5 INNOVATIVE MOBILE WALLET USES FOR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

Nigel Arthur, Managing Director of Urban Airship (Europe, Middle East & Africa)

The next wave of mobile innovation to grow and sustain direct customer relationships is finally here; and unlike apps, the mobile wallet opportunity is one any business can seize.

  • Mobile wallet usage will reach critical mass in the next three years. The top things that US and European consumers want in their mobile wallet are loyalty points/rewards and coupons/special offers—far more than those that want their payment card stored there (Forrester Research Inc., The Future Of Mobile Wallets Lies Beyond Payments, February 9, 2015).
  • The number of mobile coupon users is expected to nearly double to more than one billion by 2019 (Juniper Research, Mobile Coupons: Consumer Engagement, Loyalty & Redemption Strategies 2014-2019, July 29, 2014).

Retailers have decked the halls—both the physical and virtual—or at least have set everything in motion that they will be tackling for this festive, make-or-break time of year. However, using mobile wallet marketing capabilities within Apple Wallet and Android Pay, marketers can seize last-minute, quick-turn opportunities to surprise and delight more customers and get cash registers jingling too.

With this in mind, here are five innovative Christmas shopping use cases that illustrate the customer engagement opportunity mobile wallets offer:

1) Skip the line, save them hassle

Sales extravaganzas and deep discounts have become a festive season mainstay, so too have the crowds and long lines. A mobile wallet pass can be customers’ golden ticket to preferential treatment, such as early access to the bargain-basement Black Friday sale. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to see the back of the frenzied scenes of the last few years?

What’s more, we’ve found up to 85 percent of installed passes are not deleted off devices—so after Christmas is over, wallet items can be updated to showcase the Boxing Day sale or special offers throughout the January sales.

2) The 12 days of Christmas deals

Get lords (and ladies) a-leaping by quickly implementing a sustained wallet campaign to engage customers throughout the Christmas period with daily or weekly high-value offers that can be redeemed online or in-store. All on the same wallet pass.

A mobile wallet management solution makes it easy to dynamically update pass content and alert consumers to new offers, with notifications displayed on their lockscreen. Companies gain the immediacy and top-level visibility of notifications, which some find generate a 4 to 12 times greater response than email, as well as more advanced mobile capabilities like triggering passes to display at defined locations, times or proximity to beacons—all without the cost and investment of building and maintaining a mobile app.

3) Reward the first 500, everywhere

Mobile wallet passes are distributable anywhere a link can be placed: emails, push notifications, SMS/MMS texts, social channels, websites and even offline signage or ads with QR codes. For every channel, the first 500 people adding the wallet item can be given a special seasonal gift, creating rapid demand through exclusivity.

Businesses gain great perspective on which digital channels are most effective in helping them establish sustained connections to customers through mobile wallets. 

4) Build anticipation, counting down to the big day

Create a mobile wallet pass for a special sale, for example Boxing Day discounts, complete with a countdown timer. Businesses can choose which countdown intervals visibly notify customers that the event is getting closer, or simply update the pass to display the latest countdown when customers open it.

Marketers could also update the strip image to encourage broader engagement, promoting extra giveaways or reposting recent customer social commentary.

5) Enable gifts that keep on giving

Gift cards are a Christmas present favourite. And using mobile wallets to deliver them not only helps consumers avoid over-stuffed, cluttered wallets, it cuts down on hard costs for printed plastic or paper. Gift givers would simply need to provide the recipient’s email or phone number for delivery, and fields within the pass can be updated to reflect the current balance.

In addition, as an added benefit, businesses can highlight links to their app or website, along with physical location/contact information on the back of the pass to usher people from a transactional “got to use the gift card” focus, to a deeper, longer-term relationship—that can continue way past when the Christmas decorations are taken down.

Overall, the benefits of fully utilising Mobile Wallet are too big for businesses to ignore. By going beyond just the payment opportunities, to making use of the customer engagement marketing tactics, will ensure that retailers not only have a very Merry Christmas, but also a successful and profitable New Year.

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