The Mobile Shopping Life Cycle

Dots Shape

As we said in last week’s blog, as mobile commerce evolves, it’s appropriate that program managers, banks, and financial institutions start to look more closely at the mobile shopping life cycle. Today, because of smartphones and tablets, consumers are always “on” and always shopping. This makes for plenty of opportunities for your programs and financial products to add value to the shopping and payment experience for both consumers and retailers. I mentioned a six-stage framework for the life cycle developed by Chuck Martin, and I have detailed it below:

1. Consumer Research

This is the mobile research phase, as consumers use smartphones and tablets before they even consider going to the store. In this stage, mobile is a pull rather than a push medium. The opportunity here for business marketers is to position information and messages about their products to be pulled by the consumer according to that person’s time frame, mind-set, and location. Card program managers can put together targeted and valuable promotions based on demographics or previous purchases with retailers that can create an intention to buy.

2. Consumer Is On the Move

Here the consumer is on the way to a store or running an errand. Using real-time location-based capabilities, like ones built into the i2c platform, marketers can leverage this information to send highly targeted and relevant messages to consumers who have opted in to receive valuable offers. To be successful, you will have to create value for consumers and provide an incentive for them to leave their location “turned on” in any given app.

3. Consumer On Location

This occurs at a brick-and-mortar store. In the early days of the internet, brick & mortar was a detriment to business, since online-only retailers could sell directly to consumers with fewer associated costs. With mobile, brick & mortar becomes an asset. But while some retailers are leveraging the ability to interact, most are still missing the opportunity to identify and interact with mobile shoppers while they are in the store. Here again, is where program managers and financial institutions can offer relevant, real-time offers to create loyalty and generate spend based on location and past purchase history. It is important that these interactions happen in real-time, or else opportunities to engage are lost. We have incorporated real-time triggering capabilities into our platform for this very reason.

4. Consumer Selection Process

This is when customers are near the actual product they may be considering buying. Offers again come into play at this stage as does product information. Many retailers are experimenting with barcodes that consumers can scan to receive information, read reviews, get special deals, etc.

5. Point of Purchase

Here is yet another chance to sway the buyer. As businesses adopt more mobile self-checkout options and mobile capabilities are embedded into point-of-sale systems, offers and counteroffers can be presented to consumers during the buying and checkout process. This offers another touch-point at which card program managers can influence consumers to use their products.

6. Post-Purchase

This occurs after the purchase, as consumers exchange photos, videos, and information of their recent purchase and share them via their mobile device with friends and colleagues, soliciting, and receiving feedback. Using data and analytics to track purchase behavior is an area that program managers and financial institutions can unlock additional opportunities to engage with consumers and facilitate repeat usage of their products.

Mobile activity in each of these six phases will continue to expand as smartphone and tablet penetration increases and more consumers join the ranks of mobile shoppers. By recognizing the mobile shopping life cycle as it emerges, program managers and marketers can tailor their strategies accordingly to master the new art of mobile influence. We have worked continuously over the past few years to add functionality – mobile offers, real-time message, real-time event-based triggering, and more – to our processing platform to help them be more relevant to consumers as they progress through the mobile shopping life cycle.

About i2c

i2c is a global provider of highly-configurable payment and banking solutions. Using i2c's proprietary "building block" technology, clients can easily create and manage a comprehensive set of solutions for credit, debit, prepaid, lending and more, quickly and cost-effectively. i2c delivers unparalleled flexibility, agility, security and reliability from a single global SaaS platform. Founded in 2001, and headquartered in Silicon Valley, i2c's next-generation technology supports millions of users in more than 200 countries/territories and across all time zones.