WASHINGTON, March 7, 2013 — Whether it’s the possibility of Google Glass or the ever-evolving mobile app market, everyone is eyeing what the future will look like for merchants and consumers in 2013 and beyond. Generations once promised hoverboards or given futuristic juice boxes, impossible to open (Capri Sun), finally have the future in their hands.
The next “gold rush” for companies and marketers is to utilize mobile to create real-time, personalized incentives for consumers. Think of it as bringing the Amazon model to brick and mortar. Every store has advertising, specials, signage designed to attract eyeballs and influence purchases. It’s a standard. It works.
Still, it’s generic. It’s designed for the masses because it has to be. Now imagine if the advertising seen was directed specifically to an individual, based on habits and preferences. Those who desire to opt-in could eventually receive a push notification with specific deals, all designed to drive and increase purchases for the merchant while prodiving value to the consumer. Consumers already know this model online.
Ozmott, a mobile shopping app that integrates with any and all existing POS systems, is young but this is its potential. This is where it can help both consumers and merchants get more out of every interaction.
Experts in mobile have shared their thoughts on both Ozmott and this emerging space.
Kelly Passey, EVP of Business and Product Development for Access Development
There’s a tremendous amount of energy and funds being invested in driving engagement from consumers on their smartphones. It’s estimated that, sometime within three to seven years, mobile payments will become common place and acceptance will increase. What everyone is trying to figure out is how we get there, and what those mobile payment systems will look like.
There are a lot of apps and payment platforms looking to bridge the mobile gap between consumers and retailers. The problem is we’re currently mired in the ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario: consumers aren’t adopting these apps as fast because the merchants aren’t there, and the merchants aren’t coming onboard because no app/platform has captured enough users to merit their adoption at the POS with expensive new terminals or software downloads.
I think it boils down to value, which is why apps such as Ozmott and Access’ My Deals Mobile are so intriguing. To get consumers to acquire a new behavior, there has to be something in it for them.
Consumers are habituated to reaching into their wallets and swiping a card or grabbing some cash. We learned from smartcards and contactless payments (which seemed like the next big things at the time) that there has to be something other than just “another way to pay.”
That’s why mobile coupons are such an important part of loyalty programs and eventually, mobile wallets. They’re a very simple way to add value in-store or at the point of sale, which gets consumers habituated to shopping with their mobile devices.
Juniper Research says there will be 10 billion mobile coupons redeemed worldwide in 2013, with over 500 million consumers now having access to them.
There is a lot of curiosity among retailers, consumers, banks, investors and others in mobile payments. Outside of major players like Google, Isis, PayPal, and a couple others, few have truly gone “all in” on one particular system. There are still major details to work out, such as NFC or cloud-based payments (or, as some are currently embracing, both.) Most have realized that there needs to be valuable additions, and mobile coupons are kind of a starting point that doesn’t require a ton of investment from retailers. They’re the key to wider-scale adoption.
My bet is the group that brings the most merchants and deals to the table will win out, because they’ll attract the users. It’ll have to show a return for them – bringing more foot traffic, increasing the average transaction amount, and possibly lower transaction rates.
Mark Lucas, Co-Founder, Sudo
Mobile apps that play in the purchasing decision of consumers are becoming the norm. From consolidating daily deals to rewarding consumers for purchases, apps allow the purchasing process to become a sport - consumers are able to quickly find for the best deal for their purchase instead of spending precious time searching through individual retailer websites and email blasts. In the upcoming months, more and more consumers will experience the benefits of mobile apps and appreciate the time - and money – they’ll save using said apps.
Dino Baskovic, a digital strategist in Metro Detroit
Savvy, price-conscious consumers already know to point their smartphones in the direction of the best brick-and-mortar deals. The concept is nothing new. But a service that comes along, ups the ante on location-based specials, incentivizes mobile shoppers to share and consume those specials for killer perks, plus keeps the lion’s share of the profits in the pockets of small business owners? Now that’s an app many people will be happy to support in the long term. While still a newer market entrant, Ozmott may be well positioned to disrupt mobile commerce in this respect.
Jane Portman, Expert Consultant at UI Breakfast
The Ozmott project features trendy simplistic design, which is aesthetically pleasant and easy to interact with. Interface structure is straightforward, with quite basic typographic treatment, nothing is there to impede conversion process. App sections are color-coded, which is a controversial move towards “too bright”, but I find it helpful rather than distracting. App creators did a great job on monetizing social relationships for customers via internal Pips currency.
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. CEO of Status Creative, 2012 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
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