Brick-and-mortar retailers are appearing bullish on the prospect of mobile targeting and advertising as ways to drive in-store sales, a development that has made e-commerce giants like Amazon appear less intimidating.
According to a survey by RSR Research, 55 percent of businesses have stated the purpose of mobile advertising is to drive in-store sales, but also foresee challenges that might make it difficult to fully embrace the new way of advertising, but expect it to grow into a substantial part of doing business. The biggest challenge so far is the ability to get involved with mobile, as well as the desire to accommodate increased online traffic and the customer demands that come with the changes. Both survey responses saw 43 percent agreement from participating businesses.
However, the survey also notes that businesses dubbed “winners” and “laggards” have different priorities when it comes to interpreting mobile. “Laggards” consider not knowing what the consumer finds to be valuable through mobile advertising to be the biggest challenge at 50 percent, compared to just 38 percent of “winners.” “Winners” are more concerned with engaging with different customer groups to drive up sales at 44 percent, and that mobile technology may be moving too fast to keep up at 21 percent, compared to only 20 percent and 0 percent of “laggards” respectively.
For both groups of businesses though, regardless of what the prime motive of mobile engagement is, there is general consensus that it will be more popular with time, and it will become a useful tool. Survey data shows 65 percent of businesses see an opportunity to build a deeper sense of customer loyalty, 62 percent see a chance to personalize sales offers to specific clients, and 55 percent see an opportunity to gain deeper insights into shopper behavior through emails or mobile apps.
“Yes, all retailers recognize the need to ‘be there’ for mobile-enabled consumers, but the ability to be there in the future will be very different for retailers whose sales are already ailing if they don’t know what the consumer wants in a mobile offering in the first place,” said Steve Rowen, managing partner at RSR Research.
Some companies have begun embracing the technology in an effort to drive up sales, such as American Eagle with its new geo-targeting network in its outlets.