BAM still focus for retailers… that means mobile!

Jan 21

BAM still focus for retailers… that means mobile!

I am back on board now after having a great break with my hubby’s family from the UK. This blog was for the AGHA and published 17 January 2013

Some interesting reports have come out in the recently. A new report by Ernst & Young found that the majority of Australian shoppers would rather make purchases in bricks-and-mortar stores than on the web. In fact 66% of shoppers preferred to visit stores over the internet, and sometimes 52% didn’t buy on line because they just didn’t want to wait for deliveries.

At the same time the Christmas Retailers’ Survey 2012 has been published which highlights how low on the priority list online is for most Aussie retailers. They expect on average to make just 2% of their overall sales online this Christmas season. The stunning (perhaps) statistic was that  73% of retailers foresee growth in their bricks-and-mortar business over the next year and 33% say it will be their highest driver of growth over the next year. Does this mean online seems has fallen further down the priority list?

These stats are not surprising when you talk to retailers around the traps. Online isn’t going to make the biggest difference to their business that they can see, however larger retailers are all talking ‘omni-channel’ which takes into account how channels work together to produce sales.

One thing I have seen change over the last year is retailers’ focus on mobile grow. At the beginning of 2012 it wasn’t on the radar for most retailers, however by the middle of the year many had put in small amounts of test budget into mobile for this financial year. Retailers are just beginning to understand what other industries already know: it has to be mobile first because that’s where the majority of us are spending our free media time now. It’s also because we have our mobile phones with us nearly 24 hours a day (or at least within 2m reach!).

The glorious thing about mobile is that it brings the online world to the real world together, which can be used for great effect for bricks-and-mortar retailers. Location-based marketing (which is marketing at a location using online smarts, so it could be a billboard that has facial recognition to what my business StreetHawk does – location-based smart phone notifications) is beginning to be used more widely as retailers adopt new medias through and technologies.

Some great examples of location-based marketing are McDonalds in the UK who recently extended late night opening hours. To reach mainly shift workers, their app contacted their customers around their stores in the late hours of the night to remind them they were open. Simple, but effective.  During the campaign the app received 530,000 visits and McDonalds achieved £2 of sales for every £1 invested.

This next campaign was the most innovative I have seen, and it took place in Guatemala of all places. Meat Pack is a Guatemalan shoe store and it used mobile to pinch customers from other shops who buys some of the product they sell like Nike and Adidas.

Meat Pack created an add-on to its existing loyalty app called ‘Hijack’ that rewarded Meat Pack customers by giving them an innovative way to earn a discount.

Every time one of the ‘Sneakerheads’ entered competitor store the GPS function showed them a countdown timer and an offer for money off shoes.

The discount started at 99% off and reduced by 1% for every second that passed. The timer stopped when the user reached a Meat Pack store.

More than 600 shoppers were hijacked from the competitors within a week, with one of them getting 89% off his new trainers. Now that’s guerrilla marketing at its best.

Over time, more of these types of campaigns will become normal. Retailers need to think now about what they’re going to do to make sure shoppers aren’t ‘grabbed’ outside their stores and taken to competitors.

Of course there’s lots of things retailers can do while in-store too with mobiles, but that’s for another post.

The Meat Pack campaign is quite sophisticated, but on a basic level at least make sure your store is seen in local search – make sure you are registered in Google Places and you can also set up Google Adwords campaigns for specific streets too.

Mobile isn’t the future, it’s now and it is something that benefits bricks-and-mortar sales directly. Make sure you get across what’s going on, and how you and your inventory can be found by shoppers on their phones.


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