News Source: Wall Blog
Mobile has changed the way we live our lives and the way we shop, but we are yet to see a significant impact in FMCG. We’ve been slow to understand where the real opportunity lies. Mobile apps for brands and retailers abound, but look in store and see how many people are using their phones. And if you see anyone, are they using a shopping-related app?
According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, marketers see today’s consumers as web-savvy, mobile-enabled data sifters who pounce on whichever brand or store offers the best deal. Brand loyalty, the thinking goes, is vanishing. But rather than being the cause of the problem, mobile offers FMCG brands the chance to create more shopper loyalty in the form of habitual purchasing.
We know that shopper behaviour is changing. Shoppers are making smaller, more frequent trips across a number of different retailers, with convenience or proximity becoming a primary driver of store choice. So as shoppers become more promiscuous, they become even more difficult for brands to connect with.
A recent Nielsen study into the success of brand marketing revealed that six in ten FMCG companies are currently losing money on promotions, highlighting the difficulty brands have with connecting to shoppers. With no understanding of who has bought an offer, FMCGs lose the chance to build a relationship with individuals, a result of missing parts of the data puzzle.
Nearly 90% of smartphone users claim that their phone never leaves their side – and mobile technology enables FMCG brands to engage with shoppers directly, establishing a relationship based upon a value exchange. Mobile brokers this exchange by giving shoppers time to consider news and offers from brands, extracting data and then snapping their till receipt to redeem promotions for any purchases made.
So how much value is there for a brand if it’s able to use data to identify different shopper groups and talk to each with tailored messages and offers? Using mobile means no more non targeted promotions that often lose money, instead shopper loyalty schemes work to increase frequency of purchase, whilst new users are targeted with offers that encourage trial. For the brand there is the additional benefit that the effectiveness of every activity is measured enabling the development of a deeper, more profitable relationship with shoppers.
With more smartphones than people on the planet (allegedly), mobile is clearly the most convenient means for brands to engage with their shoppers. The technology exists, we just need the imagination to use it.
Barry Lemmon, Managing Director of Shopitize UK