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New Research Provides Insights into Consumers’ Mobile Engagement Preferences

By Dan Slavin

I’m pleased to announce the availability of CodeBroker’s latest research: Consumer Mobile Engagement Research Results. You can get it here on our Resources web page.

For the past two years, our team here at CodeBroker has conducted a wide range of consumer research, on topics such as loyalty programs, text message marketing, and mobile coupons. What make this new research so interesting is that it addresses mobile engagement more broadly across all of these topic areas.

In our latest research, we surveyed 1,500 shoppers to gain insights into their preferred way to receive mobile offers, coupons and loyalty info from retailers. The research gives the answers, and you may be surprised by some of the results – particularly on the feedback relating to the use of mobile apps.

We continue to learn that every consumer has his or her preferred way to be engaged via mobile – SMS, wallet, app, email – and when a retailer uses a consumer’s preferred mobile channel, that consumer is more likely to make a purchase and stay engaged.

Some of the highlights:

Text messages are almost even with email as the preferred way consumers want to receive promotional messages, coupons and offers from retailers.

When signing up to a retailers SMS marketing list, 75% of research participants are willing to provide their name and address in exchange for a mobile coupon. This is great news for marketers who are looking to build higher-quality SMS marketing lists.

Mobile apps are not the preferred way for most consumers to access their loyalty program rewards information from their phones.

This is just a preview. There’s a great deal of insights on mobile engagement in this research report – you can access it here on our website Resources page.

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5 Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Text Message Marketing Conversions and Mobile Coupon Redemptions

By Jeff Weiner

For several years, CodeBroker has worked with many of the world’s top retailers and brands on visible text message marketing and mobile coupon promotions. We’ve learned a great deal about what works best to quickly build SMS subscriber lists, drive higher mobile coupon redemption rates and incremental revenue – for short-term promos and longer-term text message marketing initiatives.

Here are five quick tips based on our experiences to consider as you develop SMS marketing and mobile coupon promos.

1. Capture Demographic Info During SMS List Sign-Up

By collecting demographic information during text message marketing list sign-up, you can add the record to your CRM system to help you target your text messages more granularly based on the information you collect. This will no doubt be more effective than just collecting a mobile phone number during the sign-up process for high-volume, generic text blasts.

2. Take an Omnichannel Mobile Marketing Approach

Don’t limit your SMS marketing campaigns to traditional text messages. Mobile is a platform with several channels beyond SMS, including mobile app, mobile wallet, and social. When your SMS campaign leverages all of these channels, you can drive better results.

3. Deliver Exclusive Content to SMS Subscribers

text message marketing is the ideal vehicle to create a sense of exclusivity among your customers. Consider employing, for example, early notification of discounts or special offers, and delivering those offers only to your SMS list subscribers.

4. Use Timely Content in Your SMS Promotions

Deliver timely messages to your SMS list to announce new store or restaurant openings. Using SMS to deliver well-timed messages can keep customers checking back frequently.

5. Integrate SMS Marketing Software with a Mobile Coupon Solution

Mobile coupons tied to an SMS campaign have been found by our clients to be an effective way to improve customer engagement, increase store traffic, and grow basket size. SMS text coupons also help to improve the customer experience while giving you a way to track the complete path to purchase.

To drive urgency (and also to ensure that a coupon is used only once), you will want to employ a security model that guarantees secure, single-use mobile coupons that can be redeemed only once, regardless of the number of channels a consumer views her coupon.

For a deeper dive into tips and strategies for sms marketing and mobile coupon marketing, I invite you to download our new ebook: How To Evaluate SMS Marketing Solutions For Your B2C Enterprise.

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4 Steps to a Stronger Brand with SMS

The value of a strong brand is how it inverts the traditional sales model. In the traditional form, a company employs a sales staff to actively search for customers and persuade prospects to buy their product.

A strong brand switches that relationship.

A name like “Apple”, “Coca-Cola”, or “Toyota” is so strong it makes customers seek the company out with the expressed purpose of buying their products. In this fashion, the sales staff working for a strong brand are converted from order makers to order takers.

How does one do this? In one word – “repetition.”

There is a big step between recognition (when a person remembers something from a previous encounter) to recall (when a person remembers something independently without a prompt) — and it is bridged with repetition of a message.

While the “HeadOn – apply directly to the forehead ads” were annoying, people remember this questionable product and its commercial to this day.

Is it possible to do something similar using SMS marketing? Yes, through four simple steps:

Determine an official program name and use it consistently

This step is the cornerstone in any brand-building marketing exercise. There should be one program name repeated and cross promoted across all marketing channels. This includes web, email, social media, print, radio, television, and SMS.

Only by following this market saturation tactic can marketers hope to break through the noise with their message. The intent is for your SMS subscribers to see the same message referenced in multiple channels. GAP and Dress Barn are good examples, taking advantage of popular social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram. While many retailers will not disclose how large their SMS lists have grown, it is not uncommon for large retailers to exceed one million opted-in SMS subscribers.

Promote the SMS program on your social media channels

Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or Pinterest, and ideally all of the above, a customer who receives communication from your company through multiple channels is your most engaged customer with high recognition and high recall for your products. For this reason, marketers should post regularly promoting the company’s SMS program and the benefits of subscribing.

Rewards can go a long way in boosting subscriber numbers—consider offering a discount when they sign up. Further, set up your SMS marketing program to make it function as an “insider’s club” that receives exclusive offers and promotions, but make sure non-subscribers know about these benefits of joining.

Marketers can also increase their SMS subscribers through the use of their in-house email marketing list. In this way, a large percentage of your email subscribers can be gradually added to your SMS list, which is a medium proven to have higher conversion rates.

Establish a Regular Cadence

The goal in establishing a regular cadence for SMS messages is for the brand to become part of the customers’ daily routine. That said, you don’t want to rely too habitually on sending messages the same day every week. The key is to establish regular, recurring offers that customers learn to anticipate. While setting up a set pattern is logistically easier to do, having too much regularity may be seen as annoying, as when the same offer is being pushed each week. It’s smart to break up your SMS campaign in unexpected ways. No more than four times per month and a minimum of twice per month is our rule of thumb, while throwing in an extra few during high traffic times like the holidays.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Customers will take as much time as you allow them. For this reason, mobile coupons and deals are highly effective if they are valid for a short time. Short-term offers have been proven to drive customers into stores quickly. Reminder messages that inform customers the promotion is about to end are also very effective. The goal is to inspire immediate action.

Following these four rules of SMS marketing will help you leverage text message marketing to transition your company’s brand from ordinary to extraordinary. Create a strong enough brand and you won’t have to seek customers out any more, they will seek out you.

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Mobile coupons offer a gift that keeps on giving for retailers who follow basic rules

This year, mobile coupons will be redeemed by nine out of 10 consumers

Retail marketers should add a mobile coupon strategy to their grab bag of campaigns.

At first, the move to issue mobile coupons to consumers was driven by retailers wanting to provide a smartphone-savvy consumer experience. Early adopters were looking for a solution that would limit their coupon liability exposure through the use of one-time-use mobile coupons.

Today, a majority of retailers are seeing the ROI in implementing a mobile coupon strategy as their use is gaining wide acceptance by consumers who, surprise, surprise, forget to stuff circulars and mailers in their glove boxes when they leave home. Not so with a smartphone.

According to analyst firm eMarketer, this year about 40% of companies with more than a hundred employees have used mobile coupons for marketing purposes. Also, eight in 10 adult mobile coupon users already redeem coupons or codes via their mobile devices for online or offline shopping. Over the next two years, nine in 10 adults will do so.

CodeBroker did a study that measured redemption and ROI rates for retailers who use mobile coupons. Redemption rates vary depending on the medium. Redemption rates of 30-50% were realized from on-demand promotions when consumers text to a retailer’s code to receive a coupon.

A successful mobile marketing strategy is dependent on several factors. Namely, the value of the offer, the level of consumer engagement with the brand, the sense of urgency the retailer creates with the promotion, and the mobile coupon delivery channel.

The following infographic depicts redemption data from a variety of retailers both large and small, as well as different segments in the retail industry. Based on an analysis of hundreds of mobile promotions and the delivery of over 500 million mobile coupons to consumers, the data has been segmented into select distribution channels.

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Unleash the Power of Digital Loyalty… with new eBook from EKN Research

Traditional card-based, in-store loyalty programs may be in decline, but the digital revolution presents a major opportunity for retailers. Did you know, for example, that 69% of consumers are more likely to use a retailer’s loyalty program if they can store the card on their smartphone? Did you know that 70% of US millennial consumers shop online at least once per month and 33% do it on their mobile devices?

That’s the kind of insight you’ll find in our compelling and thought-provoking new eBook, “Digital Transformation: The Power of Physical to Digital Loyalty.”

Freely available for download, this in-depth report offers cutting edge analysis from the leading retail advisory firm EKN Research. Learn how an omnichannel approach, encompassing physical and digital loyalty programs, can inspire greater brand engagement and boost your customer retention.

“There is a compelling need for retailers to be omnipresent with their customers — be it mobile, social or physical,” explains report author, Sahir Anand, VP Research & Principal Analyst at EKN. “It’s time to switch from today’s in-store-focused loyalty model to a digitally-inclusive omnichannel program that will drive higher profitability.”

The report lays out the challenges of traditional card-based loyalty programs. They are often too complicated and they’re not very user-friendly. More than 50% of all customer loyalty cards are inactive, most likely because consumers prefer to easily and quickly access sales incentives such as digital one-time use coupons, directly on their smartphones and mobile devices.

As consumers shift from a purchase path based on bricks-and-mortar stores to online stores, retailers must adjust to meet their changing needs.

A fresh paradigm is required, so that retailers can offer a seamless experience across all channels, integrating rewards, perks, and VIP programs into an accessible loyalty program that works for customers wherever they happen to be, whether in-store or online.

The interest is keenly there:  57% of consumers want to be able to check their points balances on their smartphones, 55% want to be able to redeem reward points, and 54% want the ability to browse reward options.

Retailers must fulfil these expectations by offering a responsive omnichannel loyalty program that is:

  • Easy to access and to digest
  • Truly convenient and fully personalized
  • Simple and straightforward to sign up
  • Delivers long-term value for customers whenever they choose to engage with the brand and make purchases.

This eBook details the three pillars that will serve as a steady foundation for your new loyalty program:

  • Find out how to create a holistic customer experience
  • Connect the dots between customer growth and loyalty
  • Dig into valuable and actionable insights about your customer’s preferences and behavior.

Taking full advantage of consumer shopping trends and digital transformation, retailers can offer a seamless experience across all channels, integrating rewards, perks and VIP programs into an accessible loyalty program that works for customers in-store or online.

New processes and technologies are consistently emerging through digital transformation. Crafting a successful strategy is about integrating the physical and digital worlds. This fascinating report will help you to develop an omnichannel loyalty approach that will work for all retailers and their customers.

To find out more and take the first step towards your own omnichannel loyalty program, download “Digital Transformation: The Power of Physical to Digital Loyalty” by clicking here.

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8 Ways to Drive In-store Mobile Engagement

Written by: Stefanie Gray

Consumers still prefer the in-store experience to online shopping according to a 2014 A.T. Kearney study entitled “On solid Ground: Brick-and-mortar Is the Foundation of Omnichannel Retailing.” A more recent study, “The Reality of Retail Report,” April 2015 by InReality, further supports that a retailer’s brick-and-mortar presence is integral to the consumer’s shopping journey. Key findings from both reports:
in-store mobile engagement

  • 95% of all retail sales are captured by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence (A.T. Kearney).
  • 75% of consumers use their mobile device in store to assist in the path-to-purchase (InReality).
  • Two thirds of consumers who purchase online use the store before or after the transaction (A.T. Kearney).
  • Shoppers are gathering information both online and in-store, thus entering the store at differing stages of the buy cycle (InReality).

Based on these reports, not only are physical stores still relevant but it is important to note that mobile is playing an increasingly larger role in the path-to-purchase. Based on years of experience working with some of the largest retailers in the US, following are eight ways in which our retailer customers improve in-store mobile engagement.

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The Integrated Mobile Channel

Written by: Sue LeClaire

As recently stated in the Deloitte study “Navigating the New Digital Divide,” mobile devices are increasingly becoming an integral part of the consumer’s path to purchase. From a retailer’s perspective, much is to be gained when retailers create an integrated mobile experience – mobile plays a central role in a consumer’s path to purchase versus mobile as a single channel to acquire conversions.

According to Deloitte, “If retailers are investing in digital only through the lens of their eCommerce business, or measuring success simply by measuring channel sales, they may be missing the bigger opportunity.” In other words, digital should be an integral part of the consumer’s shopping journey.
Integrated Mobile Image

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Mobile Improves In-store Engagement

Written by: Sue LeClaire

New light has been shed on how consumers use their mobile devices while shopping in-store thanks to three recently published studies. The research reports include “The Reality of Retail Report,” inreality; “The 3 New Realities of LOCAL RETAIL,” thinkwithgoogle.com; “Navigating the New Digital Divide,” Deloitte Digital.

As stated by Dave Richards regarding in-store engagement, global managing director of Accenture’s retail practice,

Physical and digital commerce are converging at an incredible pace, the fact that many consumers are looking for real-time promotions to be sent to their phones means retailers have an opportunity to capitalize on the power of these devices. All sales channels must be equally desirable to the consumer, so that the path to purchase is not chosen based on satisfaction in one channel over another, but simply on what is most convenient at that time.

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Mobile SMS – Interview with CodeBroker CEO/Founder Dan Slavin

The BarCode News recently sat down with Dan Slavin to discuss text messaging and how retailers can deploy this disruptive new technology to engage with consumers, a retailer’s customers.
mobile sms

Based on a recent patent awarded to CodeBroker (PAT 9,015,277), BarCode News wanted to learn more about who uses CodeBroker’s award-winning technology and how long it takes for retailers to roll-out their first SMS promotion.

Click on Mobile SMS, PointofSale News to read the entire article.

 

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Restaurants: Using SMS Marketing Lists to Drive Traffic During Off-peak Hours

Written by: Joe Pappalardo

Every restaurant has a slow period. Often it’s the time between lunch and dinner or Tuesday evenings. In order to maximize revenue, your options are to either cut back on overhead or increase traffic during off-peak hours.
sms marketing lists
Minimizing overhead can include measures such as:

  • Shutting off appliances that aren’t needed to save electricity (e.g., warming lights), or
  • Cross-training staff so that you don’t need a full crew when service is slow.

On the other hand, you can employ a variety of promotions, usually discounts and offers, to bring traffic into your restaurant to address idle staff and equipment. Some of our favorite promotions include:

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Mobile eCommerce is HOT!

Mobile eCommerce Shoppers

In 2013, Internet and mobile measurement firm comScore began detecting a new trend in e-retailing: the mobile-only shopper. By January 2015, some top retailers were seeing an explosion in customers who only access their digital properties using smartphones and tablets (Source: comScore).

% of time spent with online retail on smartphones and tablets

mobile ecommerce 1

“Mobile is now the primary access point to online retail for most consumers,” says Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights at comScore. “As a result, retailers really need to rethink how they deliver their online shopping experience” (Source: comScore).

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