This year, I’ve had the fortune to work with a more diverse group of retail companies than ever before, and it’s allowed me an insight on mobile marketing I would like to share here. It has to do with a common question I get asked more and more, which is, What are the biggest changes I’m seeing in the way that consumers use mobile to interact with their favorite retailers?
One answer to this is easy for me: Retailers and other brands have by and large had an overreliance on apps. This is now leading them to search for new channels, and one in particular has really been gaining ground, based on customer work I’ve been involved with lately.
To take a step back, it’s no surprise that apps continue to be a centerpiece of brands’ mobile strategy, but what may be surprising is the extent to which apps have almost become in danger of being a victim of their own success. Specifically, the number of apps filling the mobile landscape and competing for people’s attention has now reached a point where it’s tellingly leading to inconsistent use and low engagement. As an example, some 90 percent of people now abandon or delete apps within the first 30 days of downloading them.
Fortunately, another channel has emerged as an alternative, and it’s one we’ve been working with a lot at Syniverse. Although it’s been available on most phones for years, mobile wallet remains an underused tool that offers a well-suited complement to apps. Yet many brands still associate mobile wallet with payment only and don’t realize the opportunity at stake.
With this in mind, we recently developed an infographic to help educate our customers on mobile wallet, and we got involved with two studies to gain better insight on the mobile wallet opportunity. Our findings uncovered that in the U.S., just up to 38 percent of people have heard of mobile wallet, and in the U.K., only about 16 percent have, but of those who have mobile wallet, in the U.S., 53 percent use it at least once a week, and in the U.K., 34 percent do.
Although the lack of awareness about mobile wallet is surprising, the use of it by people who have it is promising, and suggests the opportunity for a range of new retail uses. Among its biggest strengths, mobile wallet offers a fresh approach to engaging customers, with a singular ability to deliver coupons, rewards and tickets straight to a smartphone, at one location where they can easily be redeemed. In fact, the name “mobile wallet” is somewhat of a misnomer since this channel is actually a highly versatile space that provides an open-ended publishing stream right to a customer’s phone.
This flexibility and ease open multiple mobile marketing possibilities that go far beyond payment. As just one example, a retailer looking to attract customers can send a coupon by text, email, social media, or other channel; have the coupon stored in a mobile wallet; have that coupon automatically updated to reflect new details; and have that coupon set to generate personalized notifications based on time or customer location.
Apps will continue to be a mainstay of mobile marketing, but changing mobile consumer patterns mean retailers must now have an alternative approach. Mobile wallet promises to be a well-suited channel to fulfill this need, and I look forward to continuing to work with our retail customers to build Syniverse’s momentum in this space.
Lisa Paccione is responsible for leading the sales of Syniverse’s full portfolio of mobile marketing, engagement and identity solutions for enterprises across the Americas market. Previously, as Vice President, Sales, Global Sales Development, she managed global sales of Syniverse’s roaming, messaging and real-time intelligence solutions for the enterprise market. Lisa has more than 20 years of experience in technology sales and served in a number of senior sales positions prior to joining Syniverse in 2009. Previously, for over six years, she led sales at VeriSign in positions that included Director of Sales, Strategic Account Director and Director of Enterprise Sales for Messaging and Mobile Media. Earlier, she was Regional Vice President of Sales for a startup named exault (later acquired by VeriSign), and prior to that served in account manager positions at Netrex Secure Solutions (later acquired by IBM) and Ameritech (now AT&T). Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and management from Providence College.