Mobile Commerce & Moving the Ball Forward

Some of the thinking around mobile commerce has evolved nicely over time through learning what works after plenty of testing.

This became quite apparent at the MediaPost OMMA Mobile conference in New York yesterday as leading brands highlighted some of their learnings and subsequent actions.

Most notably, in the lead-off discussion of how brands interact with mobile consumers, several leading-edge points were made by some of the top mobile innovators in the marketplace.

Here are some of the insights gleaned:

  • With 3,200 independent restaurants, Jim Ensign, vice president, Global Digital Marketing, Papa John’s International, recommended not to over-complicate things. They found using a response mechanism using SMS worked, which is how they took mobile pizza orders in 2007. Ensign said the Papa John’s approach is to provide customer control giving them access to “everything, everywhere.”
  • 1800Flowers found it to be important to use content and context to create the most meaningful consumer shopping journey, according to Amit Shaw, vice president, online, marketing, mobile and social at 1800Flowers. The company focuses on the “so what?” when viewing new mobile technologies. To facilitate using promo codes on a mobile device, 1800Flowers partnered with PayPal to create what Shaw calls a closed-loop offer, which involves depositing $15 into a customer’s account for them to put toward a flower purchase.
  • The Gap, which Tricia Nichols, global lead of consumer engagement, media innovation and partnerships for Gap Brand, sees not an awareness issue for its brand but rather one of inspiration. The company looks to take advantage of moments in time, she said noting that they used to send out catalogs but have since learned that people in their stores are using phones to talk to friends to decide what to buy. Nichols looks for mobile to provide new ways to interact during the customer journey.
  • Not having its own brick and mortar facilities, Sahar Khan, brand manager, Bengay and Benadryl, Johnson & Johnson, suggested the brand spend its energies on using mobile to bond with its customers with the end goal of driving those consumers to stores that carry the products.

Though still deep in the test-and-learn phase of the mobile commerce revolution, the learnings gained so far are starting to cause some substantive new approaches to interactions through the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle. And that can only be good for mobile shoppers.

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