In the year 2001, we were delivering streamed Disney videos with one-click commerce capabilities enabled through a Java applet commerce functionally -- all through email. You could order a
movie video while you were watching its trailer, and complete the transaction in the same frame -- all without leaving the email. Back then, the consumer was tethered to a desktop computer and a
Cut to today. I haven’t felt more energized about the potential of video, email and mobile commerce than I do now. Newer, safer payment technologies! More
convenience! Global acceptance at point of sale -- and lastly, everyone has a device. While we may argue the merits of the various forms of “payments” and whether the banks or the
PayPals or Googles of the world will win, the shift is happening. While mobile commerce still has a ways to go before a 75-year-old grandmother will pay for a meal at the diner with
her mobile device, the trends absolutely lead you to believe that this is the future of a wallet-less consumer -- and email will most definitely be a key factor in making it happen.
trends to consider as you refine your strategy.
- Email design has shifted from a portable newsletter design to a much more fluid single-purpose design. mCommerce impact will take
this even further with an emphasis on highly legible text, larger buttons, and gesture-based functions.
- Mobile apps will be a catalyst to convenience and fulfillment, but, like most
websites, apps are passive experiences. Email and Push messaging coordination will be required to consistently deliver on conversion events.
- Personalization on steroids: If you
think you are using all of your capabilities when it comes to personalization, think again. This new form of being relevant -- ALL THE TIME -- will stress how you think about personalization and
how much of it will be driven by machine learning and automation.
- The commerce-to-fulfillment continuum: What mCommerce allows is a future look at real-time commerce all the way
through the lifecycle, fully managed through a single device: shop, try, compare, buy, recommend, experience, share, and manage the transactions and experiences. It’s a liberation of the
shopping experience that connects all the reasons consumers buy.
While mCommerce and email have a way to go before they meet critical mass, the promise of convenience and
delivering on impulse is too great not begin to preparing. A few challenges that marketers will face will center on:
- Content or commerce? It seems that much of what is
being written about email is focused on content marketing principles and publishing. What mCommerce will force is a very deliberate approach to promotional marketing, requiring a good degree of
personalization and brevity. The purchase of the future will not require scrolling or zooming. The toughest decision will be to simplify your content with a single intent, something
we’ve been preaching for many years with email.
- Connecting multi-modal messaging? There is nothing sexy about push or SMS messaging, yet it’s still very
functional. As ISPs become more and more creative with inbox management interfaces, connecting your messaging strategy by mode through a common campaign management process may turn into your
- Attribution will seem a clear-cut equation, but it will actually be a tougher model to practice. Search, email and interruptive mobile advertising experiences
will be discrete, but there will be definitive differences by device, and “out of home” vs. “in-home.” Spend attribution will be a very fluid activity, and may require
rethinking how attribution is managed in your company. Simple attribution by channel will be shifted to a new view of attribution by medium and location, instead of the general buckets we use
I really like this quote from Google's Eric Schmidt: “Mobile is the future, and there’s no such thing as communication overload.” I think we
need to really pay attention to mobile device processes and have distinct strategies within the email channel for community, content, learning , sharing and shopping. All will be centered on the
inbox as the directory of experiences.