Mobile commerce is not only about payment but the ability to optimize the path to this payment. Farhan Ahmad, Director of Emerging Payments at Discover Financial Services, the issuer of the Discover Card, the third largest credit card brand in the United States, explains, “Mobile payment is a small subset of mobile commerce. Mobile commerce is primarily about shopper engagement and marketing”.
What are the mobile marketing mechanisms to engage with the mobile shopper? Twitter’s micro blogging, Facebook’s community building, FourSquare’s crowd sourcing and Google Deals all are valuable tools but any brand or retailer that is committed to a digital strategy across all their customers’ screens, needs to establish a direct relationship with the shopper.
The only two-way targeted channel to move the shopper across the retail touch points is via the shopper’s mobile phone number. Why? Because once a permission-based relationship is established between the shopper and the retailer, Facebook, Foursquare, Google, or Apple should not disintermediate this relationship. In order to improve brand recall and conversion rates, mobile messaging needs to be targeted and personalized.
Like other D2C (direct-to-consumer) channels, mobile messaging should deliver concrete results. A good mobile marketing service provider will be able to show the brand a projected Return-On-Investment (ROI) calculator. Key to building a loyalty channel strategy is to articulate how you intend to effectively opt-in the shopper, what are your key-performance indicators including which retail touch points you need the loyalty channel to connect to in order to drive your sales.