Mobile apps bridge gap between digital, brick-and-mortar retail
Mobile apps will be the key bridge between digital commerce and brick-and-mortar retail, says Marko Muellner, vice president of marketing for social marketing platform ShopIgniter.
In a Retail TouchPoints article, Muellner predicts that a number of mobile app innovations will change the way consumers shop including: "digital 'wallets' that store gift cards, coupons and more like Apple's Passport or Google Wallet; retailer-specific apps like Target's Cartwheel that enable shoppers to manage and receive in-store redeemable mobile coupons from anywhere; shopping apps that maintain persistent carts like Tourneau's virtual watch tray and allow online research with pick-up in-store and social shopping apps that enable consumers to 'like' and manage products like Pinterest, Wanelo, Polyvore and ShopKick."
In addition, location-based smartphone technology, such as Apple's iBeacon and near field communications (NFC), will take hold in the retail industry this year.
"With Apple's deployment of iBeacons at every store, they can now communicate with consumers and track everything from what gift cards or coupons they have to how many got close to the store, enter the store, which products they browsed and obviously, what they bought. For digital marketers, the long awaited online to offline closed loop reporting will finally be a reality," he writes.
Muellner stresses that retailers will need to think "omnichannel" to reach online consumers this year and beyond.
"Marketers' ability to reach a single consumer across devices will emerge and quickly mature in 2014. This will enable marketers to better understand the 'customer journey' and the patterns likely to drive discovery, exploration and consideration. While it's unclear the implications of this data and reach, we are witnessing the sprouting of the future of online advertising," he writes.
- read Muellner's article