Three Mobile Trends for Restaurants & Retailers

Three Mobile Trends for Restaurants & Retailers


Carly Farrington and I attended the Connect Mobile Summit for Retail and Restaurants in Chicago. I was invited to speak on one of the panels alongside marketing leaders from Sears, Texas Roadhouse and Office Depot. It was an exciting opportunity to collaborate with many top retail and restaurant brands, and pick up a few key mobile marketing themes in our discussions:

1. Utilization of Passbook/Wallet
Apple Wallet (also branded as Passbook) and Google Wallet integration is working exceptionally well for restaurant and retail coupons. One brand quoted a 40% average redemption rate for coupons saved to Wallet compared to 10% redemption for normal email/mobile coupons. Several brands are testing Banner > Wallet functionality; see this example that lets you click “save to phone” and add it to your Wallet. Along with saving the coupon, this also ties into push messaging based on proximity and expiration date.

2. Mobile apps focused on loyalty and CRM
With the move to more storage on mobile devices and more lenient data plans from mobile carriers, app usage is expected to continue to increase and become the preferred home for favorite brands on mobile phones. Some key areas of development for retail and restaurants:
o Connection to POS with all transaction data stored for CRM
o Digital punch card capabilities to build frequency and give customers a reason to use the loyalty app
o Smart couponing capabilities
o In-app and push messaging
o Connection to both Apple Wallet and Google Wallet
o Mobile ordering
o Mobile pay

3. Mobile Payment
The wild prediction at the conference was that by 2020, 50% of all credit card transactions will originate from mobile pay. There was also extensive discussion around the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) liability shift coming down in October; companies who have invested in EMV compliance will be protected from card-present counterfeit fraud losses. As for mobile pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay are the best places to start simply due to their significant market share. Google’s deal with the carriers to pre-ship as the primary payment and transactional platform is killing Samsung Pay. As cool as Samsung’s technology that mimics magnetic swipes is, it’s simply not working with many credit card swipe systems. The key to mobile payment is that it must be frictionless. Customers want simple.

These phones we carry hold so much power and endless opportunity for retail and restaurant marketers. Exciting times lie ahead.


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