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Today, more than half the world’s population are active on the internet and 2.3 billion people engage online using their mobile phones. This means that mobile marketing is now an essential part of every company’s long-term success, and retail brands that don’t have an effective mobile strategy will fall behind. Check out our tips on how to optimize your brand's strategy for mobile.

There was a time when retail brands could get by on their established email lists and large brick and mortar presences and achieve their business goals. But over the past 10-15 years, we’ve watched the center of gravity for retail move in an increasingly digital-first direction, powered by the meteoric rise of smartphones and other mobile devices.

At this point, every retailer knows the massive scale of mobile: Today, more than 4.6 billion people—that’s more than half the world’s population—are active on the internet and 2.3 billion people engage online using their mobile phones. Mobile and internet adoption are even higher in established economies. This means that mobile marketing is now an essential part of every company’s long-term success, and retail brands that don’t have an effective strategy to engage, retain, and monetize consumers through mobile will fall behind.

What Is Mobile Marketing?

At its core, mobile marketing is an approach to customer engagement where brands leverage today’s technology to communicate value to their customers on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Mobile marketing can cover actions as simple as sending a push notification to let customers know about their loyalty status and as complex as building out a multi-step customer journey that uses a variety of messaging channels (think email, in-app messages, even web push notifications) to speak effectively to shoppers.

Don’t Just Check The Mobile Box—Here’s What Retail Mobile Marketing Strategies Really Need

A successful mobile marketing strategy is one that contributes to your company’s customer engagement and customer loyalty goals. That takes a lot more than sending some push notifications—though you might not know it from the way a lot of retail brands approach mobile marketing. To see real, sustainable success, retailers need to provide customers with a cross-channel, personalized, and time- and location-sensitive experiences.

Let’s unpack those key elements:

1. Cross-Channel Engagement

In today’s fast-paced, tech-driven world, there’s no single marketing channel that can communicate effectively with every one of your customers. To cut through the noise and drive real impact, retail brands need to engage customers where they are—and that means leveraging multiple messaging channels in concert. It’s important that each interaction you have with your customers aligns with your brand story...and that your users feel understood, valued, and nurtured by your brand throughout their customer journey.

To make that happen, you need a customer engagement platform that doesn’t just tick the box when it comes to supporting multiple channels. You need one that goes a step beyond by making it possible to orchestrate multiple channels in unison to drive stronger outcomes. At Braze, we’ve built our vertically-integrated engagement platform to be both channel agnostic and naturally cross-channel. That means that all the powerful data, segmentation, orchestration, and personalization tools we provide can be used on any message in any channel (or all channels!) at any time.

When you have the right strategy and the right technology, it makes it possible to get the right results. Research conducted by Braze has found that communicating with 
customers through a single channel increases engagement rates by 179% compared to a control group that received no messages. Better yet? When users receive cross-channel messaging, those engagement rates jump up to 844%.

2. Personalized Messaging

According to MarTech Advisor, 90% of today’s consumers are annoyed by irrelevant marketing. To ensure that you’re building relationships with your customers and not irritating them with messages they’re not interested in receiving, it’s essential that your mobile messaging strategy is built on a foundation of personalized experiences.

That means ensuring you have the personalization tools you need to make that vision a reality. From nuanced audience segmentation and Liquid personalization to dynamic content customization and intelligent personalization tools, the Braze platform is built to make adding individually relevant content to your push notifications, emails, and in-app messages as easy as clicking a button.

And pushing that button can have a major impact. Research by Braze has found that leveraging dynamic content personalization to automatically add in content like individual product recommendations to messages in real time can boost unique email click rates by up to 1.7x, driving significantly more engagement with the messages you send.

3. Time- and Location-Sensitive Experiences

Thanks to the rise of mobile devices, it’s become possible for retail brands to gather nuanced, actionable information about mobile users’ locations and movements (as long as they have the right tools and permissions). That’s allowed marketers in the space to start taking advantage of user location information to provide highly targeted, highly relevant experiences. From triggering messages when your customers walk within a certain distance of one of your stores to targeting regionally-specific content to people in a given state, city, or neighborhood, this new capability is a key way for retail brands to keep their messaging relevant and valuable to the people receiving it. But to take advantage you need a customer engagement platform like Braze that allows marketers to seamlessly leverage these types of location marketing tools when you’re building out campaigns.

The same thing is true when it comes to message delivery timing. As a rule, your customers don’t want to hear about a deal on jumpsuits at 3am, no matter how good the deal is. To avoid that kind of outcome—and to serve up messages when customers are most likely to appreciate them and engage—you need a customer engagement platform like Braze that’s designed to provide marketers with nuanced message delivery timing options. Want to schedule a recurring reminder to send at the same time every week? Want to automatically trigger a push when a specific action happens within your company’s internal point-of-sale system? Looking to deliver an email at the exact time that each individual recipient most wants it? It’s all possible with Braze.

What Does a Best-In-Class Retail Mobile Marketing Strategy Really Look Like?

Just ask digital retail pioneer Overstock. The brand has consistently excelled when it comes to mobile customer engagement by staying agile, thoughtful, and leveraging technology effectively to better understand and reach their audience. By taking advantage of the Braze platform’s support for highly targeted outreach, Overstock was able to drive email open rates and unique click rates that were 3x and 9x, respectively, higher than industry benchmarks.

Get the full story with our Overstock case study and explore what’s possible when it comes to mobile marketing in the retail space.