A recent report published by Cellit has home noted that retailers are seeing high success rates and ROI from targeted SMS campaigns that continue to drive new in-store traffic and mobile commerce. An expansive review of 1,180 campaigns was developed and sent by national large-scale retailers, and Cellit focused in on how SMS was being used to drive sales, retain SMS subscribers, and consequently grow contact information databases.
The key result found by Cellit was that when used properly to engage versus disrupt user’s daily life, SMS produced positive results six to eight times that of traditional e-mail marketing send-outs when comparing data collection, brand awareness and redemption factors. David Wachs, Senior Vice President of Mobile and General Manager at Cellit, had this to add; ““With eight times the response rate of email, mobile marketing is too powerful to pass up”.
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Furthermore, retailers have tuned into customers perception of intrusion and have begun implementing preference selection tools to ensure customers are receiving information of only personal interest.
Cellit was acquired earlier this year by digital engagement agency ePrize.
Recognized major US department store Macy’s has recently launched a new mobile campaign highlighting its latest spring 2012 product collections at rock bottom prices.
The initiative has been launched through Us Magazine’s mobile site, and aims to get attention from Macy’s on-the-go customers and to drive a new direct to consumer discount channel.
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Mobile ads are placed in favorable locations at the top of the Us Magazine’s mobile site landing page, demonstrating a clear call-to-action for consumers to click through to another mobile site showcasing Macy’s “Spring Spectacular” sildenafil pills sale items. Users can also browse the retailers’ entire product inventory and benefit from free shipping.
Not a newcomer to mobile ad campaigns, Macy’s sees this component as crucial to move sales in new directions and continue to develop their mobile component. Having already launched augmented reality platforms to SMS marketing, Macy’s has tapped into the emerging mobile space in a big way.
In a bold move to continue supporting a 360-degree ad campaign, Clinique UK is deploying improved reality platforms to enhance current print ads and help drive sales. They invited users to interact through print and out-of-home ads via smart devices during the month of March.
Teaming up with the enhanced reality Blippar application, which can be easily downloaded for iOS and Android platforms for free, the print ads come to life by creating an interactive version of the ad viewed directly on a user’s mobile device screen. By interacting with the advertisements users can view more detailed info on the showcased product and even make a purchase if so inclined.
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Jessica Butcher, founding partner and marketing director for Blippar, notes that print is a stagnant medium that needs to continue to evolve, “Print is, by its nature, old news as soon as it comes off a printing press, and this technology enables it to be used as a trigger for real-time information updates, a digital bridge to mobile Web pages, content downloads or interactive touch screen experiences. Augmented reality is simply one of the forms of content delivery that can be facilitated by this technology.”
This augmented reality platform goes even further by allowing users to connect with a store locator through GPS, view products and brand related videos, connect to Clinique’s mobile site and share comments and view threads via Facebook to see what other people are saying about the product.
This level of interaction brings new meaning and value to print advertising, and when tied into a relevant mobile campaign, a brand can reach higher levels of engagement and drive sales.
Foresee Results, an independent customer experience analytics firm, produces a 100-point study annually, measuring consumer experience across many types of retail platforms. Apple came in on top of their 2011 mobile shopping experience study with an 85 point score, followed closely by Amazon at 84 points. These high scores can be attributed to both company’s success at keeping their mobile sites as similar as possible to the standard website, both in terms of navigation, content and ergonomics.
Larry Freed, current president and CEO at Foresee Results, recognizes first-hand the rising trend in mobile commerce but also notes the challenges ahead. “There is a lot of room for improvement and there are a lot of complexities and variables with mobile commerce, from various operating systems to device and screen size,” he said. “It’s not as simple as the early days of the Web when everyone was building for Internet Explorer. Now you’ve got multiple OS’s, phones and tablets, and various screen sizes, all which affect the user experience. You need to apply the same concepts on mobile as you do on the Web, but it’s a very different platform.”
Navigation and functionality are at the heart of why some mobile shopping experiences fall short. It is the combination of driving device capable content, ease of use and high levels of security to turn mobile “spectators” into actual customers. Further, measuring usage habits and customer satisfaction closely will separate companies that truly want to maximize on this payment trend and those that may not realize the potential for mobile to become integrated into daily shopping habits of customers. According to Foresee Results, customers that are satisfied with their mobile shopping experience are 54% more likely to return to that very same mobile site and shop again.
Since customer perception and expectations for mobile experiences are largely based on traditional website navigation, functionality and content, companies need to recognize this link and increase efforts to tie-in both traditional and mobile site design.
On May 3rd, 2012 and hosted by Mobile Commerce Daily, industry leaders will converge at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City to discuss the rapidly growing market segment of mobile commerce. Guest speakers from Amazon, Zappos, Citi, Travelocity, GGP and Alon Brands will discuss various topics involving mobile strategy. The event targets many businesses that can benefit from developing an integrated approach to mobile, including; ad agencies, media placement firms, brands and retailers.
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The Mcommerce Summit has been designed to complement the growing portfolio of seminars currently hosted by Mobile Commerce Daily, including Mobile FirstLook and Mobile Marketing Summit, both recognized as leading conferences in the mobile field.
Limited to only 200 delegates, registration is now open at a cost of $495 for the day, which includes all meals and refreshments. Please visit www.mcommercesummit.com for more information and to register.
New technology can often be hard for people to adopt and learn, and even though the mobile world is showing definitive signs of high growth many of its users are still not too sure of themselves when it comes to apps in general. Many them are apprehensive of learning how apps work, their usefulness, and ultimately if they’re a good investment.
myPhoneMD has come up with an ingenious concept to bring apps out of
the digital world and into the real world by creating a retail environment that
entices customers to physically shop for apps. “The goal of the store is to
reduce buyer’s remorse,” said Shaun Walker, creative director at HERO|farm, New Orleans.
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The concept is quite simple: a café-style retail space that showcases removable boxes on shelving units that customers can pick-up, demo, and use to learn about a particular app. Using barcodes, each app can be downloaded as a trial or directly purchased through the use of barcode scanners. With a large open space and comfortable seating, patrons can take their time to peruse the various apps and ask sales associates one-on-one questions and advice.
The store is an extension of the MyPhoneMD retail chain, a client of Hero Farm, and only makes sense as an add-on to their current operation. As Walker puts it, “The goal of the store is to reduce buyer’s remorse, this gives them an opportunity to try out an app and make sure they like it before having to put up their money. People also tend to be scared of learning new things or of using the apps, so this removes a lot of the fear as well.”
MyPhoneMD is looking to rollout this concept in all of their current locations as they see this as an opportunity to reach out to customers in a whole new way. By creating a traditional retail shopping experience, both avid app users and newbies alike will feel comfortable with this new technology.
Taco Bell and Sony have released a mobile sweepstakes tied-in to the much anticipated product launch of Sony’s PlayStation Vita game console. This collaboration seeks to further engage Taco Bell consumers while highlighting both the PlayStation Vita release as well as key Taco Bell products from it’s “Unlock the box” campaign. Taco Bell’s lead digital brand experience manager, Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, had this to say about the collaboration: “Gaming is incredibly popular among our customers, so together with Sony, we are bringing a game-changing technology to fans before it launches and allowing these fans to have fun while winning.”
The contest platform is two-fold, on one level users can enter to win via participation in a mobile specific game, or simply text in special product codes found on Taco Bell’s “$5 buck box”. Supporting both the iPhone and Android OS, the mobile game will allow Sony’s core gaming demographic to connect with PlayStation Vita news, updates and pre-release information.
Collaboration between the two companies on a mobile marketing initiative points to the growing importance and recognition of how consumers are incorporating mobile into their daily lives. Ms. Zarate-Bayani has made this notion a focal point when developing digital campaigns and notes “Mobile is a priority for Taco Bell as we know that it is an important aspect to our consumers’ daily lives, especially when making decisions about where to eat. Our overall digital strategy involves engaging with our consumers in relevant ways, and leveraging new and exciting technology through mobile provides these experiences to our fans on a daily basis.”
By Evo Canada Merchant Services
Last-minute travel is a regular part of business for most airlines, and Southwest Airlines aims to capitalize on this sales market through the use of mobile technology.
Southwest has begun utilizing mobile as a platform for launching this new business initiative via an integrated platform that uses mobile ads connected to mobile sites. With ads running inside the IMDb iPhone app, users are encouraged to click through to the mobile site in order to inquire on flight status, trip booking, and inform themselves on the airline itself.
Says Chris Mainz, spokesman for Southwest Airlines, Dallas, TX:
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“As an airline, we know our customers are constantly on the go, and the feedback we have received in focus groups lets us know how best to communicate with our customers – it is important for us to give access to our customers to book tickets on Southwest in a manner that suits them, and mobile is an important part of that strategy.”
Operating over 3000 flights daily to 73 cities and 38 states across the U.S., Southwest is an airline in high regular use largely due to its value-oriented proposition of low-cost airfare. It is therefore not surprising to see the company move to the mobile space to increase last-minute trip purchases.
Their mobile system is quite simple in construct: an ad indicates, “Low fares at Southwest.com” with a clickable button connecting users to the mobile site. Once there, users can toggle through four main areas: 1) Booking 2) Check-in 3) Change Flight and 4) Cancel Flight, all of which are protected through an account system that users access with a login and password.
Lifestyle apparel retailer Guess has launched a program to bring innovative elements to their in-store shopping experience. Leveraging Verifone’s GlobalBay mobile retail platforms and software, Guess has set up rolling stands with iPads in approximately 12 stores across the USA. This is a test phase for the retailer, with plans to expand this program to their other locations based on the usage rates and overall functionality within their existing retail environment.
The iPad stations allow customers to shop for products in-store as usual but are seamlessly integrated into the shopping experience by exposing them to enhanced brand level content. The iPads come preloaded with GlobalBay’s Lookbook application which showcases videos, content, and an innovative product catalog function that ties to an e-commerce platform, all while integrating with current Guess POS and inventory systems. The software is stock with these backend functionality, allowing a brand to simultaneously maintain creative control over their layout and aesthetic design to properly showcase their features.
The stations are mounted on wheels, allowing employees the ability to move the mobile iPad freely in the store so they can, for example, assist further in changing rooms by suggesting alternate colors and styles to patrons who are actively trying on their products. Store managers are mandated to use the stations to help train new staff, give up-to-date product knowledge sessions, and help manage the Guess brand. Future plans for the system include the addition of a barcode scanner and credit and debit card mag stripe units to automate the checkout process, a similar trend that has taken hold in major department and grocery stores.
Will this be the end of the salesperson? Not likely, but it will modernize the way retail stores, their clerks, and their customers interact. The traditional retail shopping experience at Guess and other clothing stores alike are going to be become much more technology-driven and better equipped for enhanced service.
The mobile space is becoming a centerpiece for digital marketers as the increasing sales and usage of mobile smart devices, phones and tablets and driving consumers to connect and consume in different ways. Much like traditional media, advertising is all around us, and the need for exciting creative and engaging ads is evermore paramount to a campaign’s success or failure.
Zappos, an e-commerce powerhouse known mostly for their outstanding customer service, has decided to become more active in mobile and launch campaigns targeted to entertain and interact with end-consumers.
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In their latest initiative, mobile ads hosted within the US Magazine mobile site, target consumers with a call-to-action to click through to a mobile site and interact on a content-based level tied back to the current Spring 2012 product showcased on the Zappos site. Users are encouraged to pick through a host of topics and create their own Spring 12 story by filling in the gaps with words of their choosing. Users are free to browse products, make purchases or simply share content.
This initiative is both engaging and entertaining, two attributes that are key to building successful mobile campaigns. Whether or not this campaign leads to hard line sales will be the true test for success or failure.