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Mobile needs to play a role throughout the shopper journey: Ogilvy

April 28, 2011

Innovators ask stores to match prices using Web pages on their phones

A new study from OgilvyOne and OgilvyAction suggests marketers need to step up their efforts in mobile CRM in order to maximize long-term customer value.

The report says marketers can elevate mobile shopper marketing from a price-driven channel to a tool for activating shoppers and building long-term loyalty by understanding unmet shopper needs. Unmet shopper needs can be addressed via a mobile strategy that provides utility and transparency.

“In the mobile space, there has been a lot of attention paid to one-off efforts,” said Gareth Ellen, director of digital at OgilvyAction, New York. “But in thinking from a relationship perspective, mobile can play a role throughout the shopper journey.”

Mobile shopping activities
The survey of 1,500 shoppers in the United States, Britain and Singapore showed that 85 percent of advanced users of mobile phones, or innovators, searched Google from a phone while in-store to get information on a product.

Seventy-seven percent of innovators scanned a bar code or QR code with a mobile phone.

Innovators are also heavy users of mobile phones for purchases, with 71 percent of them using their phone to order a product they looked at in-store.

Innovators also like to use their mobile phones to interact with store personnel. Seventy one percent of innovators asked a store to match a price by showing a Web page from a phone.

Respondents to the survey were divided into four groups.

The top five percent of mobile users were innovators.

Opinion leaders, who use mobile regularly but are not at the bleeding edge, accounted for 15 percent of users.

The early majority, who own mobile phones but do not use all the functionalities, made up 30 percent of users.

Laggards stood at 20 percent.

Mobile CRM
While mobile phone use drops significantly for consumers who are not innovators, the numbers suggest that consumer engagement with mobile CRM is not a trend, per Mr. Ellen.

When it comes to searching Google for product information while in a store, only 24 percent of the early majority is doing this.

The number increases to 50 percent of the early majority who own a smartphone.

Only 8 percent of the early majority has used their phones to order a product they looked at in a store while 12 percent have used a phone to display a Web page at point-of-purchase.

The top two reasons cited by respondents for checking to a retail store using their phones were “better customer service” and “loyalty points.”

“Increasingly, as devices become more sophisticated and data becomes more readily available, all consumers will be using their mobile phones in some shape or form,” Mr. Ellen said. 

“This is already beginning to happen, as evidenced by the significant growth in Google mobile search last year and the significant amount of social media upload that is happening via mobile,” he said.

Mr. Ellen cautions, however, that retailers should try to learn from the lessons of the music industry, which tried to prevent consumers from sharing downloaded music files.

“Let’s learn from the past because we need to be open,” Mr. Ellen said.

“Someone going into a Best Buy is going to use a mobile phone to check prices and we should support that.

 “Retailers need to understand how they can support their shoppers when they are on the go and in-store,” he said.

Breaking down the silos
To be an effective mobile customer relationship marketer, Ogilvy suggests retailers break down silos and integrate mobile into their overall CRM and marketing program.

Retailers should also try to assimilate data such as location and companions into their marketing efforts for a better prediction of context and intent.

Integrating mobile with social can also help retailers be better mobile customer relationship marketers. This can include using mobile to nurture recommendations through social platforms.

Retailers can also look for ways to extend the perception of mobile shopping beyond its price-related functions to encompass greater utility, information, education and customer service.

“There is a reason why click through on mobile is significantly higher than from desktop; because consumers have a need in time that is valuable to them,” Mr. Ellen said.

“Knowing that a shopper is only going to have a handful of these relationships through their mobile phones, marketers need to treat these relationships with the utmost respect,” he said.

Final Take

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