Most summers I am traveling and I always assess the digital capabilities in the countries I visit. Here in Armenia the population is well connected via cell phone and many people use smart phones. I have heard that the country is seeking to become a tech hub as it is landlocked and surrounded by some less than friendly neighbors.
In the world of food retailing marketers like Costco have found that samples can boost sales. Some products have seen increases of 2000% according to an Atlantic report by Joe Pinsker in 2014. Sampling in stores is effective because the product is available immediately from the display and customers can make the decision to purchase right away.
What happens when companies give out samples on the street? This is a popular strategy exhibited in my neighborhood in Manhattan where there is a lot of foot traffic. Usually the company reps simply hand out the samples without any knowledge of the recipients or any follow up. Strong marketing is built on the notion of knowing your target and building relationships. Handing out samples to an anonymous group limits the ability of a company to track the result. These days analytics are a requirement for any strategy, so why should companies rely on blind faith for their expensive sampling efforts?
One option that seems to work well in Hong Kong is to give samples only to those who provide follow up information. This is now very easy to do with mobile. In these photos reps of BioEssence are giving products to those who log their email addresses so that the company can reach them later. Not only that, but the added step means that only motivated interested customers will take the time to participate.
Steve Smith of MediaPost has some key insights on mobile shopping. He suggests based on Nielsen data that mobile shopping is often done at home rather than on the go. People use phones and tablets to shop while watching TV. This may provide some interesting creative ad opportunities for savvy agencies. Check it out:
‘Mobile’ Shopping Is Not So ‘Mobile’ After All
by Steve Smith, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013
As post-PC devices become the preferred access point for all kinds of interactive activities, the term “mobile” may require some redefinition and reconsideration among marketers. To wit: in its latest survey of shopping behaviors on devices, Nielsen finds that 95% of tablet shoppers and 72% of smartphone shoppers who actually use their devices to buy stuff are doing it on devices but in the home. TV prime time, it turns out, is mobile — I mean device shopping time, with two-thirds of tablet shoppers and about 80% of tablet shoppers doing these activities more at home than out and about.
While the overwhelming majority of all shopping-related behaviors on tablets occurs in homes, a great number of smartphone users are engaging in pre-shopping and post-buy behaviors right alongside them. For instance, 86% of those writing product reviews on smartphones (19%) are at home, as are 71% of those posting comments on a product to a social network (19%). Even when it comes to reading product reviews, 62% of that smartphone activity is happening in the home.
The tablet is still the device of choice when it comes to buying an item, with 38% of owners saying they do so on tablets. But 24% of smartphone owners now say they use the smaller device to make purchases as well.
Which is not to say that mobile isn’t, well, mobile. Price-checking is for handhelds out in the field, where 50% of these lookups occur. Store locators are most often accessed in the wild, with 56% occurring on smartphones when the user is commuting or in transit. Once out the door with a device, 70% of smartphone shoppers are using the device for planning and checking the store location. The shopping list has become a mobile fixture now for 37% of smartphone users.
It is worth noting that despite the homebody reputation of tablets, until now there is some evidence they are venturing beyond the front door. When Nielsen asked about using shopping lists, 30% of the 13% who use tablets for lists said they did so in-store.
The findings do more than just suggest that mobile is not mobile. First, of course, they remind us that home is where the device is most of the time and where people have the time and inclination to drill deep. They also remind us that devices have become the go-to point of entry for online information, replacing the most uncomfortable way yet devised for consuming content — the desktop PC. But most of all, they remind us how much of shopping is an iterative, multi-screen process that occurs over time (according to category) and has both preparatory and post-buy stages. Mobile, apparently, is present at all of them.
Steve Smith is the editor of Mobile Marketing Daily at MediaPost where he covers all aspects of the mobile landscape and writes the daily MoBlog and regular Mobile Insider columns. He also programs the OMMA Mobile/Display/Data and Behavioral series of shows and the Mobile Insider Summits. A recovering academic who taught media studies at Brown and University of Virginia, he spent the last decade as a digital media critic for numerous publications and as consultant. He also writes for Media Industry Newsletter and eContent magazine.
Mobile Insider for Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013:
This post is live from the Mobile Marketing Association Forum in New York. The session titled: 360 degree view of mobile along the path to purchase moderated by Matt Weiss from ePrize had some good examples of how mobile can drive customer actions.
For example, Bank of Montreal developed a mobile app to help customers in the home buying process with the ultimate goal of either getting customers into the branch or selling mortgages.
One of the most effective ways BMO drives customers into branches is with their ice cream truck that is integrated with their mobile strategy. The Bank of Montreal mascot BMO Bear accompanies the truck and kids and parents take pictures with the bear and post them online. To get a print out customers must go into the local branch. The activity is engaging and not directly selling bank services. According to Pritesh Gandhi, Senior Manager Digital Strategy for BofM, it’s about the experience, but the bank must justify the expense with results.
Unilever is trying to engage customers in the buying journey by offering value added services that are not brand specific. For examples, it is 4 pm and mom is at the office. What does she need to pull together to make dinner happen? Smart kitchen, a mobile app that is integrated with a loyalty program at the retail level, can tell mom if she is running low on items in the pantry.
The big take away for this session was that marketers should not attempt to change consumers’ natural behaviors, but instead figure them out and add value to people’s experiences.