It begs the question of whether it is just coincidence that some major innovations and behavioural changes come at a time when the markets are depressed and businesses need different technology to give them that competitive edge. This is exactly what the industry is experiencing in spades at the moment.
The tools available to today’s marketers include everything from new devices, gesture driven user interfaces, location awareness, augmented reality, audio detection, single click payments, scanning, loyalty and coupons. These can be picked up by brands to fix the fragmented multi-channel consumer world that has turned the traditional purchase journey on its head.
Many online and high street brands are embracing mobile as they realise the platform will be a significant part of their customer engagement in the near future.
Many online and high street brands are embracing mobile as they realise the platform will be a significant part of their customer engagement in the near future. Brands such as ASOS are innovators in their own right; investing time, money and forward thinking teams to develop apps. Their latest apps allow users to scan their mobiles when shopping, turning what was once a magazine into a highly successful m-commerce store. Burberry is yet another retailer leading mobile innovation. Through smart personalisation they allow users to buy customised clothes that are made to order. Using the new technology customers can also order coats and accessories fresh off the rack to suit their needs.
But it’s not just retailers diving in. Recently, we have started seeing a new generation of start-ups offering a range of new tools and services that brands are rapidly adopting with welcome arms. It seems as if these companies have been waiting a long time for science fiction to become a reality and now this has finally started to materialise. Start-ups such as Shopkick have attracted retail partners with the launch of its new mobile app that gives digital catalogues the ability to save product lists. The app rewards consumers for walking into the store, as opposed to a more manual "check in" that we see with the popular location app, Foursquare. Tapestry is the latest contender in this space, aiming to connect the shopper’s digital identity with the physical products in store via (free) Android and iOS smartphone apps.
Truly embracing what customers expect from a mobile experience, 2013 has seen the introduction of mobile marketing innovation. Next year will see brands connecting to consumers in a multitude of seamless ways, which for the first time will meet the science fiction of the past and perhaps even surpass it.