Do you remember what it was like to pay for a purchase with a credit card 30 years ago? The store clerk pulled out a shoebox-sized device, placed carbon paper in it and with a good deal of strength slid a metal plate across your credit card with a loud “ca-chunk” sound.
Today this routine seems ridiculous, but at the time, paying without cash was a revolutionary concept. Fortunately, we have evolved, bringing in real-time approval, faster processing and even electronic signatures. Now, with the announcement of Apple Pay, we finally remove the need to carry a physical card. This evolution provides instant access to all necessary payment information that makes purchases possible with simply a mobile device or smartwatch. What's not to love?
Unlike credit card technology, the coupon industry has made very few advancements over the past 30 years, most of which have focused on the ability to target customers through more relevant offers sent through direct and email. At best, the evolution of coupons has been slow, especially when compared to the capabilities of mobile offers, as well as the digital capabilities provided by Apple Pay.
For the past three years, marketers have been introduced to the advantages of highly targeted mobile offers. But that will be nothing compared to what is coming. Apple Pay brings mobile convenience to the point of purchase, which is an enormous game-changer in the retail world. Its widespread use will allow retailers and brands to push offers the minute customers are checking out and redeem them digitally on-site, making offers highly trackable, immediate, and relevant.
This change is happening more quickly than you think. According to eMarketer, even prior to Apple Pay’s launch, it is expected that by 2016, mobile coupon users will represent nearly 83% of all digital coupon users.
Mobile offers help retailers capitalize on this innovation in three ways.
Today more than ever, consumers are constantly connected to their mobile devices. The debut of Apple Watch, along with other smartwatches, brings that connection to even more personal level. Mobile devices are now literally attached to their users and are an intimate part of their daily routine, making notifications (or “glances” in Apple’s terms), seen -- and even felt -- instantaneously.
Mobile offers make it easy for marketers to take advantage of this increased personalization. Analysis tools gather the data necessary to segment customers by demographics and past behavior, personalizing each offer according to these preferences. On the flip side, stores can personalize their coupon program based on which offers are redeemed the most and which drive the most traffic.
Presented at the ideal time
There is an ideal time to present an offer to a customer. By delivering an offer during this time, it will provide the best chance of influencing the customer's behavior to get them into a store. Mobile coupons have the flexibility to be delivered based on different criteria such as, geolocation, past offer behavior, time of day, BLE beacons and more.
The ideal time to send an offer varies from customer to customer, but once it is discovered and properly capitalized, they will visit that store more frequently. The key is finding a solution with the expertise in collecting the right data to identify the best moment to deliver offers to individual customers.
At the utmost convenience
Today’s consumers are looking for the easiest, most convenient way to shop, and Apple’s latest innovations confirm that trend.
The best technology of mobile offers must be designed with convenience in mind. Purchasing is not only quick and easy both in-app and offline, but offers and coupons can be applied seamlessly across platforms to create a pleasant shopping experience for both retailers and consumers.
With purchasing becoming easier by the second, relevant, targeted mobile offers are becoming more important than ever. The advancements announced during the Apple event hammer home something we have known all along: customers value accessibility and relevance, and retailers benefit from meeting these expectations.
Retailers can throw out their clunky machines and consumers can kiss their cumbersome plastic goodbye. Mobile offers will seamlessly integrate with Apple's new products, making it even easier for marketers to reach the right customer at the right time. Just like Apple Pay revolutionizes digital payment systems, mobile offer technology is revolutionizing the way offers are perceived and redeemed. Welcome to the future of mCommerce!