Published by Vaggelis Rekkas, 03 October 2019.
Following the rapid technology evolution, we are now moving from the mobile-first era to what we call the post-mobile era.
In this upcoming immersive and ultra-connected world, mobile is at the center of almost every aspect of human behavior and business operation. In the post-mobile era, mobile is expected to redefine (once again) the way we shop, order food, get entertained, commute, monitor our health, etc.
The question is: How businesses can leverage mobile and other rising technologies – such as Augment Reality, IoT, Voice Assistants, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning - to build meaningful customer experiences and drive brand and financial growth.
This post attempts to map the future of brands in the post-mobile era. It provides a series of exemplary cases that pave the way to our new world and highlights the key learnings that brands should have in mind when they design new strategies to build and market their products or services.
Traditionally, loyalty schemes reward repetitive purchases. This rewarding model will continue to thrive, but can it get more creative in the post-mobile era?
Recently, PepsiCo revealed its first-ever cashback loyalty program, with a goal to boost loyalty among cash poor millennials and Generation Zers. Youngsters can earn up to 10% cashback, directly to their Paypal or Venmo accounts, anytime they buy specially marked PepsiCo Drinks and Frito-Lay snacks and scan respective codes found on packaging.
The loyalty scheme introduced by PepsiCo creatively combines mobile, packaging, and online payments. Similar purchase-rewarding scheme, that strongly relies on mobile, has been introduced by Starbucks. The success of Starbucks loyalty scheme has been phenomenal and has set the brand as a leader in mobile payments, even ahead of Apple and Google.
However, in the post-mobile era and thanks to technology advances, brands is expected to go beyond rewarding repetitive purchases and, instead, reward product usage. Tommy Hilfiger’s smart clothing sets the tone for such creative initiatives.
The brand recently unveiled Tommy Jeans XPLORE, a smart-chip enhanced clothing series that offers consumers rewards for each wear, creating a new community of brand ambassadors. Users just pair the XPLORE mobile app with their smart clothing (t-shirts, jeans, caps, jackets, etc.). The more they wear smart clothing the more points they collect. Points can be redeemed with gift cards, signed merchandize, concert tickets, and more.
Augmented Reality (AR) gradually transforms shopping to a much more convenient and fun experience by offering customers the ability to virtually try on products from the comfort of their home, just as they would in a brick-and-mortar store.
Warby Parker, Eyerim and Glasses.com lead the way in eyeglasses and sunglasses virtual, online shopping. Thanks to Wanna Kicks and Nike Fit, users can use their smartphone’s camera to pick the shoe model that best matches theirs tastes and, at the same, find the right shoe size for them. Sephora Virtual Artist and L’ Oreal Makeup Genius pave the way for the future of cosmetic brands, by letting women try on different hair colors, lipsticks, makeup looks and more, directly from their mobile device.
In the post-mobile era, customers will be empowered to discover and try-on products, save photos on their devices, share them with friends and purchase with confidence - wherever they are, whenever they want. At the same time, such technology advances offer brands the right tools to increase sales, reduce product returns, and engage with younger consumers in exciting new ways.
As voice assistants go mainstream, a new opportunity for business to innovate and establish a more natural, easy, and frictionless shopping experience arises.
A few days ago, Mondelez partnered with Amazon, with a goal to promote Mystery Oreo sandwich cookies. By saying, “Alexa, order Oreo” customers will receive a push notification about the order, which will be added directly to their Amazon shopping cart. By saying “Checkout Oreos” the order is placed for delivery.
Similarly, earlier this summer Reebok orchestrated a marketing strategy, based on both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, in order to drive awareness and increase sales on limited-edition sneakers and streetwear.
Such initiatives offer a hint on how brands can use voice-control technology to engage and attract customers who are less likely to see advertising in traditional TV channels, like kids and youngsters.
No doubt, brands that dive into customer journey and deeply understand who, how, when, and why people shop, can significantly optimize customer interactions and realize higher business growth.
In the post-mobile era, thanks to technology advances, brands will be even more empowered to create value for their customers.
An exceptional example that marries mobile, IoT, real-time data, digital signage and lots of creativity was revealed this year by Burger King. The food-chain giant recognized the heavy traffic jam in Mexico City and created an unparalleled campaign, named The Traffic Jam Whopper , to deliver burgers directly to hungry drivers stuck in congested roads and highways. Drivers, all they had to do was to use the voice ordering capability found on the Burger King mobile app and wait for their whoppers to get delivered right to their car.
The success of the campaign was tremendous. It increased Burger King’s daily delivery orders by 63%, the daily download rate of the app jumped 44 times, and also helped the brand to streamline sales during rush hours. Following these metrics, this new way of reaching customers is expected to be replicated to other congested megacities too, including Los Angeles, Sao Paolo, and Shanghai.
To be better prepared in the upcoming post-mobile era, businesses need to act timely and strategically and figure out their mobile digital transformation in a way that it is meaningful to their customers. This is the key to brand, business, and financial growth in a world that rapidly evolves.
The above blogpost is based on my presentation given in the scope of the 8th e-Business & Social Media World Conference, on September 2019. You may find the full keynote below.