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Recap: In-store Mobile Commerce Revolution

Recap: In-store Mobile Commerce Revolution

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Yesterday was the first day of the 7th Annual Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco. The summit attracts the brightest minds in mobile that are driving the heart of the industry, allowing attendees to gain knowledge from the expertise of mobile strategists from a wide range of B2C companies and brands.

One panel that struck the interest of us here at MobileFOMO was the “In-Store Mobile Commerce Revolution”. This panel focused on how mobile technology is changing the in-store experience for each shopper. From low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) to hyper-local Location Based Service, beacon technology is disrupting the consumer shopping experience. Experts on this panel included Stefan Happ, Executive Vice President & Global Emerging Payments and Services at American Express, Joe Megibow, CDO at American Eagle, Andy Chu,  Divisional Vice President of Mobile & Community Experiences at Sears, Eric Bader, CMO of RadiumOne and
Shira Gasarch, Product Strategy Lead at ShopKick. The panel was moderated by Owen Thomas, Editor-in-Chief at ReadWrite.

For those of you who are not familiar with what a beacon does, it is a piece of hardware that tells the store where you are via bluetooth that allows ads specific to your location. That may explain why you get a certain ad for Starbucks coffee, then realize you are minutes away from one. At the center of beacon technology is data because data is all about behaviors. Eric Bader, CMO at RadiumOne, goes on to elaborate about the roles that beacons and data play together:

There are three ways to look at the roll beacons play. There is passive data, indicative data, and active data. Passive means you’re browsing around, so we can get data behaviorally that you’re in a Sears or AE store. That only tells us so much, and there’s only so much we can do to convert. Active data means taking something into the dressing room, which is a monetizable moment. A beacon has a role in active data, but this is a different situation in the passivity between converting that person to one of the items. It is a situation where you can use the beacon data to merchandize better. The indicative part is when you’re off the train and near coffee shops. Starbucks can use the indicative data that you’re commuting. Also, time of day matters also because it is a proxy for which device your data is for. The marketing effort between the three is what we’re all trying to solve.”

Another important take away from the panel was that it is necessary to figure out how to encourage behaviors that encourage the shopping effect. Bader cited sharing a selfie as an example:

Sharing a selfie creates a seed audience that RadiumOne can use to sell to you. You don’t want to spend the money on people you already know, but the people who are like the ones that you know.”

The disruption that mobile has created in stores isn’t just something that is affecting the consumers in the store. American Eagle CDO, Joe Megibow, said that entire divisions of American Eagle have been rebuilt off of the input from mobile technology.

And, the revised efforts seem to have worked. American Eagle doubled their dressing room attendance in stores by working with ShopKick to partner offers. By using beacons and offers in the store, such as “try this on right now”, they doubled the amount of people in the room.

With mobile being such a game changer in the field of marketing, it is so important to keep up with the trends, topics, and best practices. Even the big guys agree that mobile might be a little crazy, but it’s totally worth it!

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