The Secret to Top-of-Funnel Engagement? Mobile Coupons. Yes, Really.

by Michael Jones on Mar 2, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail

The_Secret_to_Top-of-Funnel_Engagement_Mobile_Coupons-874530-edited.jpgMobile, mobile, mobile. Retailers probably hear this word more times a day than they would like to admit. And while smartphone shoppers used to be thought of as a technologically-savvy subset of a brand’s customers, I can assure you that most of your shoppers are now actively engaging on the channel.

Consumer time and attention is at a premium these days, and retailers are challenged to gain a share of this time. Nearly three out of every four shoppers say that they use two or fewer apps to help them shop and find what they are looking for in-store, and their time is often controlled by a small number of major retail players (think Amazon).

There’s still plenty of opportunity for retailers, though. What drives return visits to your mobile app and website is utility and relevancy for the shopper’s cross-channel experience.

A new survey from Placed, Inc., and RetailMeNot shows that mobile shoppers are engaged shoppers, often beginning their search for products well in advance of actually stepping in a store. Retailers who offer brand content on mobile channels will be among a higher consideration set when the time comes to close a sale.

Product reviews, store hours and locations, buy online pick up in-store—the options are endless for mobile content. What’s one of the most effective ways to reach your consumer and track your success? Mobile coupons.

Coupons have been a mainstay of American shopping for decades, and they aren’t going away with the rise of mobile—in fact, they’re just getting better. Retailers can use them to enhance the consumer experience throughout the entire shopping funnel.

According to eMarketer, by 2018 there will be 124 million mobile coupon users. In 2015, more than 10,000 consumers surveyed said that they most often search for these deals on their mobile device. With retailers increasingly needing to become agile marketers, they’re challenged with finding ways to track the cross-channel consumer.

Mobile coupons allow the consumer to use promotional content when and wherever they choose, and it’s content that will keep them coming back to your mobile platforms and in your stores. It’s an easy solution for connecting your brand’s physical world to the digital world, and provides valuable customer data that can influence marketing decisions and budgets in the future.

However, mobile coupons aren’t the only promotional content available to retailers on mobile. I suggest that brands utilize mobile coupons when it makes the most sense for their overall mobile strategy, while continuing to explore all content opportunities on mobile apps.

Mobile coupons are one opportunity for retailers to get in the mobile conversation—from browse to buy. My challenge to retailers is to figure out how to engage with this audience in ways that proactively build brand loyalty and go beyond just the sales counter.

Photo by nenetus/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Michael Jones is senior vice president of Retail and Brand Solutions at RetailMeNot.
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