Perspective: Mobile Commerce Implementation Strategies to Help Assure Success
How does a business decide what is important and what will deliver good return on a mobile commerce investment? Innovation Exchange members recently discussed this topic with Arkady Fridman, a senior analyst at Aite Group. During the discussion, the group shared some best practices for implementation success.
- Managing scope creep: It is often necessary to develop consensus between all the stakeholders, and give the multi-channel character of mobile commerce, there can be many. The need to accommodate everyone’s good ideas can result in a strategy that is overly complex. Build in a reality check to make sure the strategy remains true to customer engagement expectations and business objectives.
- Managing teams: Rolling out a mobile commerce strategy involves clients, partners, and technology solution providers working together in ways that may be new to them. It is critically important that each participant be totally focused on the end result and the user experience. They also need to be clear on their role in delivering on that. Failing to have this kind of discipline can result in engineering difficulties and introduce breakpoints that are difficult to diagnose. End-point clarity between all players is essential.
- Start with early adopters: Use business objectives and knowledge about customers to prioritize new mobile features. The best place to start is with early adopters, who are often a business’s most loyal customers. They provide a great test bed for new capabilities, and as a group, they are more forgiving when things don’t work as planned. It is those loyal, more frequent users responding to new capabilities that provide a blueprint for a broader deployment.
- Be mindful of channel preferences: Consumers have channel preferences for certain kinds of commerce activities. Some customers prefer to do research through a mobile device but make payment in person. Others prefer to see a product in a store and then purchase online. Prioritize mobile commerce offerings in ways that optimize customers’ engagement preferences.
- Leverage mobility to create unique value: Don’t just replicate existing business activity in digital format. Using customer knowledge and mobile technology to deliver more targeted, personalized, and timely offers makes it possible to increases the ROI of promotions and loyalty programs. It also becomes possible to coordinate multi-channel pull strategies designed to entice customers into engaging. Mobile commerce enables businesses to deliver more context-specific promotions that are tied to a better overall experience for the customer. Part of that experience may include better service, savings, incremental value, or even opportunities to do good – for instance if a purchase triggers a contribution to a charity. These kinds of engagements build a positive experience the customer will want to repeat.