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Mobile shopper engagement is a high-velocity challenge driven by rapidly evolving technology and cultural changes. Recent data from IRi’s Consumer Connect (April 2016) indicates that mobile shoppers want more sophisticted information — and “frills” — from their shopping experience:
- 59% want a good selection of prepared/easy-to-prepare meals
- 53% desire a good selection of local/artisan food and beverage options
- 53% are looking for a variety of gourmet food and beverage options
- 48% seek technology that makes shopping more exciting
- 32% look favorably on stores that offer online purchase options with in-store pickup
Communicating these benefits where and how they make the greatest impression is the key — as is customizing the message right down to the individual shopper level.
To gain insights on how to develop a viable stragetic plan for mobile shopper engagement, Progressive Grocer interviewed Srishti Gupta, president of IRi’s Media Center of Excellence, during the recent IRi Growth Summit, held in National Harbor, Md. Gupta is responsible for digital expertise, direct response marketing and analytics, and on the forefront of mobile engagement.
Pierce Hollingsworth, Progressive Grocer: The velocity of retail change, driven by culture and technology, is accelerating at a phenomenal rate. From your perspective, what are the elements of an effective corporate strategy that best adapts to mobile shoppers?
Srishti Gupta, IRi: Mobile strategies until this point have been largely “How do I take my 30-second commercial and fit it on a small screen?” Or “Everyone has an app, so I need an app” and “I need to test mobile because everyone is doing it.” This thinking was from a media perspective, though, and not from a consumer perspective, and that’s where you need to start. The whole concept of “I will create another destination for the customer to come to” is the wrong way to think about mobile with consumers, which is why many retailers have had problems.
The smartphone is a ubiquitous device that is with us at all times, and the number and intensity of interactions are very high. It gives many oppoortunities to influence, but it doesn’t mean it’s always the best medium for advertising. Consumers have this device with them all of their waking hours, so they will interact with it on their own terms, whether that’s in a browser, app, in a search, checking weather or traffic. They want less interference, so the retailer must assimilate into those situations.