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Top 10 mobile-offline activations from Q2

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July 6, 2016

Burger King is the latest chain to hop on the chatbot bandwagon

Burger King is the latest chain to hop on the chatbot bandwagon

CVS, Macy’s and Sephora are making strides to join real world pushes with mobile capabilities, further merging digital technologies and in-store shopping while developing unique takes on modern loyalty programs, couponing and shopping assistants.

As mobile creates a broad span of opportunities for retailers in the bricks-and-mortar space as customers become more comfortable with new technologies, mobile chat and loyalty programs have significantly evolved this year. Retailers have also worked to streamline mobile couponing and in-store modes within applications.

Retail drivers in digital technologies such as Sephora and Burger King are pushing forward with mobile chat that combines in-store capabilities. Meanwhile, other retailers are working on social and mobile pushes to drive customers to bricks-and-mortar locations.

Here are the top 10 mobile in-store activations of the second quarter of 2016, in alphabetical order.

Banana Republic Factory pilots mobile loyalty, chat to enhance in-store shopping
Banana Republic Factory experimented with a new loyalty program within 40 store locations that lives on mobile to streamline bricks-and-mortar shopping experience by merging rewards and artificial intelligence capability.

The Gap Inc., owned discount retailer tapped a third-party loyalty platform, flok, in the test for the program it named Perks! Launching on Father’s Day, users on the flok application were then able to earn rewards and engage with the brand at store locations.

Flok is positioned as a local merchant network featuring multiple retailers that users can choose to interact with.

What Burger King’s new chatbot means for QSR chains’ order-ahead options
Burger King launched a test of an order-ahead feature on Facebook’s Messenger app, which blends together and taps into the exponential growth of chatbots and mobile ordering.

The retailer shared a video introduction through Digital Buzz to initiate users into testing Burger King’s chatbot on Messenger that allows customers to order and pay ahead of time. While marketers’ adoption of artificial intelligence is growing on messaging platforms, mobile ordering still has yet to be conquered.

In Burger King’s Digital Buzz video, the chatbot greets consumers as soon as they open up the service. After users respond, customers can begin their order by responding yes on whether or not they would like to place an order.

CVS bets on mobile-optimized ereceipts to expand in-store digitization
CVS Pharmacy recently streamlined digital capabilities to its in-store offerings while focusing on its loyalty memberships in a launch that allows ExtraCare Rewards members to receive mobile-optimized digital receipts via email.

CVS jumped onboard the bandwagon of retailers that are focusing on email-based receipts by giving the option to loyalty members first, a move that could spur mobile rewards sign-ups. The launch is indicative of the shift away from paper receipts prompted by consumers’ demand for more digital offerings that cannot be easily misplaced or lost.

Digital receipts rolled out to all ExtraCare Rewards members last month, with full functionality expected to roll out to 7,900 retail locations soon. The introduction of the email receipt program was first revealed on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Denny’s mobile location push brings 162pc increase in search impressions
Denny recently targeted on-the-go customers in reflection of the growing number of merchants tapping mobile location data, by increasing visibility on a wide range of mobile platforms to urge consumers to visit a nearby restaurant.

The diner chain’s mobile push was a bid to reach a wide range of demographics and not just millennials. After launching the location data management service from Yext’s platform, Denny’s saw a 162 percent increase in search impressions for its local locations, drawing in nearby customers looking for something to eat.

Denny’s leveraged a technology solution that boosted visibility on search pages and mobile apps to help local customers find the chain more easily. Mobile search has been increasingly growing due to the immediacy of the platform, which made Denny’s investment into a mobile-optimized solution ideal.

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Dick’s Sporting Goods scores mobile in-store goal with app update
Dick’s Sporting Goods recently integrated the mobile experience while on store location premises through an app update featuring a new Stores section and an in-store mode pilot in select locations.

Recently, Sports Authority’s dip in sales prompted it to sell off the business, which is putting pressure on other chains in the sporting goods sector. Keen retailers are adopting mobile pushes after understanding the growing role that is pushing in-store sales.

Dick’s Sporting Goods shared an iPhone app update that unveiled a new Stores section where users can see details about their closest stores, display ScoreCard loyalty cards at checkout, scan products and check out the weekly circular.

Forever 21 drives in-store sales with convenient scannable Twitter coupon
Forever 21 drove customers to its stores through Twitter by sharing a mobile coupon with followers, allowing them to receive a discount by showing the coupon for scanning on their smartphones at checkout.

Mobile scanning features are becoming more convenient for consumers as they become more comfortable with the experience, prompting more retailers to take to mobile coupons in a more convenient manner. Forever 21 attempted to sell out the last of its festival collection through a one-day coupon on Twitter.

The tweet, reading “last chance to get your fave festival styles, enjoy 21 percent off,” motivated shoppers to find a nearby location to redeem the scannable social media coupon with 21 percent off on purchases of $50 or more.

Kohl’s integrates loyalty with Apple Pay for greater in-store relevance
Kohl’s was the first retailer to bring its credit card and rewards platform to Apple Pay to use in stores, revealing the impact of mobile payments on the customer journey experience.

The mass merchant retailer originally launched the update to 250 of its bricks-and-mortar stores, followed by a national rollout at the end of May. The retailer’s integration shows Apple Pay’s growing adoption among consumers, and alludes to other marketers linking their charge cards to mobile payment platforms as well.

Kohl’s is continuing to merge in-store and digital shopping experiences by leveraging mobile technology to streamline customers’ payment processes. Now, in-store shoppers will be able to enjoy a one-tap checkout while still collecting their Yes2You loyalty points.

Macy’s adds in-store mode to app, solidifying hyperlocal strategy
Macy’s recently made a large update to its app, which now includes an in-store mode, allowing in-store shoppers and playing catch up with retailers such as Walmart.

The retailer has a long history of launching different strategies tests with in-store features to assist shoppers, tapping QR codes, augmented reality and beacons. With this recent upgrade, shoppers can access an in-store dashboard feature that allows them to use relevant tools such as price scans and up-to-date alerts for new offers.

Users located by Macy’s locations will see their apps automatically load into in-store mode when the app is launched and can also launch it from the in-store mode banner at the top of the page, as well as the navigation menu under Stores by tapping “In Store Mode.”

Sephora boosts in-store services with mobile booking capability
Sephora is increasing its stock in mobile-enabled services, and is now allowing its app users to schedule appointments at nearby locations, following the launch of a quiz on Kik about users’ in-store interests.

The beauty retailer is putting a focus on its bricks-and-mortar programs by creating visibility for prices and available services with a booking feature on its mobile app.

The update comes after a contest on Kik in which users had to answer a series of questions regarding their interests for in-store services.

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Staples repositions mobile sales strategy with same-day delivery rollout
Staples brought a stronger focus on an omnichannel commerce strategy through customer fulfillment of on-demands needs through its Staples Rush program, allowing customers to buy items from the mobile-optimized site and receive same-day delivery.

The office supplies retailer launched Staples Rush in Manhattan, Boston and Dallas, with the promise of a rollout to other metropolitan regions soon. Staples’ same-day delivery launch on its mobile and desktop sites reveals its plan to compete with other leaders in omnichannel retail, such as Amazon, and hopes its new Snapchat account will push sales.

The delivery service may help the retailer go head-to-head with Amazon, as well as brands in its industry that have already rolled out streamlined delivery services. Now, Staples customers that place orders for items by 3 p.m. local time Monday through Friday on its mobile or desktop site will be eligible to select same-day delivery during the checkout process.

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

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