According to new research from data analytics provider SAS, Canadian consumers like the idea of having personalized offers delivered to their smartphones while they’re shopping. In-store mobile marketing could be a big boost for business if retailers can pull it off, but mobile notifications also have the potential to be far more intrusive than e-mail or direct mail. Poor execution might even tarnish the shopping experience.
Of 1,500 Canadians surveyed by SAS, 82% said they would like to receive detailed product information while shopping, and 58% would be interested in receiving personalized offers on their smartphones. A little more than a third of shoppers said that if they reached the checkout till and received an offer related to something they were buying, they would buy both products. An additional 15% would take the complementary offer but leave the original product.
As might be expected, young and tech-savvy shoppers were more likely to have a positive view of in-store mobile marketing. Shoppers 18-44 were one and a half times more likely to want to receive offers than those over 55, and shoppers who made purchases on smartphones were one and a half times more likely to want offers than those who didn’t. Adults 18-54 are also one and half times more likely to buy both items when receiving a complementary offer at the cash.
But while consumer optimism is high, Indigo CIO and executive vice-president of digital Sumit Oberai said it can backfire if retailers’ mobile marketing implementation doesn’t meet expectations. He said receiving a mobile notification about a product that you have no interest in can be really intrusive and irritating, and he should know having tested about 20 retailers’ apps on his phone.
“If I get something that’s completely irrelevant to me, and it makes me stop what I’m doing and pick up my phone to look at what just came in, it’s a point of frustration,” he said. The irritation sometimes translates to an urge to uninstall the app. “I think consumers want targeted offers, but I think the bar is high for the execution of those offers. There’s a fine line between annoyance and value.”
Indigo, which works with SAS on customer data-targeting initiatives, will be launching a new app this fall that helps shoppers identify which products recommended for them are currently on sale while they’re at the store. Oberai said the new service is based on research Indigo did on e-mail marketing that found a customer is more likely to act on an e-mail showing a recommended book is 30% off than an e-mail about a 30%-off sale that includes the book.
The targeted offer service is already available online, but Oberai said pushing it to mobile will make a big difference since it’s far more convenient for shoppers to act on an offer when they’re already in the store.