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Retail runs through Mobile, Loyalty

There are two main mantras touted in retail today—mobile first and customer first. While they’ve both been used ad nauseam, both still embody the right mindset for marketers.
More importantly, it’s the most important strategy and the most important channel coalescing. Mobile loyalty is the ultimate expression of a customer-first mindset driven by an often misused, yet omnipresent channel.

66% of companies that saw a decrease in customer loyalty over the past year do not have a mobile app.

The number of loyalty members that will use a retailer’s app is double the average customer.

There are some central reasons mobile and loyalty join at their apex and become crucial to retail and CPG.

The Foundation of Retail

Both will be the foundation of retail in the next five years. They’re rapidly ascending independently of each other as pressure, relevance and investment grow each day. And the more retailers struggle, the more often they’re looking at mobile and loyalty to help stabilize them. Brands focusing on joining those two programs as much as possible are well-suited for the future changes to come in the industry. They’re both now the expectation of younger customers and grows more pronounced every year.

It Begins with Data

Data is another crucial element for the future of retail. It’s also quite fortuitous that data is most-often collected through mobile and loyalty. As data becomes easier to mold and execute, collection will become its own strategy for many campaigns. As data targeting overcomes whole-sale promotions—the focus on conjoining mobile and loyalty will grow alongside a mature database.

Content will Change

Targeting customers isn’t anything new—however it is limited in scope, and is often unrefined and a muddy experience. The cleanest and most effective targeting is being executed from loyalty or mobile data. Loyalty data is by far the cleanest data source and mobile is perhaps the most extensive as mobile becomes native to customers. Together, they’ll provide an increased scope and a clean, refined data source to segment offers, content and messaging in the post-promo world.

Don’t Forget About Stores

Once in-store, more than 80% of consumers use their mobile phones to compare prices, check social networks, and see if stores have loyalty programs.

Marketers can’t forget about stores. They’re still the largest driver of traffic and the highest engagement of loyalty members. Stores are still the future of retail, they’re just going to be built much differently than they are today.

Show rooming statistics only grow as stores transform digitally and mobile loyalty simplifies to complement the store experience. Stores aren’t going away any time soon, they’re just changing—and loyalty with mobile’s show rooming ability will play a huge part in that transformation.

The Future isn’t driven by us

No matter how many strategies and marketing tools we deploy, we don’t control the future—the customer does. And every year that disparity grows more extreme as younger generations move into the marketplace, with a revolutionary set of expectations.

Retailers seeking to understand their customer better, regardless of preconceived notions—will find they have a better chance at success. While opportunity exists today in mobile loyalty, the only way to understand shifting trends is to admit we don’t have control and to focus time, energy and investment on the innovations that quickly turn to expectations with every new generation of customers.