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Marketers Relying on Mobile to Make the Season Bright

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
Sep 24, 2013 5:00 AM PT

Shoppers today use their mobile devices for a range of retail activities, from couponing to showrooming to finding parking spots at the local mall. Retailers, on the other hand, are being just as aggressive in using mobile to reach out to shoppers.

Marketers Relying on Mobile to Make the Season Bright

What are the hottest mobile marketing techniques we can expect to see this holiday season? Turns out there's a bunch of them.

The Stalwart Still Works

The mobile display ad format may have been around a few seasonal cycles, but it provides enough value to make it a regular feature this season too.

"They are one of the most cost-effective methods for advertising, allowing retailers to reach a lot of consumers in a certain geographic for a very low cost," Patrick Stack, manager for digital strategy at Acquity Group, told CRM Buyer.

That's not to say more elaborate ad technologies won't be out in full force, however, from geofencing to augmented reality to rich media, noted Andrew King, senior strategy consultant at Lyris.

Geofencing campaigns, for example, "have proved extremely successful in the past, and I expect to see them used more and more in the future," King told CRM Buyer.

Showrooming Is the Devil....

By contrast, "augmented reality is still seen as a gimmick, but that could drastically change once Google Glass is released to the public and becomes mainstream," King predicted.

Perhaps the most common of these formats is rich media, he said, especially as cellphone networks become faster and WiFi connections become more widespread. Videos, in particular, are very popular and will no doubt be a key component of many mobile campaigns in 2013.

Showrooming, meanwhile, is still the devil.

Retailers may hate it, but showrooming -- that is, testing out a product in a store and then finding a cheaper one online via a device -- is here to stay. Retailers are trying to steer consumers away from this practice via a number of tactics.

There are a number of ways they are doing this, but the larger goal or point is to build relationships with consumers at the same time, Bob Egner, vice president of product management at EPiServer, told CRM Buyer.

That may mean deemphasizing price matching while emphasizing discounting and promotions for future purchases, for example, perhaps even after the holiday season.

Price matching, though, will be surely be part of the mix in the war against showrooming. Many stores are beginning to offer immediate in-store coupons to consumers who show the same product at a different store for a lower price on their smartphone, Stack pointed out.

... Unless It Works in Your Favor

Of course, for every retailer that is hurt by showrooming, there is one that benefits. Expect this latter group to have their mobile landing sites souped up for the crowd, Rory Dennis, Amplience's general manager for North America, told CRM Buyer.

"It is critical that retailers ensure mobile landing pages are well-suited for high traffic during the holiday season," Dennis explained. "Landing pages not only need to grab and keep a consumer's attention, but they also need to be optimized for geography, competitor offerings and hot-selling items.

"Rich visuals, video and fast loading times," he concluded, "are all critical."

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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