Mobile shopping

Retail’s notable shift to “mobile-first thinking” exemplifies a requisite and long-awaited transition from digital literacy to digital fluency in the m-commerce space. Everlasting customer loyalty now rests upon a brand’s ability to leverage real-time technology through mobile and strategic communication, in tandem with surpassing expectations for personalized, targeted marketing both online and in-store.

With that in mind, Urban Airship, a mobile engagement platform that offers digital wallet solutions, partnered today with Apple Pay to streamline point of sale experiences for shoppers while increasing their participation in loyalty and rewards programs. “What we’re really doing is reducing the amount of friction that it takes for a consumer to join a loyalty program, said Danny Ackerman, the director of product management at Urban Airship.

By offering brands loyalty and reward programs post-transaction at checkout, any customer with an iOS smartphone can forgo the banal, interminable step of providing contact and personal information to the retailer because iPhone user data is already stored within Apple Wallet’s software. Subscriptions to loyalty programs are activated by a one-touch feature, which in turn creates a new marketing channel for retailers. As a result, the conversation between the customer and retailer surrounding loyalty points, discounts and rewards begins straightaway.

Through push notifications that mechanically update loyalty rewards and offers to the customer through Apple Wallet, an additional app is not needed for timely communication. “Mobile wallets have the ability to transform the physical billfold to a fully digital utility, providing businesses an easy way to reach 100 percent of their customers on mobile – with or without an app,” according to Urban Airship.

Evidently, Urban Airship’s target audience is ready and willing to embrace “elevated and enhanced” loyalty experiences through m-commerce. In its survey of 1,000 U.S. and 1,000 U.K. respondents, 73 percent stated they are more likely to use mobile payments if loyalty rewards and discounts are automatically applied, and 83 percent of Millennials in the survey agreed. Furthermore, 90 percent of Millennial smartphone users are more likely to join a loyalty program if they automatically have the option to do so at the time of purchase, assuming there are no forms to fill out.

Loyalty customers are an “untapped asset” and integral to brand success, as they are the highest-value customers for retailers. Transaction amounts for loyalty customers are 30 percent higher than regular shoppers and the number of items purchased is 40 percent higher, as stated in a study by Optimove’s Data Lab.

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