We traveled to thinkLA's Mobile Breakfast where we spoke with some of the top mobile innovators and marketers in the industry. One of them, Coco Jones, is the head of brand partnerships for the revolutionary mobile shopping application, shopkick. Shopkick is an innovative rewards-based mobile app which incentivizes consumers to enter stores by offering "kicks" -- its virtual reward currency. Customers earn kicks a variety of ways, ranging from making actual purchases to simply walking into stores. It's a strategy that has produced an amazing lift in sales for huge brands like Target, Macy's, Best Buy, and many more. Here are the ways a simple reward-based mobile strategy can help your brand engage consumers and increase in-store sales.
Increase foot traffic by offering rewards and redemptions
Every brand with a physical presence is looking for ways to increase foot traffic. It's a huge challenge with no clear solution. However, offering some kind of currency or reward to customers for simply showing up in stores has proven tremendously successful. Since most consumers are mobile users, brands have a great opportunity to incentivize shoppers or even gamify the experience.
Increase likelihood of consumers making unplanned purchases
Offering sales and promotions is a good step in trying to lift the sales for one or more particular products, but you should be thinking more broadly than that. If you can get shoppers in your store and engage them on mobile, they will linger longer than a simple sale would have kept them there. This increases the possibility of unplanned purchases, which is always a win.
Expose consumers to new products and services
Variety is the spice of life, and in stores it's an asset for generating extra revenue from shoppers. The biggest challenge is turning customers on to a new product or service. Mobile rewards are a great way to nudge a shopper into trying new things. If marketers do this strategically, they can lead a consumer down a new unique purchase funnel for a variety of different products every time.
Coco Jones speaks to iMedia about shopkick and how the company is defining the future of rewards-based commerce.
Incentivize customers to become frequent shoppers
A customer is great, but a brand loyalist is even better. Turning a shopper into an advocate for your brand is very difficult because it has to be natural. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. You can, however, make it thirsty. Offering frequent meaningful rewards for purchases can help accomplish this.
Attract a variety of demographics and life stages
If you need to expand your shopper demographics and cast a wider net, incentivizing new customers is a great first step, especially on mobile. Mobile targeting is getting better, and if you build a mobile infrastructure that makes users provide you with basic information, you'll have the opportunity to send special rewards to your hardest-to-reach group.
Improve the shopping experience by using friendly mobile communication
The mobile device is the most personal device consumers carry with them, and they don't mind using it for everything. The shopping experience can be greatly improved by a clever and helpful mobile presence. If you position your brand appropriately on mobile you can help keep consumers engaged and in stores for longer periods of time.
Coco Jones, head of brand partnerships at shopkick, continues our conversation by explaining the genesis of the mobile application and how the company is working to solve brands' biggest challenge: driving foot traffic.
Help consumers understand their own shopping behavior
Products like Fitbit are helping consumers understand their exercise patterns. So why can't the same be done for shopping? Smart mobile presences that can track, analyze, and inform customers as to their own commerce habits can be helpful for both the shopper and brands. It can help further the trust and relationship between the consumer and product.
Set brands apart from the pack and increase uniqueness
One of the most difficult things marketers try to do is to make their brand or products stand out. A mobile rewards strategy can assist tremendously. Not only does it direct consumers' eyes right to what you want them to see, it gives them a good feeling about your brand that they may not have for your competitors. This is the first step in creating a loyalist.
Offer brands public relations insurance by changing perspectives
Every brand, especially big brands, get into PR trouble every once and a while. Things happen that can hurt a brand's image. However, if a brand has elicited good feelings and helped its customers enough, it's easier to bounce back from issues that could hurt public perception. Rewards-based marketing is a good form of public relations insurance.
Coco Jones ends our conversation by giving iMedia her perspective on the state of the QR code, as well as her thoughts on the future of near-field communication.
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Article written by senior media producer David Zaleski.
Videos edited by associate media producer Brian Waters.
"Shopping woman holding shopping bags," "a man wearing a suit and a depiction of an instant messaging chat," and "Scanning advertising with quick response code" images via Shutterstock.