Mobile Seen as Key Retail Driver This Holiday Season
NEW YORK—Mobile devices can be the key to unlock in-store purchases.
That was an observation made by keynote speaker Melissa Laux, associate director of U.S. media at Kraft Foods, during today's Mobile Marketing Summit in New York City. At Kraft Foods, a company with brand names that span Kraft, Maxwell House, Oreo, and Nabisco, each generating $1 billion in sales a year, mobile strategy has been a key driver in connecting the consumer with packaged goods.
"We have fourteen active brands," Laux remarked. "We try not to look at mobile as an independent vehicle." Instead, Kraft's estimated 10 percent budget appropriation for mobile will cut across multiple digital channels, print campaigns, banner ads, social media, and television.
According to Laux, 78 percent of mobile shoppers use their mobile device to do research, such as locating a retailer, and to compare prices. About 69 percent of mobile users use their device to seek out product inventory. At Kraft Foods, 50 percent of users who access its recipe database each month do so via mobile phone. Using Kraft's iFood Assistant app, shoppers can use voice recognition to update their grocery lists or scan products.
In the case of Kraft, mobility has scored a starring role in multiple campaigns and cross-channel customer drivers, but a general theme at the conference today was that brands must be able to measure anything they market, especially in mobile marketing strategy, where measurable ROI is still in its infancy and seeing new developments every day.
"If you don't measure customer experience, you don't know what impact it's having on your brand," observed Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee, a customer analytics and research consultancy firm. "Satisfied customers are an asset, and dissatisfied customers are a liability."
As Freed pointed out, businesses inherently want to know if a customer opted in to receive a newsletter or whether or not they downloaded a coupon, but it's equally, if not more important, to know how a customer felt about the mobile experience and if it served the purpose that drove that customer to use the mobile channel in the first place.
Outlining the latest statistics from the "ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index Retail Edition," out later this month, it was determined that out of some 4,500 respondents, 68 percent of mobile shoppers accessed retailers through their mobile-optimized site, and 32 percent did so through a retailer's mobile application.
This holiday shopping season, retailers can expect 39 percent of mobile users to research products more this year. About 26 percent will do research while in store; 21 percent plan to make more purchases using a mobile device, and 18 percent said they will locate stores more this year using a mobile device.
In terms of brands that scored the highest in mobile sites and applications, according to the report, Amazon scored 84 out of 100 points, which topped the list. Avon was second at 83 and Apple earned an 82. But, surprisingly, the highest score with respondents was the Social Security Administration, which earned a 91.
One of the main functions of the agency is that it allows individuals to apply for benefits online, which in and of itself is not an overly exciting or unique experience. What made the Social Security Administration so successful was its ability to meet and exceed expectations around its original purpose, Freed says. Tying this example back to mobile, it's key to understand what the customer or constituent wants to accomplish using a mobile app or site, and to deliver the "fundamental meat and potatoes" before tackling the "sexy and shiny" features that may or may not stick with consumers, he said.
Key to engaging the mobile shopper this season, Freed said, is understanding several concepts:
- Realize the consumer is multichannel and multidevice with unprecedented power.
- You cannot manage what you cannot measure.
- Measure success from the consumer's perspective. Traditional behavioral metrics alone will not measure a full customer experience.
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