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Since the launch of Passworks several questions regarding the technology and the usage of the platform arose. We listed what are the most common doubts or questions that have been asked:
Passworks has been present in several marketing, retail and technology events as an exhibitor to show and explain how our technology works. Typically, Passworks generates huge interest from the visitors and a decent percentage have heard about Passbook application. Nevertheless, the majority of the visitors do not know or understand what is the purpose of Passbook and there are many questions about it: ”I have this app on my iPhone but I never use it. I don’t know what is it for.”.
At Passworks, we face this double challenge of having to demonstrate the benefits of our platform and technology, but also to go back and explain the concept of mobile wallets and Passbook.
Passbook is an Apple application, launched with iOS 6 on September 2012, pre-installed in all iPhones and iPod touch devices that allows users to store coupons, boarding passes, even tickets, store cards, and starting with iOS 8.1, credit cards, loyalty cards and debit cards via Apple Pay.
Many people believe that there is the need to download another App in order to have access to the mobile coupons, membership passes, tickets, etc. Incorrect. Passworks integrates with existing several wallet Apps, such as Passbook or Pass Wallet, in order for the user to just easily add the pass into that app.
This question is asked several times at the beginning when people start to understand the huge benefits that the technology brings.
Passes can easily be distributed into the users mobile via email, SMS, MMS, web links, integration with social media, an App or through scanning a QR code.
Passworks technology enables brands to associate locations and messages to a specific pass, in order for the customers that has the pass installed receive a push-notification to remind them about the pass content when they are close to the pre-defined location.
Unfortunately, the technology itself limits the number of locations to 10 places. Nevertheless Passworks developed several alternatives for bigger clients that wish to add much more locations.
The brands have the possibility to add to the pass a barcode, that can be a QR Code, PDF 417, EAN 128 or Aztec. This code allows brands to count the number of passes issued and also can be read at point of sale via a classic POS scanner or using Passworks technology that includes a Scanner App or redeemer web page.
KPI´s are an important part of the information required to determine and explain how a company progresses towards its business and marketing goals. Passworks understands that it is essential to provide a solution for brands to measure their campaigns.
Using Passworks platform you can access to several data regarding your campaign, such as number of passes download, installs, active passes, how many people have delete the pass and much more. Inclusive, If you decide to create personalized passes, like a membership card or a store card, you can even know the exact behaviour of each customer.
Those are the most common question, but if you have any other doubt don´t hesitate in reaching us at email@example.com. We are here to help!
Nevertheless, have in consideration that the usage of Passbook is very different from country to country. As an example, in the United States Passbook is broadly used for mobile coupons, store cards and boarding passes. While in the UK the technology is on a more initial phase.
But the feedback we received from our customers and partners on the technology and Passworks is great. No doubts about the increase and growth of mobile wallet marketing that will allow brands to better engage with their customers in real-time and based on their location.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past years, you can’t fail to recognise the hugely important role and impact that social media had and is having in our lives. It has never been easier to contact a friend, reach someone and, more importantly, share information, which makes it essential for brands to have a social media presence.
A mobile wallet marketing campaign can also be boost by the benefits of what social media has to offer.
A mobile coupon can be personalized to a specific user or generic in order to be massive, meaning that it can be shared and used by everyone. By sharing a mobile coupon it will increases awareness of your brand on social media and maximises the exposure to your offers, attracting and acquiring new customers.
A Facebook referral promotion campaign is a great example of how to empower the effectiveness of a generic mobile coupon. The promotion works by enticing fans to gain rewards by referring friends to sign up, meaning they effectively do a lot of the hard work for you. The initial action of liking your brand’s page is a simple and task-free one for the users which increases your fan base. Then in order to access the coupon, a sign up is needed, giving you access to new customers’ email addresses to add to your mailing list.
Update your news feeds regularly with new information about the offers and to add the pass click the link to download. A pass will be added instantly into the smartphone’s digital wallet. That can include a generic offers pass that can be updated frequently with special promotions according to the brand strategy.
Your customers’ news feeds are also a springboard to attract new customers as their likes or retweets of offers will appear on their friend’s newsfeeds, making it more likely they will click on your page to see the offer if they know a friend has done it.
It’s key, that if you update your digital wallet technology content, to let your customers know the changes, and social media is a great place to communicate. As an example, if you’ve just incorporated your passes or loyalty card into Passbook, then updating your news feed to get that information over to your customer base is key.
Likewise, if you’ve introduced new technology in your stores, such as iBeacons, then sending information via social media allows to explain how it works encouraging your customers to try it.
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.
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.
Bricks-and-mortar businesses have been losing ground on their online counterparts for years now as they are undercut by cheaper prices and more convenience for consumers. However, one advantage they can offer customers is the unique experience of having a physical location to display products and an opportunity to interact with staff.
The growing competition from online retailers means that the in-store experience and general customer service has never been more important for brick-and-mortar stores. Offering the consumer a seamless, interactive mobile experience is a vital way to do that.
In this digital age, where the smartphone is playing an increasingly significant role in influencing consumers’ spending habit, it’s essential that brands meet the high standards that their customers now expect of them. Digital wallets and close-proximity marketing are undoubtedly going to be part of the future of the customer-retailer in-store experience.
Making use of a dynamic mobile wallet pass has the potential to offer consumers a omni-channel retail experience that they desire. The many features of a digital wallet, including coupons and loyalty cards, allow the customer to incorporate their smartphone in to their shopping habits, whilst providing them value and creating brand loyalty.
The emergence of ibeacon technology which can be used in conjunction with mobile wallets, further underlines the potential to offer better, more relevant in-store experiences for customers and increases store traffic by enticing customers in to the store.
As a result of better access to a wider range of products and easy price comparison, the shift of power has switched to the consumer, as old-fashioned brand loyalty is disappearing, but for bricks-and-mortar stores embracing the changing nature of shopping habits is a must, with smartphone usage at the forefront.
First we had brick-and-mortar stores, then transactions moved online, and now Joe Pergola, vice president of sales and marketing at POS software and hardware provider AccuPOS, says location is even less important with the latest mobile payment options. “The museum gift shop eventually will have an event outside in the courtyard, and they want to bring some merchandise outside and sell it,” he offers as an example.
You can read more about Online Payments: Money Goes Mobile here.
The current mobile wallet evolution is being fronted by Apple’s Passbook and Google Wallet with the ultimate goal of replacing physical wallets in favour of the smartphone. Both versions of mobile wallet offer roughly the same service, with a few variations.
Passbook and Google Wallet’s main features are storing passes, i.e. coupons, loyalty cards, boarding passes, cinema tickets, basically anything that used to be a piece of paper in your wallet, can now be kept safely in your smartphone. The principal concept is having one place on your phone to store everything you need.
Apple’s Passbook, launched in September 2012, is seen as the pioneer of using digital wallets to store loyalty cards and coupons, of which Starbuck’s was one its first brands. Although the app came out after Google’s, it’s path was clearly defined as a place to store passes rather than offer any form of payment.
Passbook is a native app, pre-installed in all iPhones, meaning that it only runs on Apple products and only those that run on iOS 6 system or later. One key feature of Passbook is that it enables iBeacon technology to offer geo-trigger push-notifications to iPhone users, which for example enables retailers to offer relevant, updated offers to customers whilst they are in their store. The iBeacon feature is something which Google are still in the process of developing.
The newest feature that Apple has added to iOS 7 system is a QR code scanner, used via the phone’s camera which allows the user to add mobile wallet content on-the-go. These passes can either be used as a digital pass or printed out to be used in-store.
Google Wallet’s journey to its current stage has been slightly different. Initially Google Wallet started as an online payment, Google’s answer to PayPal if you like, but the concept never took off and in September 2013 they moved to include the non-payment side, i.e. coupons, loyalty points, boarding passes etc. Google Wallet app that can run on any Android device with Android 2.3 or later and can even run on iPhones iOS 6.
In May 2013 Google rekindled their ambition to use Google Wallet as a payment alternative but this time by integrating it with Gmail enabling users to send money to anyone over the age of eighteen who has a Gmail account. Further in keeping with this idea Google have also introduced a quicker way to make online payments via the ‘Buy with Google’ button, allowing anyone with a Google Wallet account to make purchases on mobile apps and sites in only two clicks
As an extension of the app Google also now offer a physical debit card to go along with your Google Wallet app, which enables you to use its NFC (Near Filed Communication) technology to make one-tap payments.
Nevertheless, the whole Google Wallet service is still only available in the US, with no clear indication of when it will arrive in Europe. In contrast, Passbook has been available in Europe since its launch. Nevertheless, with the Android operating system being used on over 50% of current smartphone users’ phones, Google offer marketers access to a broader audience than Apple can. Therefore expect to see more retailers and brands incorporate Google’s mobile wallet technology in to their marketing plans in order to further create engagement and loyalty in their customer base, and ultimately increase sales.
There’s a clear distinction then that Google aim to incorporate their digital wallet as part of their wider plans of facilitating online payments for their users, whilst Apple’s Passbook is focused more on the non-payment side, solely being a place to store all the necessities of your wallet without making payments.
However with the launch of Apple Pay in October 2014, the in-store experience changed for retailers and consumers. Not only loyalty card are stored within mobile phones, the payment is made through NFC (Near Field Communication), a technology built-in iPhones. This means that the consumer only uses his smartphone to connect all services on the same mobile interaction. Adding the fact that Apple has already several major partnerships with major credit card services such as Visa, American Express, banks and retailers, this translates in a huge advantage for Apple.
In recent years, we have seen the rise of mobile payments and how they been changing the way customers and businesses interact. From PayPal, Google Wallet, Square, Isis and passing on to Visa and MasterCard, everyone has been focusing on driving mobile payments, improving and transforming the way people shop and pay.
Only more recently, have the mobile wallet non-payment features started to emerge. Primarily with the launch of Apple Passbook, and later with the new updated version of Google Wallet, mobile wallets have been redesigned to meet the needs of brands in delivering compelling content to consumers on their smartphones via the use of dynamic passes (such as digital coupons, loyalty cards, boarding passes, event tickets and others offers), push notifications and real time location based messages. Taking advantage of these features has become fundamental in the industry in allowing brands and retailers to communicate more effectively, while giving consumers an easier way to organize their items in one place.
This is a huge, and very real opportunity for brands and retailers to communicate and further build relationships with their customers. These new functionalities allows to easily send personalized offers, distribute passes which drive store traffic and increase both conversion rates and consumer loyalty and enabling a very cost-effective location-based marketing campaign.
At the end, brands and retailers can start exploring the emergence of mobile and social platforms as an opportunity to increase share of mind and share of wallet to create an interconnected and seamless experience between mobile and the shop floor.
Consumers have already made it clear they want a mobile wallet solution that gives them a seamless experience while helping to better organize all their shopping-related information, thus creating a better, more convenient overall shopping experience.
No longer do consumers need to carry all their paper coupons or plastic cards when shopping, traveling or going to an event. Instead, they can place their coupons, offers and cards in the mobile wallet and let the technology work for them. They can also be reminded of offers when close to a retail store or when a certain offer is about to end with a push notification that will appear on the screen of their smartphone.
Mobile is the ultimate and effective form of custom media because it is personalized and contextualized to the consumer. This is why it is important for marketers to create personalized and contextualized, relevant content based on their client profile. And if used properly, Google Wallet, Apple Passbook or other mobile wallets are effective solutions for brands to leverage customer acquisition, engage with consumers and drive traffic to their store. Nevertheless, these mobile wallets are not brand or retailers friendly in a way that is easy for the marketers to create offers or vouchers, design campaign and distribute them their target consumers.
Passworks is a new best in class solution for brands and retailers, that enables effective customer acquisition and strong engagement that drives store traffic. It’s an integrated solution for mobile marketing campaigns management using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or an Application Program Interface (API) to create engagement mobile wallet campaigns.
With Passworks’ marketers can design their dynamic passes (digital coupons, membership cards, loyalty cards, event tickets, travel tickets), create the respective marketing campaign, choose a profile target, define location-based notifications, and distribute them directly to customers´ phones of all major mobile platforms via Apple Passbook, Google Wallet, Windows Phone Wallet and other their parties Apps through integration with social networks among other channels.