The multi-channel approach was initially supported by independent silos, which allowed the channels to be constructed quickly but were not optimized. Integrating the channels provided a consistent way to interact with customers, allowing features like buy-on-the-web, pick-up-in-the-store. But we’re now at a point when customers want to interact with brands not channels. They want a consistent experience that’s optimized for the touch-point they’re invoking, and they want to be recognized across the brand. For example, a customer may create a shopping cart using a mobile app and then continue adding to the card on the web-store. Further, the offer and promotions made to the customer should take into account all the customer’s activities with the brand, including activities where the customer did not make any purchase.
The Mobile Blueprint categorizes mobile apps into three generate groups: Mobile Marketing, Mobile Commerce, and Mobile Operations. Naturally some apps will cross boundaries. Mobile Marketing involves all the consumer functionality not involving an actual transaction (purchase, return, etc.) with the retailer. That means customer service, marketing, providing product information, social networking, and shopping tools.
Mobile Commerce is the equivalent of e-commerce on a mobile device. In fact, in many cases the same e-commerce data is used but presented to the consumer in a manner optimized for the mobile footprint. M-commerce diverges from e-commerce in two important ways: First, product search is often different. On the mobile device, it’s a little more difficult to use a keyboard so options to search by scanning barcodes, photographing an item, and speaking the item’s name are often provided. (All of these search options are available in Amazon’s app.) Second, there are many alternative payment vehicles available.
Mobile Operations apps are those carried by employees, in-store and by HQ workers. The use of mobile devices for inventory has been in use for a while, but now things like flash reporting and checkout are being added as well. Apple led the way with their use of mobile POS, and many retailers are finding this approach is great for peak selling times.
Let’s take a look at how mobile devices impact the in-store experience. I go through six steps in which a mobile phones is used by an in-store consumer.
Yowza! – find nearby store and associated coupons.Placecast – receive offers via SMS when near a store
Oracle Retail Mobile Manager (not GA) – receive check-ins for important customers.Shopkick – earn points for in-store check-ins.
Oracle Retail Store Gateway (not GA) – scan shelf-labels for product information
Oracle Retail Store Gateway (not GA) – receive customized offers using Oracle Retail Universal Offer Engine (not GA)NearBuy – summon an employee for help
InfoGain Mobile POS – checkout customers using iTouchVivoTech – NFC reader
Intuit QuickReceipts – store all your digitalreceipts in the cloud
NRF Mobile Blueprint 2011
12 January 2011<br />Mobile Retailing Blueprint v2<br />David Dorf<br />Sr. Director of Technology Strategy<br />