Retail marketers: Keep an eye on mobile payment technology

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Retail marketers: Keep an eye on mobile payment technology

Marketers know they need to keep a finger on the pulse of new technologies to gain a critical edge in the battle for customers. One of the latest on the horizon may be somewhat unexpected: Mobile payment (mPay) technologies at the point-of-sale (POS). Retail marketers already use digital marketing platforms to gather data to inform which content to deliver at each touchpoint. Customers are swiftly adopting emerging mPay-at-POS, allowing retailers the opportunity to study the potential impact of marketing at what has historically been a relatively passive landmark on the overall customer journey—the transition itself. As retail transaction technologies evolve, marketers can gain new ways to connect with customers.

Mobile payments are rapidly growing in popularity. Forrester Research predicts that mobile payments will hit $90 billion by the end of 2017, up from an estimated $30 billion in 2014. Millennials in particular show a willingness to transact on mobile platforms, evidenced particularly by the widespread adoption of payment apps to act as substitutes for cash. Paper checks are all but obsolete, and new liability laws are sending magnetic strip plastic cards the way of the dodo (you’ve probably noticed the new chip—enabled cards your banks have sent you).

Hardware manufacturers are planting their flags in mobile payment technology capabilities, and early adopter consumers are already making waves in the POS transaction space.

Despite all this, many retailers still haven’t installed the necessary infrastructure for accepting mPay-at-POS. So why should marketers even care about mobile payments right now if its not even a payment option for current customers? The answer is simple: The potential for integrating mobile transactions into your current mobile strategy adds a game-changing dimension to your data collection and customer engagement capabilities.

With the rise of personalized notifications triggered by Bluetooth-enabled sensors inside stores, retailers are working to blend online and brick-and-mortar customer experiences already. Integrating all these technologies—customer identification, offer delivery, and final transaction at POS—into a single environment can open doors for marketers to deliver critical marketing collateral in a perfectly contextual experience. This enables cross- and up-selling opportunities.

While the initiative to build mobile payment capabilities for your company may still be led by your CIO, marketers should have a stake in the game. Take these steps to make sure you’re prepared for building a fully—integrated mobile payment experience for your customers:

  • Maintain the relationship with your CIO to ensure you’re abreast of all the new technology capabilities your organization is implementing.
  • Evaluate your organization’s mobile approach: Is it an app? A mobile site? Learn the parameters of your current mobile capabilities, and start creating content optimized for your current delivery strategy.
  • Consider if your organization has a loyalty program, and if it could potentially be enhanced by a mobile experience.
  • Structure insights around how new mPay-at-POS analytics can be used in both a consumer lens (using data to develop targeted offers) and an internal lens (informing store management and inventory decisions with data).

As a marketer, the more you understand about these technologies, the better you’ll be able to collaborate with the teams developing them. To learn more, read Smart device, smart pay: Taking mobile payments from coffee shops to retail stores.

Published on December 14, 2015.

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