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Vibes exec: Mobile wallets will be revolutionary for direct mail

September 26, 2013

Direct mail goes mobile

NEW YORK – A Vibes executive at the Mobile Marketing Association’s SM2 conference said that marketers have a significant opportunity to leverage direct mail with mobile to increase coupon redemption.

The “Mobile Wallet shift: Non-payment Opportunities for Marketers” session gave attendees a look at how marketers can leverage mobile wallets for loyalty and time- and location-sensitive offers. The session also presented some recent research from Vibes.

“I think wallet is actually revolutionary for direct mail because you can get a piece of direct mail, and you’ve got that three seconds before it’s going in the trash,” said Jack Philbin, CEO/cofounder of Vibes, Chicago.

“And if you text in or scan a QR code on the piece of direct mail, it’s going in your wallet, and that piece of paper is still going into the garbage, so you have that quick window,” he said.

“That will be a behavior that takes time to adopt, but I see it as a huge enhancement to direct mail.”

Mail on mobile
Although marketers talk about direct mail waning off, marketers continue to use the medium because it churns out response rates.

Mobile’s opportunity with direct mail lets marketers tie a medium with a massive reach to a redeemable coupon for consumers.

Moreover, with Apple’s new iOS 7 software, consumers can now scan QR codes to create a pass, which eliminates the number of steps that consumers must take to redeem a mobile coupon, per Mr. Philbin.

Google is also working to create more loyalty-based features with its mobile payment app Google Wallet.

In fact, Google’s update of Google Wallet last week hints at what the company has in mind to extend its work with payments into loyalty and coupons for retailers.

Even further down the line, Google plans to use a consumer’s buying history to know that consumers have been to a location and leverage data with payments.

Mr. Philbin presenting

Mobile findings
Vibes recently released a report that looks at how consumers view mobile payments.

Forty-eight percent of the consumers surveyed were aware of the non-payment side of the mobile wallet.

The remaining portion of consumers either did not know what a mobile wallet was or only viewed mobile wallets for payments.

Only 19 percent of consumers surveyed noticed a retailer offering mobile wallet-specific content in the past six months though, suggesting that retailers are not leveraging mobile wallets enough to get consumers’ attentions.

Even though mobile payments are new, 85 percent of the consumers surveyed acknowledged that they would receive a benefit from a non-payment mobile wallet.

As retailers get a better understanding of what consumers are looking for and how coupons work with a mobile wallet, retailers will likely adopt the technology more this holiday season.

“I’m much more likely as a guy with my personal shopping behavior to load a pass into my phone than I am to carry with me a paper coupon,” Mr. Philbin said.

“That doesn’t mean paper coupons are going away anytime soon, but if I can use that to either text in or scan it to my wallet then I can actually throw the coupon in the garbage and have the coupon with me digitally, and I’m probably more likely to purchase or go to that store, especially if I get one of those location alerts when I’m nearby,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Related content: Forrester’s Denée Carrington: Uber drives truly transformative mobile wallet experience, TCPA petition filed with FCC to support mobile messaging, Why Hershey Co. chose SMS – not beacons – for in-store engagement,

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