Omega Mobile: Mobile Experience Design Blog
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Archive for July, 2011

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A post on Mobile Marketing Watch announced how big brands like Target are driving sales with an effective mobile retail strategy that incorporates coupons. In fact, using mobile coupons to drive traffic is an increasingly popular retail tactic. If your mobile design strategy allows for easy sharing and instant access to reviews, and if your mobile retail strategy offers reward points and other incentives, your mobile coupons will effectively drive retail traffic and increase your sales.

Mobile Design Strategy Coupon Ideas

Below are some mobile retail design strategies for boosting the power of your mobile coupons.

1. Let users subscribe to specific coupons: For example let them sign up for specific department coupons like home, bed & bath, kitchen & dining. Tailored incentives are much more effective.

2. Wishlist coupons: Offer users coupons for things they want or notify them when items they’ve wishlisted go on sale. You have warm leads here you can maximize for sales.

3. Take advantage of GeoFencing: If a user is within a certain radius of a retail location, give them an incentive to stop in and shop.

4. Allow users to share coupons: Ensure your mobile design effort makes it easy for them to post your offers on their social networks and expand your reach.

5. Follow-up: if a user redeems your coupon, have a mobile retail strategy in place for offering more coupons in the future or other brand building incentives.

6. Allow easy and instant access to reviews: Your mobile design strategy should let consumers check reviews for at least coupon items. Access to reviews speeds the buying decision process.

7. Offer extra discounts for check-ins: Allow users to ‘check in’ when they are in a store to get additional deals exclusive to in-store shoppers.

8. Promote in-store only coupons: Let users they can access extra coupons in-store only. Maybe have specific offers tied to each day of the week. For example, Saturday is extra home coupons day (a day when people are likely to make home purchases). Tuesday (the day when new movies get released) is movie coupons day, etc. Train people to come to the store and expect speficic offers tailored to their interests on specific days.

9. Allow users to combine coupons for additional savings: If they have a 10% off blouse coupon and a 10% of pants coupon, let them use both for 25% off the entire purchase.

10. Reward with future coupons: Tell them that if they spend a certain amount today, they can get a discount on a future purchase.

11. Share coupons social networks: Offer coupon incentives for spreading the word about your products.

12. Offer extra reward points: Tie your mobile coupons into your rewards program by attaching extra reward points to specific coupons.

13. The more you spend, the more you save: Boost sales by encouraging consumers to buy more for additional discounts.

14. Double or triple coupon days: To drive traffic on a specific day of the week, let users double or triple the value of their mobile coupons.

All of the above mobile design strategy ideas for retail coupons will work best if you have a solid mobile strategy in place and if that strategy is well executed. When those two elements come together, mobile coupons can be used to drive retail sales in a number of ways.

A recent article on Mobile Commerce Daily took on the question of QR Tags and their future viability. The article argued that when QR tags and apps fail, the culprit is most often a lack of smart mobile strategy. I’ve found that QR tag success is determined by having a thoughtful mobile strategy and executing that mobile strategy with effective mobile design. When those elements are in place, QR codes can raise brand awareness and drive sales.

Mobile Design Stategy QR Campaigns

We’ve had the opportunity to work with different mobile recognition companies from image recognition experts to barcode providers. Throughout these collaborations, I’ve heard some disturbing trends. For example, when using QR codes many companies ignore mobile strategy and simply have their QR tag lead to a non-mobile version of their site, often just the regular home page rather than even a specific landing page dedicated to the promotion. Consumers are not able to navigate those sites well because they aren’t optimized for viewing on mobile. Design plays a large role in QR code success. QR codes also get a bad wrap because they often lead to a broken link.

In both these cases, and many others, companies are misusing mobile technology and not realizing the true potential of QR tags. Basically, they haven’t created an overall mobile strategy that uses good mobile design to incorporate QR tags into a larger mobile marketing campaign. Mobile is not a magic bullet. Like all other marketing campaigns, mobile design needs to be thought through. Mobile itself is not a strategy.

Before thinking about QR codes or any mobile campaign, then, you need to develop some high-level business goals. Are you trying to build awareness? Are you trying to drive sales or capture names? Mobile is one channel for achieving these goals. (Print, direct mail, etc. are other channels.) QR codes are one component within your mobile strategy. They should be used in conjunction with a mobile designed website and other branding efforts.

QR codes can be highly effective for building awareness, driving sales and capturing names. People often think of them as solely a means for encoding a url. However, if you work with a QR registry, you can implement intelligent QR codes that adapt to your needs by delivering content based on the user’s profile, location, date and a number of other factors.

Imaging designing your mobile possibilities with the ability to present different content and offers based upon:

  • Scan location (different for cities, states, countries)
  • Date/Time Ranges (different for evenings, lunches, holidays, etc)
  • Maximizing user profiles for previous purchases and phone types
  • Geo-fencing within a specific distance of your retail location

In sum, I think the real advantage of QR codes lies in the way they bridge the physical and the digital. They’re a great way to drive end users to take easy and immediate action. As QR codes evolve and marketers begin to implement them within a larger mobile strategy, they will provide solid results. But success will require that a strategy be put in place along with a solid call-to-action, an enticing offer and a well-designed mobile destination.