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Valentine's Day: In Love With Mobile

Valentine's Day: In Love With Mobile Amy Vale
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Have you thought about what gifts you’ll be buying for your loved ones? Better yet, how will you be making those purchases – by walking into your favorite store, online, or from your mobile device? In fact, eMarketer estimates US retail mcommerce sales shot up 81 percent to nearly $25 billion last year. This year, an even bigger increase of 55.7% is expected, and mobile sales will account for 15 percent of all retail ecommerce.  Plus, the MRG & Capgemini e-retail index estimated Britons spend £5.4 billion online in February 2012. The index also estimated by the end of 2012 mcommerce would account for 20 percent of all online transactions. Clearly, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers; it’s for businesses too.

So how can brands leverage mobile to reach always on, always connected consumers and drive sales? The first step is not thinking and activating mobile as stand-alone campaigns. By creating holistic and integrated campaigns that span in-store, digital, mobile and social, brands will position themselves in a much more advantageous way that brings in real dollars or pounds to the bottom line. It’s no surprise that Starbucks is one of the brands investing and trying some really innovative things in mobile. Just look at what they did last year. They went beyond just the specially designed Valentine’s themed coffee cups (think hearts, love and all that mushy stuff). Customers could download the Starbucks Cup Magic app and send Valentine’s Day messages to loved ones through augmented reality technology that interacted with their cups.

But it’s not just US retailers that should be stepping up their mobile commerce games this Valentine’s Day. There’s been a growing number of British shops on the High Street closing up shop lately, all because they can’t bring in significant sales. Retailers just need to up the ante in how they leverage these always on, always connected devices to their advantage through robust mobile strategies. With tablet shipments alone expected to double from 120 to 250 million units by 2016 – and this figure rising every day – it’s time for British retailers to embrace mobile at the core of their business, too.

If you think investing and profiting from mobile on Valentine’s Day requires doing something overly complicated, think again. You can do just as much and generate sales with a mobile banner ad. Yes, it’s that simple. Earlier this month, Pandora launched a mobile banner that reads “Create a Valentine’s Day Gift in Moments. Use the Pandora Gift Advisor.” When users tap on the banner ad, they’re redirected to the brand’s mobile-optimized page where they can create unforgettable gifts in minutes, as well as get instant bracelet ideas.

Well if one thing is for sure, it’s that retailers are going to be doing their best to feel the mobile commerce love this Valentine’s Day. Otherwise, they could very well lose an important chunk of sales from an increasingly mobile-dependent audience. To gain insight into how US consumers plan on using their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) in relation to retail shopping in 2013, specifically Valentine’s Day, be sure to check out Mojiva's latest mobile research.

Amy Vale began her career in Australia as a marketing executive for XM2, a photographic and web design agency, in Melbourne Australia. While there, she continued to run her own marketing and advertising agency focusing on small to medium-sized...

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