3 Hurdles To Using Mobile Marketing For Your Luxury Retail Stores

By Bob Phibbs
mobile marketing retail tips

I was about to pay for my purchases at CVS when the cashier asked me, “Do you want to update your account with your text number and receive 20% off today’s order?”

As I was only buying deodorant and a candy bar, I quickly did the math and figured 20% wasn’t worth getting spammed on my phone.

I’ll admit, mobile marketing is gaining traction, and it makes sense as over 50% of consumers carry a smartphone with them.

But I still see the difficulties of getting mobile messaging right for your retail store. Especially if you sell luxury goods.

To me, mobile messaging isn’t that much different than Twitter tweets.

Last week we learned how not to promote a business courtesy of Twitter when several businesses tied discounts to the tragedy of 9/11.  

Like this one...

“In remembrance of 9/11 we will be doing a patriotic special drink! 15% off Vanilla Blasts if you want it dyed red…“

or this one…

“Never Forget” September 11 2014 [ONE DAY ONLY] -- 20% OFF all digital weight training, bodyweight training…”

What would it feel like to get that on your phone? Would it make you want to come in?

Not me, and I doubt any of my fellow New Yorkers. In fact, I think it does just the opposite.

But someone thought it was appropriate.

The person who manages your mobile messaging could be playing with fire and you could be the one to get burned.

So you might wonder why you would even consider using mobile marketing with your customer?  

Because there is no better way to glean information from your customers than from their smartphones.

And because open rates on email aren’t even in the same galaxy as the 97% open rates of a text message.

And because text messaging typically sees a 3-5x higher redemption rate and ROI compared to other digital advertising channels.

And because your customers’ smartphones are always with them and they access them at least once every ten minutes.

But you need to address some barriers to making mobile messaging work for you, especially if you sell luxury goods.

 

Here are three hurdles to mobile marketing:

1) Getting customers' smartphone numbers.  This might be easy if you were an Audi dealership or Rolex store where you could ask,“Can you give me your cell number so I can text you when it’s ready?” But for a Prada or Jimmy Choo store, having a reason to ask for a cell number is harder to find. And if you’re asking just to offer some discount, that undercuts your luxury marketing entirely.

Every brand will be different. You may be able to just ask if you are a trusted sales advisor.

2) Having a CRM capable of storing the information. It takes a lot to get your customers’ trust for that first text. Once you have a method to gather the cell numbers, you need the correct software to use them or you’ll probably squander the sales opportunity they offer.

3) Having reasonable offers in context. If you insist on using mobile marketing just to offer discounts like 10% off a clothing line on one weekend, are you offering enough to attract your luxury customers? And is it worded to not offend? How can you be sure your offer won’t accidentally offend your luxury clientele?

Here are three providers you can turn to when you decide mobile messaging is for you: Urban Airship, PlaceIQ, and Placecast.

But if you want to do it all in-house, to get your feet wet in mobile, I suggest you create tweets like you write notifications.

And if you are not already on Twitter, I highly suggest you join. Make your tweets short, peppy, and to the point. And when certain tweets drive traffic or drive sales, make a note of them.

Now again, I’m not talking about 40% off the whole store if they come in in the next two hours.

That’s just crazy.

No, you’re looking for a more subtle way to promote your business by using texts to notify your customers of special events, to reward their loyalty … and more.

In Sum

If you find it is too much trouble to create the tweets, you probably will feel it is too much trouble to spend the time to create actionable offers.

If you enjoy the process and can come up with offers that work, great.  Use them to supplement your emails, Facebook posts, and promotions.

Even better, have a professional handle it all.

Enquire To Have Bob Speak To Your Audience

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