sales. For more information on how to grow your business and increase loyalty, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: BrightLocal