Over the years, the consumer goods industry has focused on increasing its brand affinity and recall through various business tools from coupons and rebates to bundled products and two-for-the-price-of-one schemes. However, today’s mobile-armed and socially networked consumers are demanding new and more convenient ways to shop that meet the needs of their evolving lifestyle. As the consumer begins to favor newer methods of communication, like social media, these channels and technologies have created new behavior patterns in consumers, which in turn unlock new opportunities.
The new wave of Social, Location and Mobile based services (termed SoLoMo) can help retailers engage with their customers using digital platforms. Retailers must also learn to communicate with their customers over these channels, using these channels to shape and develop new promotional models that can influence purchase decisions in a non-intrusive manner.
My recent article, Influencing Customers’ Buying Decisions through Digital Platforms, provides some ground rules that CPG companies could follow in developing their SoLoMo strategy. Here I am summarizing some key points of view from the paper.
- Unobtrusiveness is key: Applications fail when they require too many actions and steps for the consumer to extract value. An application that minimizes the user interaction usually has a higher uptake in the market.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel: Launching yet another mobile application (in an already crowded market) will not provide the mobile real estate/attention that the more popular brands have achieved today. Instead, focus on how to piggyback on existing applications.
- Leverage existing brand presence on social networks: Most social networks today have significant brand presence. Giving your customers value when they are in a physical location can help both of you leverage these networks further.
- Focus on Android and iOS: Over 80% of the consumer smartphone market is covered by the Android and iOS. Ensure that your solution addresses these two platforms.
Would you like to share your insights on what makes a good SoLoMo retail strategy? Feel free to post your comments on the blog.