Recently, our colleagues at Retail Technology Insider shared this great article by Vibes’ CIO, Alex Campbell on what marketers should expect in 2022. And the trends he sees are most interesting. In summary – marketing goes mobile, loyalty programs go digital, and local marketing is the next big thing. But there’s more to it than just the headlines. Keep reading to learn more about these trends and the impact they’ll have on marketers.
If businesses learned any lessons from last year, it’s that they must continue to adapt how they interact with and serve today’s consumers. What worked last year might not work tomorrow. As a result, the year 2022 will have a renewed focus on innovation, experimentation, and mobile marketing.
Consumers expect brands to know who they are and what they want – as well as how they prefer to interact. Additionally, with annual mobile commerce sales expected to double between now and 2025 companies must look to creatively and efficiently expand their mobile engagement strategies to deliver value in 2022.
Mobile Wallet is Here to Stay
This year will be the tipping point where mobile wallet can actually serve as a substitute for a physical wallet. As a result, brands will need to deliver many of the benefits they usually provide via an app, through wallet instead. Increased use of scanners and NFC across industries – including retail and hospitality – makes physical wallets unnecessary. What’s more, we’ve seen mainstream adoption of mobile wallet through the use of event tickets, boarding passes and even vaccine information. This has paved the way for brands to digitize coupons, loyalty cards, gift cards, insurance cards, room keys, appointment reminders and other items traditionally found in consumers’ physical wallets in the form of mobile wallet passes.
Wallet compliments a successful app, providing consumers greater convenience and more options for interaction with the brands they love. If brands don’t have an app, wallet is a valuable alternative that delivers similar benefits, as it turns consumers’ phones into a persistent, dynamic, and personalized content channel that increases loyalty and improves customer satisfaction.
Improvement in BOPIS and Curbside Experiences
In 2020 and 2021, retailers and restaurants alike implemented BOPIS and curbside experiences as a safe option for consumers to pick up their orders. Now, with 53 percent of stores offering BOPIS brands will use 2022 to make this part of the customer experience even easier.
For example, brands can improve communication during all points in the BOPIS journey. Before and during pickup, real-time text and mobile wallet communications that let a consumer know when their order is expected to be ready, as well as next steps to procure their order, can make the process more efficient and seamless. In addition, with mobile devices, a customer no longer has to struggle to find a confirmation number or reference email. Sending follow-up messages after post-purchase is where brands can build loyalty, increasing the likelihood of repeat customers as they know the experience is positive.
Increased Focus on Local Marketing
Sixty-nine percent of consumers expect a personal and consistent customer experience across multiple channels, and digital and mobile engagement can make local targeting possible. In a world where brands are striving to deliver increasingly relevant and targeted experiences, having local reach makes it more likely that customers will react to their marketing. Using SMS and push notifications to keep customers informed on what’s happening is crucial. This has continued to make itself prevalent and grown in importance as inventory challenges, as well as COVID-related safety issues continue to persist – and differ – across regions.
Loyalty Goes Fully Digital
To effectively grow loyalty programs, text messages and mobile wallet are important assets to use. Email is no longer the most effective communication, as emails go unread and open rates fall. The timeliness and immediacy of text messages and push notifications, from either the app or the mobile wallet, keeps brands top of mind and activates consumers. What’s more, ongoing privacy mandates from major players like Apple will force brands to think creatively beyond their app when reaching new and potential customers. Mobile strategies are immediate, making enrollment and engagement faster and seamless.
2022 is the Year to Further Commit to Mobile Marketing
According to McKinsey, over the past two years, 75 percent of U.S. consumers tried a new shopping behavior. This is a massive opportunity for brands to win new customers and increase market share. After all, a mobile-first world requires mobile-first campaigns. With an investment in mobile marketing throughout the year, brands can better position themselves to improve the customer experience. Mobile engagement is convenient and instantaneous, allowing businesses to adapt quickly and cater to new behaviors and expectations.
The author, Alex Campbell is co-founder and CIO of Vibes.