Mobile technology remains a critical focus for major retail brands, and that emphasis was evident at SXSW earlier this year.
At the Interactive Festival portion of the event, mobile retail was the inspiration for plenty of debate and questions. While some retailers try to blaze new trails in mobile integration and building mobile shopping experiences, others are eager to glean insights from those trial runs, and to get a better sense of the best practices for spearheading mobile development.
According to Mobile Payments Today, one of the biggest insights had to do with mobile integration strategies. Specifically, retailers have different ideas of what this integration looks like in a brick-and-mortar retail space.
While some brands are focused on retail apps, others rely more heavily on SMS. Bar code scanning is also a feature used by some to build a better in-store experience. Brands share the same common goal, which is to provide desirable services to their consumer bases. But at this point, those companies are taking a variety of paths to try and reach those goals.
But beyond mobile integration strategies, retailers seem to be refining their approaches to courting mobile consumers.
Polished Consumer Relations
In general, retailers seem to be seeking new strategies to refine their approach to consumers. Certain attempts to build mobile experiences, such as through personalization and through location-based marketing, can rub consumers the wrong way — insincere personalization is easy to point out, while location data requires consent from suspicious consumers.
In both cases, brands are starting to learn how they want to approach these strategies. Nordstrom, for example, has replaced the iPhone’s standard location data request with a quick explanation of the benefits gained by sharing location data. Consumers remain sensitive to privacy, but they also want top-notch mobile shopping experiences, too, and they’re often willing to trade their privacy in exchange for improved engagement.
Location data can help with personalization strategies, too, but retailers are finding that there’s a balance between personalizing and making assumptions. Consumers like mobile retail experiences that are intuitive, but they are quickly turned off when those personalized features get it wrong.
The solution: Make sure data is driving all personalized wrinkles, and don’t assume consumers need every decision made for them. Let them choose their preferred theater location, for example, instead of automatically choosing the location closest to them. In that scenario, personalization is based on generic data: GPS locations, and nothing else.
That won’t work for consumers in the long run, but small tweaks to strategy will bring brands closer to striking that perfect balance.
Mad Mobile is the leading provider of mobile-first solutions for the world's top companies and retailers.
Looking for a technology partner who can deliver amazing mobile solutions across multiple mobile interfaces?