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I’ve blogged before about how retailers’ mobile initiatives are really taking off (Starbucks, etc.) where mobile wallet initiatives aren’t (Google Wallet, Isis). These examples are proving that though payments are a key ingredient, payments alone are not enough.

I believe it’s because the successful retailers/brands already own the relationship with their customers. They see the mobile channel as an opportunity build that relationship, to offer more convenience and value, and to increase engagement.

IDG and SAP have a new mobile playbook that outlines the basics of successful mobile initiatives: Mobile Commerce: The Path to Customer Engagement. It’s a great summary of why this new channel is so compelling, and how it’s changing the relationship between companies and their customers.

The benefits are on both sides, to be sure. Enterprises, many that have never had a direct relationship with customers can connect on a personal level through mobile. They can gain new insight into customer preferences and behaviour, and tailor products, service and marketing to match. They can truly know their customers.

Customers have a lot to gain too, potentially getting an easier purchase experience, a more immediate connection to the company for service, and savings on future purchases through loyalty programs.

The playbook includes examples of how different companies and industries are putting mobile to work, including utility companies, banks, retailers and
operators.

If you’re wondering how to improve your customer relationships with mobile programs, thisbook might give you some concrete ideas.  It’s a free download.

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