Blog: Marketing in a Mobile World Comes Down to Customer Experience
The world is becoming increasingly connected and considerably complex, yet customers are demanding more simplicity at every turn. The rapid adoption of digital technology, the ubiquitous use of mobile devices, and the fundamental shifts inherent in such a socially connected and digital-savvy populace have altered the customer engagement and marketing landscape forever.
Consumers use an array of mobile devices for very short bursts of social and transactional brand interactions, which is forcing marketers to reconsider how they can provide meaningful customer engagement from one moment to the next. The ability to instantaneously send payments, shop online and purchase any product, anywhere and at any time, is fundamentally changing the definition of what it means to engage with a brand.
|“Consumers now expect more, and these expectations seem to change constantly. Stores must shift from being simply distributors of products to becoming purveyors of experiences.”|
This sea change is, of course, dramatically affecting traditional brick-and-mortar retail-based brands though no industry is immune. Consumers now expect more, and these expectations seem to change constantly. Stores must shift from being simply distributors of products to becoming purveyors of experiences.
In this respect, listening to customers is critical. Retailers and brands need to truly understand what customers find meaningful and relevant and continually reinvest in the kinds of experiences that resonate with specific consumer segments. And those retailers and brands that can create the authentic customer experiences that inspire, excite and engage will transform occasional shoppers into loyal customer advocates.
To achieve this, retailers and brands must understand where customers are in their journey, what technology they have and how it all can work together. This type of data-driven, customer-engagement strategy can thrive in the current marketing reality and should be the goal for anyone trying to engage with mobile-first users.
If consumers truly enjoy, respect and value the holistic customer experience of a brand, then they will seek to engage with that brand across a range of channels, platforms and devices. In this way, the consumer’s new power to complete transactions anywhere and at any time becomes less of a concern. It actually becomes a significant benefit.
Regardless of where or how payments converge across channels and form factors, the goal is to create a personal relationship with the consumer. Whether the interaction transpires through transactions made on a mobile phone, a desktop computer, across a physical counter or even from an Apple Watch, these are the bonds that will inspire brand loyalty and promote active customer engagement.
Raley’s Family of Fine Stores is a great example of a retailer that excels in this area. The supermarket chain actually tries to avoid a traditional sales-based model and creates a personalized customer experience that rewards shoppers for the way they like to shop, both in and outside the store. Through a unique combination of online communities, in-store materials, customized emails, and digital and social media channels, Raley’s has modernized customer interaction by allowing shoppers to choose their preferred paths of engagement.
Independent of channel or purchasing platform, today it’s the customer experience that will lift a brand up and keep it top of mind. But it must all start with truly listening to what the customer has to say, really understanding their wants and needs, and, perhaps above all, in creating the simplicity that makes it easy for them to engage how and when they want to.
That’s the type of customer engagement that matters and will endure.
Mark Johnson is CEO and CMO of Loyalty360. He has significant experience in selling, designing and administering prepaid, loyalty/CRM programs, as well as data-driven marketing communication programs. He can be reached at MarkJohnson@loyalty360.org. For more on loyalty in an omnichannel world, use Paybefore’s discount code to register for the Loyalty360 Engagement & Experience Expo.
In Viewpoints, prepaid and emerging payment professionals share their perspectives on the industry. Paybefore endeavors to present many points of view to offer readers new insights and information. The opinions expressed in Viewpoints are not necessarily those of Paybefore.