Permission marketing in the news – And why you should add a little SMS to your marketing
By Optism Team, Nov 11, 2011
This week, we have lots of news from the mobile commerce front, but we thought we’d start off with a few stories that demonstrate how retailers can use SMS in their marketing programs.
Mobile Marketer investigated how New York & Co. built its database of 180,000 loyalists. According to Marielle Gelber, New York & Co.’s director of public relations, the retailer initiated its SMS alerts program “to broaden the way our customers can reach us to find out about new promotions and exclusive offers and events.” New York & Co. promotes the SMS program through a variety of channels including in-store displays, email, social media and direct mail. By using different keywords for each call-to-action, the company can determine which channels are netting them the highest number of opt-ins. The retailer has grown its mobile database to 180,000 opted-in customers, ready and waiting to hear from them. For Gelber, SMS “is the new way to share information with [their shoppers] whenever and wherever she may be.”
Mobile Commerce Daily writes about a major retailer’s use of SMS in “Gap offers personalized location-based deals via SMS program.” Gap Inc. is the parent company for a number of well-known brands including Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta. Customers can opt in to the company’s SMS service to receive “tailored discounts and promotions via SMS when qualifying transactions are made with enrolled Visa accounts.” The service is an expansion of Gap’s Mobile 4U program and relies on a partnership with Visa. According to Gap spokesperson, Liz Nunan, “Partnering with a credit card company like Visa provides us insight into our enrolled consumers that we have never had in the past.” The partnership with Visa also enables Gap to improve the targeting and timing of promotions, and to tailor offers to the customer’s preferred brand.
On the mobile retail sales front, encouraging numbers are being reported from a variety of sources.
GoMo News zeroed in on Juniper Research that indicates the “global value of mobile retail marketing will reach $15 billion by 2012” – a 50% increase over 2011. The numbers come from Juniper’s Mobile Retail Marketing: Advertising, Coupons & NFC Shopping 2011-2016 study. GoMo News contributor Tony Dennis believes “The traditional boundaries between physical retailing (‘bricks and mortar’) and online retailing are blurring as mobile bridges the gap.” Quoting the same Juniper report, Mobile Commerce Daily notes, “The total redemption value of mobile coupons will exceed $43 billion globally by 2016.” We’re happy to read that the report “also highlights the need to obtain subscriber opt-in to gain trust and lead to ongoing loyalty.”
MediaPost News writes that IBM is predicting mobile sales will double during the 2011 holiday season. This year, mobile “will contribute more than 15% to all online retail sales in 2011.” Big Blue is also predicting that an increasing number of those who would have done their shopping on their PCs will be switching to mobile devices this year. IBM Coremetrics’ chief strategy officer, John Squire, believes, “As consumers shift from desktops to mobile, brand marketers must focus more on personalizing landing pages.”
If you weren’t lucky enough to attend this year’s Internet Advertising Bureau Engage 2011 (or even if you were), you can read all about the conference on the IAB Engage 2011 roundup page. IAB’s Engage 2011 was the UK online and mobile industry’s biggest conference, with more than 650 top-level advertisers, agencies and publishers. Conference participants explored the new frontiers in the ever-evolving digital landscape and zeroed in on important issues, like consumer trust and privacy. Many speakers focused on the need to safeguard personal data, while U.K. Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, pointed out that privacy concerns should not “stifle innovation.”
eBay and PayPal have both commented recently on the growing importance of mobile sales to their businesses, as reported in Mobile Commerce Daily. For 2011, eBay expects to do $5 billion in sales via mobile while PayPal expects to do $3.5 billion in mobile payments volume. See infographics from both companies offered up by ReadWriteWeb. By 2015, shopping via mobile is expected to top $120 billion while mobile payments are expected to be a $600 billion industry. These sister companies are going to be a major force in the mobile commerce arena. (All values in US dollars.)
We’re looking forward to seeing many of you (we hope!) at the Mobile Marketing Association Forum in Los Angeles. This year’s Forum will feature over 100 speakers, including rock legend – and entrepreneur extraordinaire – Gene Simmons of Kiss. If you can’t make it to Los Angeles, you can reach us on Twitter @Optism or join the conversation on our Facebook page.