LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION.

It’s all about location.

It is critical for brands to understand the consumer journey and what are the touch points during this path. These key moments represent the times when a consumer is more open to purchase or consume a certain product and when it becomes really relevant to deliver a call-to-action.

To know about those moments means collecting multiple data about the consumers and his behaviour. And knowing about their location means that the brands can connect and engage with the consumer at the right moment.

Location-based advertising

Location-enabled advertising is not a new concept but the different arrays of the technology and the proliferation of smartphones are only now allowing marketers to take full advantage of it.

Location data is playing an important asset for brands to connect with consumers in the real world, and the smartphone is being the key communication channel to deliver that engagement everywhere.

Pre-installed mobile wallets applications on smartphones, such as Apple Wallet or Android Pay, allow brands to reach their audience in a relevant and compelling way, giving the opportunity for marketers to benefit from mobile wallets as a new mobile marketing communication channel.

Location-based

And one of the most interesting features of mobile wallets is the possibility to engage in real-time with the consumers using native location-based technology or by interacting with beacons. Marketers can specify strategic locations or associate beacons to the mobile wallet, in order to trigger location-based notifications directly to the consumer smartphone.

Learn more and try to create your own location-based mobile wallet marketing campaigns with a free Passworks trial.

The new Passworks platform is here!

At Passworks our customers are always our focus, and as a result, we’ve just released the new version of our platform. Many of you have already experienced the new platform and be sure we appreciated all the feedback received.

Aside of many small improvements, the new platform brings:

  • A cleaner and more intuitive interface to design the passes and roll out the campaigns;
  • New features adding even more value to what our customers are already doing, including CSV file integration, EAN128/GS1 – 1D barcode integration, among other features, and preparation for upcoming releases;
  • New pricing model with monthly and yearly subscriptions in order to give you control over your campaign’s budget and, of course, with everything included (unlimited push notifications, pass updates, etc);
  • Several new functionalities were added to our API: https://api.passworks.io;

The right moment for Mobile Wallets

New platform_35% New platform_39% New platform_57%

The shift to mobile is definitely happening in 2016! For more information or support to create your mobile coupon campaign contact us.

Have a great week! 🙂

 

*Sources: Forrester’s Consumer Technographics Financial Services Survey; NCH Marketing Services & State of the Mobile Coupon Industry report by Koupon Media

Passworks at RBTE 2016!

Passworks team will be present again at the RBTE event on March 9th & 10th at Olympia, in London!

Feel free to contact us to arrange a speed dating meeting or come by and visit us at stand 159 to further discuss what are the new features of mobile wallets and Beacons! We will be happy to meet you! 🙂
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How to Impact with Proximity Marketing

Proximity marketing is at the tip of every respectable marketer’s tongue. The real question behind this coined expression is How can I impact my customers at a specific location near my store or in the store itself?

Proximity Marketing - Passworks
How to Impact with Proximity Marketing – Passworks.io

Juniper’ research provides and answer to this question, showing that in-store beacons (one of 2015 most known proximity marketing technology tool ) have consistently generated high redemption rates. As an example, Hong Kong based CTF jewelry chain saw redemptions rates approaching 60% resulting in a huge sales uplift.

Another example is Macy´s. Macy’s has deployed more than 4000 beacons in-store. Considered one of the leaders in mobile shopping in the US, they offered an in-store experience where shoppers had multiple chances to win prizes by playing the mobile-enabled Macy’s Black Friday Walk In and Win game, triggered by beacons.

“From welcoming customers to our stores as they arrive to providing more relevant messaging and special offers based on their location in the store, we will aim to better engage with shoppers through the use of beacon technology via the Macy’s App, in order to provide our valued customers with an even better, more personal shopping experience,” Mr. Veras said Macy´s Director of National Media Relations according to the Mobile Commerce Daily Magazine.

ItWire and MediaPost Magazine predict massive growth in the next 4 years: almost 2 Billion coupons delivered with beacons! Not bad for a little device that measures 3cm!

But the good news is that beacons can also be associated with mobile passes that can be installed on Apple Wallet (previously named Passbook) or other mobile wallets. A beacon can trigger a notification from the digital pass to remind customers of a promotion at a specific location. This location-based feature allows brands and retailers to either skip any type of App backend integration or to reach customers that don´t have their App installed.

3 Tips to have in mind when defining a mobile strategy

In October 2014, the newspaper The Independent stated: “for the first time ever there are more gadgets in the world than there are people”. There are more than 7.2 billions of mobile devices in the world, which means that “mobile penetration has now risen above 100% in most developed markets, because many people have more than one live connection”. The acquisition of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are rapidly increasing per user, creating a bigger opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers.

It is important to have in mind that mobile isn’t only smartphones, so here are some important tips topics when creating a mobile strategy:

3 technologies you should use when creating a mobile strategy-02

  1. Social media 

Smartphones allow people to stay connected to the world and social media has been the fundamental driver of this connectivity. That is why social Apps are among the most installed, in the UK. According to App Annie’s: 4 out of 5 free downloaded Apps for iPhone users in the UK are social.

Social influence is also a gamification technique. Being part of a social community and the act of “shareability” allows driving engagement with other users using psychological influences, such as, acceptance, competitiveness, companionship or even desire.

There are many social Apps and tools that brands can use to interact with users. Since social is a personal contact, consumers feel more involved and are driven to a stronger relationship with brands, which increases the engagement and ultimately increases sales.

3 technologies you should use when creating a mobile strategy-03

  1. Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets are apps that allow to store cards, coupons, boarding passes, credit cards and much more in one single space. The most known mobile wallets are Apple’s Passbook and Google Wallet.

Passbook is a pre-installed app, which means that every person with an iPhone has automatically access to Passbook. Since 2013, Apple has already sold more than 200 million iPhones, this means that more than 200 million of consumers has direct access to Passbook (which will be rebranded as Wallet).

Google Wallet, on the other hand, is an App that has to be downloaded on the Google Play Store and is only available for the US market. Nevertheless, it has around 20 million users. Google Wallet is on the process of being rebranded as Android Pay and will be available globally which will allow to grow faster.

3 technologies you should use when creating a mobile strategy-04

  1. Beacons

Beacons are small Bluetooth devices that act as a dynamic geo-mapping tool by emitting signals, and are currently a trend that keeps growing across industries.

Beacons empowers the brand’s App, because it allows to makes the content more dynamic and relevant since it is delivered according to the consumers’ location, without being to much intrusive for the consumers. This means, that a brand or retailer can send web links, discount promotions and notifications to the consumer, depending on its in-store location.

The hype around beacons is because they allow brands to create a richer, contextualized and personalized in-store consumer experience while getting to know better their customers.

For retailers or brands without Apps, Facebook just released their own beacons for retailers to use that integrates with Facebook App. This is an interesting solution for brands or small retailers without their own App because it takes advantage of Facebook and their social engagement since most users already allow Facebook App to send push notifications. In addition to this, Facebook links its own geo-located ads to the brand’s content, which minimizes the risk for brands.

Individually, each of the above tips explores mobile marketing as a channel to increase engagement with the consumer and to drive store traffic. Combined, the results are exponential, resulting in a much stronger mobile strategy to acquire, engage and retain customers.

Digital wallets, such as Passbook, are key to effectively use beacon push notifications

The premise of beacon technology has created a big buzz amongst marketers, who see the potential of a more personalisation and relevant customer targeting. However, it’s important they understand and exercise with caution how to use beacons in order not to be invasive and also to have the ability to create relevant, contextualize and personalised content.

Leveraging location-based technology will undoubtedly lead to a closer, more personal relationship in the way brands communicate to their customers. It presents a win-win situation for both brands and customers, as marketers can see better results from their campaigns and customers can get more relevant offers to their own tastes and likes.

However, some consumers, worry about privacy issues when brands can directly send messages to their phones and can also feel annoyed by too many push notifications or by the ones that are not relevant to them.

Positioning beacons in-store can counteract some of these issues, by taking advantage of the customer’s location for a more beneficial situation. Customer interactions with beacons will normally only happen after downloading a Passbook Pass or having a specific App, meaning there is already an opt-in by the consumer. Nevertheless, over-targeting, being too personal or sending to many push notifications can drive the customer’s to delete the Pass or uninstall the App.

The quantity and types of push notifications comes down to good judgement (common sense) and ultimately, thinking from the customer’s point of view about whether you would respond well to those specific messages. Research by Punchtab revealed that 88% would be willing to use location-based technology if it mean they would receive special offers or coupons. So, it´s key to provide value to the customer, giving him a good reason to be contacted.

Combining Digital Wallets, such as Passbook, with beacons are perfect for in-store push notification to easily allow customers to obtain passes and influence their in-store activity, with the goal of encouraging them to make a purchase. The seamless process of adding a pass on the go into the smartphone is becoming part of the future, and of how we shop with taking advantage of smartphones and digital wallets.

What iBeacon Technology Can Offer to Retailers

The unique features of iBeacon truly offer the ability to revolutionise retailers’ in-store experience, by allowing a better understand of customers’ path, real-time interaction with their customers, which represents a huge potential to engage in new products and offers to increase sales. But automatically there are two questions that arise.

The first question is what is an iBeacon and how it works? Beacons are Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices, that work as small indoor positioning systems, to send information to nearby smart devices. In the case of a smartphone that information is delivered via the brand’s App or through Passbook, and then displayed as a push-notification on a pre-subscribed user’s screen.

This enables retailers to send-up-to date, contextualized and relevant information to a customer depending on their exact location in the store and based on their behaviour.

For example, imagine you’re in a department store that sells a vast range of products, each time you walk past each section and are near that particular beacon you’ll might get a different message on your phone, be it promoting a new line of clothes or a discount on French wine etc.

The second question that needs to be asked by the retailers is ‘What can Beacons offer to my customers?’ The answer to this question is very simple; Facilitate and improve their in-store shopping experience. iBeacons offer a cost-effective way to efficiently engage with customers on a platform they are familiar with, their smartphone.

These days, the smartphone goes everywhere with the customer and it’s already integrated into their shopping habits, particularly as many major retail brands offer an App to browse and buy all their products. According to a research carried out by Swirl, 85% of those who own a mobile shopping App use it whilst shopping in a store. Furthermore, 65% of them said they consult their smartphone whilst in a store to find out about products and offers. This means, that through the smartphone, retailers already have a ready-made platform to attract their customers’ attention, and a push notification from an iBeacon is one of the best ways to do that.

The benefits of this technology for both retailer and customer are endless, and the possibility to create more interaction between the two is one that can even bring more trust and build the relationship, whilst allowing the retailer to reap the rewards of offering them better service.

Finding the right equilibrium to make the best use of iBeacons is crucial. In the case of normal push-notifications, the balance of sending the right amount to users is a difficult thing for brands to gauge. However, with real-time location-based push-notifications, retailers can send information to customers at a time when they actually want to find out more about product offers, and best of all, since they are already in-store means they are in the perfect place to act on those messages and buy products.

iBeacon can also work side-by-side with a store’s existing technology, to give retailers a way to better understand their customer’s behaviours, tastes and needs, whilst offering them a more personal shopping experience.

For example, when iBeacons’ push-notifications are used in conjunction with the store’s App and existing CRM platforms, retailers have the ability to tailor the messages they send out to specific customer group.

How it works is that when the customer’s smartphone receives the information from the iBeacon, prompting the App to send a push notifications, the store’s system can also be notified who it is that has entered the store. Automatically, the staff working at that time will, have access to important information, such as purchase history or what tastes and prefer products that customer has. Likewise the message sent out by the iBeacon, could be totally personalized and can be sent only to a particular group of shoppers and thereby maximise the exposure of certain products to the right target group.

Summarising, iBeacons represent a neat and effective way for retailers to better understand and get closer to their customers by enabling them to easier access contextualized and relevant offers, and thereby increasing sales.

 

 

Why is mobile at the center of the new commerce and how can we help

Digital is becoming at the center of nearly everything we do”, said Joe Megibow, Chief Digital Officer at American Eagle to Open Mobile Media.

Nowadays most of consumers are digital enabled and, with it, their attention is much shorter and divided across multiple brands at the same time. The shift to the digital world put the highlight back onto the consumer, pushing brands to go further in order to not become obsolete.

Brick & Mortar stores provide a physical experience that communicates with the emotional side of the brain of the consumer. People feel and touch the product. That feeling creates the identification between the product and the person necessary to a purchase and in the digital world it’s not so easy to create that emotional bondage. Brands need to think how much are consumers willing to wait and pay for the comfort of access to a certain product and, also, how further are brands willing to go to retain consumers? With digital technology it’s not a question of brands crossing to online stores, it’s about how to make sure that brands leverage the digital in the right way in order to really engage with the consumers.

More and more brands want to communicate with their customers at the moment and place when they are ready to make a purchase. Hence, the most efficient way to communicate is through mobile however the most appropriate tools weren’t available until now which changed with rise of the Digital Wallet.” said Francisco Belo, Passworks’ founder and CEO to Energy of Portugal. So how to scale 1:1 marketing? How to promote and, above all, how to reward consumer loyalty? That is where the concept of omni-channel kicks in.

Omni-channel is how brands explore the different aspects of the business and of the brand personality, bringing all different available media together, in a seamless way in order to engage more effectively with the consumer. That is why lately the center of commerce is mobile. Mobile is the closest way to reach a consumer because mobile marketing allows brands to empower consumer mobility and to communicate at the most relevant time. With the launch of Passbook, an iOS native app that gathers digital consumer-interested content, from mobile coupons, membership or stores cards and tickets, product marketing went mobile. But it was only with the launch of Apple Pay, with the introduction of the payment capability, that the whole commerce interaction and business changed both retail and consumer experiences.

In practice, everyone can create content for Passbook. However, this is a market that is still rising and already raises many questions from the consumer side and, regarding the brands, it takes awareness, knowledge and practice to work with the platform.  This is where we come in. Passworks acts as an intermediary between brands and the targeted audience, without retaining the brands consumer information. But why should brands use Passworks? We allow brands to create, distribute and manage mobile content through all the major mobile wallets platforms, such as Apple Passbook, Google Wallet or Windows Phone Wallet campaigns (all three major available OS), which means that basically every person that has a smartphone can be reached and impacted with content created by our platform. Furthermore, in just one platform, a brand can not only design and create content, but also specify a targeted audience and share it through different distribution channels and manage each campaign results.

For brands that previously developed their own apps or want direct integration with their systems, Passworks has an API solution. The API can serve as a link between the online platform, either web or app and the mobile campaigns creation SaaS, which allows the brand to keep control of everything they already do, integrate with their existing solution and let us empower the brand in a more vertical audience-based way.

In addition to opening the path to mobile for brands, Passworks platform also allows brands to integrate with iBeacons technology. Due to its low but more precise range, Beacons outweigh GPS by improving consumer experience with very accurate 1:1 communication. iBeacons can be used as a strategy to drive consumers into the store which, as a consequence, increases the chances of purchases and sales because they act as a communication channel between the brand and the end consumer through relevant push notifications. Nevertheless, since the consumer needs to identify with what’s at stake, the crucial piece of the puzzle is the mobile content itself and the brand’s strategy to guide the customer into the store plus the in-store consumer experience.

In the end, Passworks acts as a powerful mobile marketing tool, creating a new distribution channel for brands but also aims to empower consumer experience and mobility. From developers, to retail marketers or communication agents it is possible to create mobile content to promote a specific brand, no matter the business market, directly to the consumers.

12 Readings to start 2015 up to date!

2014 is gone and what a year, it was! To start the year fresh, we selected 12 articles for those who are interested in hot topics as mobile wallets, the mobile marketing revolution or mobile payments and mobile coupons!

  1. #GoogleWallet : Make your phone your wallet
    In May 26, 2011, Google launched the first mobile wallet. Google Wallet is an native app for Android users to store cards, coupons and tickets into their smartphones whilst a mobile payment system. It works with NFC – Near Field Communication that allows users to interact with their stores only using their smartphones. From seeing an offer to using a coupon and adding points to its store card it can be a great tool and strategy for retailers.
  1. #Passbook : Apple’s Passbook
    In September 19, 2012 Apple introduced Apple Passbook: a native app for iOS that serves as a mobile wallet to substitute all cards and paper coupons. However, while Google allowed payments —which raised the first wuestions about mobile security and privacy issues — Passbook wasn’t related to payments and opted for a different strategy: create a better product integrated with Siri and Maps while improving a service that could end consumers’ doubts.
  1. #ApplePay : Apple Announces Mobile Payment Solution
    In September 9, 2014 Apple launched its first mobile payment service for the United States. A system that connects with Apple Passbook and, instead of using safety pin codes, it using touch ID to bullet proof payment security and it doesn’t collect any payment history, in order to ensure its consumers. With over 800 million registered users and a good partnership based network, Apple moved to the top list of competitors in the banking businesses.
  1. #Mobile Wallets : A Recap in the World of Wallets
    With the emancipation of the mobile wallets as Google Wallet and Apple Pay, the payments market raised and developed a mobile payment ecosystem, all of them fighting to be part of this innovative channel. Samsung created its own wallet for Samsung devices. Paypal and Visa started a race for partnerships. Third party apps emerged to act as easy-in distribution channels such as Loop Pay and CurrentC.
  1. #ConsumerEngagement via Mobile Wallets: There’s No Way It Won’t Become a Norm
    “Consumers prefer to have a unified mobile payment app that can be used in multiple stores while integrating individual store coupons and loyalty programs among millennials (55%) and users 35 years and up (46%) alike, the report says. But, 34% of consumers weren’t even aware if their favorite stores offered mobile payments or not.”
  1. #Omnicommerce : The Best of Omnichannel in 2014
    The news aboutApple Pay in September generated an unusual amount of mainstream media attention. Since it was announced, it has already changed the way we talk about mobile payments and has unlocked (and will continue to unlock) new sources of value for consumers and merchants. Apple also has a unique ability to mobilize an entire ecosystem – and that prompted Karen Webster to ask: Can Apple Pay shape the future of omnicommerce?”Now, omnichannel is no longer a trendy word but a requirement for all sort of businesses. Now it’s not just about what you do. It’s about how you communicate, how you reach the end consumer and, most importantly, when and where you reach them.
  1. #iBeacons : 15 Companies from Airports to Retail Already using iBeacon Technology
    With the introduction of iBeacons — One end, Low Energy Bluetooth devices — to the mobile payments world, a new form of marketing was born: Mobile marketing. The concept of mobile marketing allows brands to empower consumer mobility and communicate with them at the most relevant time opportunity, with the most relevant content considering timing. Displaying only the information that particular consumer wants at the most convenient time is one of the best way to drive store traffic and increase consumer engagement.
  1. Google Wallet won’t let you buy digital goods on the web past March 2015
    With the rise of mobile wallets and the crushing power of Apple Pay, Google Wallet announced in November 2014 that in March 2015 it would no longer allow the payment for digital goods. However, it can still be used for physical goods since last month Google Wallet announced a partnership with Disneyland in Orlando.
  1. Do people really use Apple Passbook?
    Mobile wallets bring a lot of innovative thoughts and interactions. However, it is normal to stop for a bit and ask ourselves: Do people really use this? Yes, technology is fast and the market goes 360º everyday. Nevertheless, when playing with consumer — people — interaction, it’s a totally different thing. We’re talking about mass movement and mass cultures and it takes time for people to adapt and adjust, to learn new concepts (that are in constant change) even if they’re here to help.
  1. Apple Pay Might come to the UK in early 2015
    Finally, Apple Pay is coming to Europe! UK is already aware and prepare to take in Apple Pay and, like every Western Country in Europe, it can’t wait to put the hands on it to see how much it will change the economy, specially because now Mesh Beacons are on the table.
  1. #MeshBeacons: Move over iBeacons, here come Mesh Beacons
    Instead of receiving and sharing information from one end to another, mesh beacons allow to track information once shared with the end consumer. So when entering a store, a mesh beacon can guide you within the store until you reach the specific product that you wanted to buy because it can receive the GPS signal of your smartphone and use it to give directions to point X.
  1. #Passworks: Passworks raises 1M for Passbook Campaigns
    We were born.
    Passworks is, like Passk.it or Passwallet, a third party platform that allows brand to create, communicate and distribute mobile marketing campaigns using Passbook of Google Wallet.Since the beginning of 2014 we are here to be part of this mobile ecosystem. To make it easier for users to connect better with their favorite brands and to allow brands to become relevant for consumers, to penetrate in a new channel and explore mobility as it’s only being discovered to achieve the best of omnicommerce.

    2014 was a great year that allowed us to learn more about this world, to develop with new achievements and to be prepared for what’s next. With a new year, new challenges are ahead. We are excited to be here for 2015 and we can’t wait to share our next projects we have stored for and with you.

 

Here is to 2015! Happy New Year!

The Benefits of Apple Passbook for Brands

Passbook offers brands a significant opportunity to drive engagement with customers and increase store foot traffic through one convenient app.

Passbook is an app native to Apple devices, pre-installed on all operating systems that run iOS 6 or later. The essential premise is one place to store coupons, event tickets, loyalty cards and the like, but more than just being a digital wallet, it also represents huge marketing potential for brands.

The fact that Passbook is a default app means a target audience already exist that are accustomed to using it. In the US Passbook is already the 4th most popular mobile commerce app and a fifth of all iPhone users already use it to download coupons. Furthermore, with over 300 million iPhones around the world and all future devices set to have Passbook installed, the wide range of users that brands can reach is vast.

The convenience of having all a wallet’s non-payment aspects in one app is beneficial to both brand and customer. For example, the easier access to both coupons and loyalty cards allows brands to offer their customers a seamless interchange between the two whilst increasing sales and providing better customer service.

Location-based notifications enhance the dynamic features of a Passbook pass allowing brands to send updated information to their customer’s phone via push notifications, which highlights the potential to refine marketing strategies with more personalised, relevant offers. Apple’s iBeacon technology has already paved the way for geolocation to play a key role in brand to customer interaction.

Incorporating Passbook passes into a brand’s existing mobile marketing strategy has been shown to boost sales and increase coupon conversion rates, with 64% higher conversions compared to regular mobile web coupons. It also provides a totally different platform to a brand’s app, as consumers don’t want to fill their phones with apps for every different shop or restaurant, and require a simpler, more expedient way of utilising their smartphone whilst in-store.

Crucially for smaller brands, Passbook doesn’t need an app to work alongside it, as passes can be added straight to it via email or SMS. This opens up the barriers to entry, enabling brands with smaller resources to have a cost-effective way to offer their customers mobile content and drive up sales. However, there are also Passbook-enabled apps which prompt you to add a pass straight to Passbook allowing both to work in conjunction together.

Apple’s latest updates to iOS7 have made Passbook even more brand and user-friendly with features such as a barcode scanner allowing passes to be easily added on-the-go by scanning a QR and a share icon on the pass. These features make Passbook more accessible, ultimately helping to increase brand loyalty by allowing maximum exposure of a pass.