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:

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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 Growth and Rise of Mobile Wallets – Apple’s Passbook and Google Wallet

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.

The rise of mobile wallet marketing opportunity

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.