Best Buy Co. Inc. has found its more valuable customers are ones who don’t just visit the e-commerce site or the bricks-and-mortar store. They also shop using their smartphones and tablets.
How valuable are these customers? The multichannel Best Buy consumer who uses a mobile device makes 15% more e-commerce purchases than the non-mobile consumer, said Chris Moroz, Best Buy associate manager for digital analytics. And, for in-store purchases, the mobile Best Buy consumer is 25% more valuable.
Speaking at the Adobe Digital Summit 2012 in Salt Lake City, Moroz said Best Buy calculated these figures by measuring three sets of data. One was connecting the BestBuy.com visitor data to its database of registered customers. Another was the result of surveys sent to e-commerce visitors who filled their shopping carts, but abandoned the sale. The third was a survey at the point of sale about the consumer’s shopping experience. The data then was screened through digital analytics software from Adobe Systems Inc.
“We found that on any given day a BestBuy.com visitor is more likely to purchase in-store,” Moroz said. Of consumers using a mobile device to visit Best Buy’s m-commerce site, one-fourth were found to make an in-store purchase within two weeks of their visit, he said.
Best Buy, incidentally, fared best in a recent survey by market research firm ClickIQ of the behavior of consumers using smartphones in stores.
To find out what happened after the in-store research was complete, survey respondents were asked to state where they eventually purchased the product they were researching. Best Buy did the best job of retaining the sale. 35% of those that researched at Best Buy ended up purchasing at the Best Buy store with another 14% purchasing at BestBuy.com. However, 21% purchased the product from Amazon.com. The rest did not purchase.
At the conference, Moroz said the next step for Best Buy is to automate much of the data collection process and to get more data about how consumers use Best Buy’s smartphone apps. “The mobile-savvy customer needs to be heard,” he said.
Lynn Lanphier, director, digital analytics, Best Buy Co. Inc., will speak this June at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in Chicago in a session titled “The new age of analytics: Creating a data strategy that leads to increased sales.” And learn more about the Mobile Workshop at IRCE 2012.
Since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, the production and mainstream usage of smartphones has exploded. The device opened a world of innovation in mobile technology, which was soon followed by a similar boom from apps.
Today, we rely on apps to do just about everything, from keeping us organized to pure entertainment. Millions of downloads later, the app economy is as strong as ever.
App development has created 466,000 jobs across all available platforms, according to a survey performed by TechNet. This includes local baristas, since many developers rely on coffee shops to get work done.
Our friends at Frugal Dad have created this infographic about the economy and how it’s been affected by smartphones and apps.
Despite criticism, the QR code continues to be a major player in the evolution of mobile commerce.
But while many Fortune 500 advertisers may have embraced the QR code in their marketing efforts, the restaurant industry has proven a relatively late adopter of the technology.
When used to power speedier transactions and provide timely information, the QR code is a useful tool for restaurateurs seeking to augment the customer experience. On takeout menus, dine-in menus and real world advertising, the QR code has a purposeful place in the restaurant experience.
As any supporter of QR codes, near field communication (NFC) chips, or augmented reality will tell you, the key is the destination, not the mode of transportation. It doesn’t matter if information is delivered with zero friction, if the information itself isn’t wanted, it won’t pay off.
Are QR codes just a marketing fad, or can the mobile technology deliver real value for restaurants and consumers at the right place and at the right time? Here are four ways QR codes can be effectively leveraged in a restaurant environment to improving the overall dining experience.
1. Mobile Ordering
Ordering food from a smartphone is incredibly convenient. It is sub-optimal to have to speak to a live person, who is juggling multiple roles in a restaurant, dealing with customers face-to-face and handling several ringing phone lines.
Enter the QR-coded takeout menu. Restaurants realize that the printed takeout menu is still one of the most effective ways to elicit food orders. It’s tangible, colorful, holds a lot of information and is easily shared. Adding a QR code to the menu triggers a mobile ordering experience. That way, restaurants can marry the best of old and new technology and make the traditional takeout menu digitally interactive.
Or prompt a customer to complete a takeout order online, at which point she’ll receive a custom-generated QR code to be scanned at the point-of-sale. The Melt handles orders by generating QR codes that help consumers skip the ordering line.
2. Links to Photos and Social Media
Ever stare at a text-based menu and wonder what a particular dish actually looks like? A QR code strategically placed on a dine-in menu has the ability to take consumers to additional information. The QR code could lead to photos with dish names, to the restaurant’s Yelp listing, or to Twitter and Facebook links to encourage social media sharing.
On takeout menus and any real world advertising, the QR code can trigger links to a wealth of useful information. In this manner, the QR code is not a marketing gimmick, but a bona fide mechanism to provide interested parties with information on which they can act.
The mobile landing page launched by the QR code on a takeout menu could include hours, contact information, a map and directions. Special offers and feedback forms could also be part of the mobile-optimized experience.
Additionally, most QR readers have a history tab that logs previously visited sites, so the information, once scanned, could be referenced later.
3. Different Restaurants, Different QR Code Applications
The QR code can be utilized effectively by a variety of different restaurant types, from fine dining to casual, from fast food to food trucks.
A fine dining establishment might wish to use the QR code in a city guide advertisement, which leads to its online reservations system and photos of the interior of the restaurant.
A fast food restaurant could add the QR code to a table tent ad, leading to a special promotion in exchange for an email address.
And food trucks could affix a QR code to the side of the vehicle to help people skip the line, should they wish to order and pay through their smartphones.
4. A Word About Aesthetics
A common objection to QR codes is that they are ugly and unbefitting of a nicely designed marketing strategy. It is true that the standard out-of-the-box QR code isn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing, but brands can improve the appearance with clever design tricks that ensure scanability and beauty.
By going with a custom-designed QR code, restaurants can represent their style, while also reassuring customers that the restaurant has put some thought into the experience.
As consumer smartphone adoption continues to surge, QR code usage is becoming more sophisticated. In particular, QR codes are transforming from a mere advertising hook to an integral part of mobile infrastructure. From boarding passes to takeout menus, the QR code is becoming less novelty and more utility.
One challenge for restaurants is always staying fresh in the minds of consumers. The restaurant that embraces mobile technology intelligently will demonstrate its cutting-edge commitment to excellent user experience and customer service.
About 30% of mobile phone users spend an average of about 27 minutes each day text messaging, using the telephone and video chatting, according to retailer CultureLabel.com. The company put together an infographic that highlights the bright outlook for the mobile commerce industry, helped along by the massive growth of smartphone adoption.
As CultureLabel looked to expand its own mobile strategy, the company compiled stats to reinforce the need to grow its m-commerce channel. According to its findings displayed in the online art retailer’s infographic, 5.9 billion out of the 7 billion people (87%) worldwide already have mobile phones. Smartphone sales are up 63.1% from 2010, and a whopping 488.5 million devices were sold in 2011.
Meanwhile, one in seven searches are made with a mobile device. More people are accessing social networking sites this way too. In fact, Facebook mobile users have quadrupled in two years from 50 million in 2009 to 200 million in 2011.
The infographic also points out that mobile commerce is expected to experience significant growth by 2015 from the six previous years — jumping 99-fold from $1 billion in sales in 2009 to more than $100 billion
Do you think mobile commerce will every surpass e-commerce? Do you think these channels will ever surpass in-store shopping sales? Let us know in the comments.
All is not dismal on the U.S. employment front. In addition to upward trending employment statistics, TechNet, the bipartisan policy and political network that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, published a new study Tuesday showing that mobile app development is creating jobs at a dramatic pace.
According to the report, there are now roughly 466,000 jobs in the so-called “App Economy” in the United States. That’s a dramatic improvement over 2007, when that number was… well, zero.
TechNet also found that these App Economy jobs are spread throughout the nation. The top metro area for App Economy jobs is New York City and its surrounding suburban counties, although together San Francisco and San Jose together substantially exceed New York.
“America’s App Economy – which had zero jobs just 5 years ago before the iPhone was introduced – demonstrates that we can quickly create economic value and jobs through cutting-edge innovation,” said Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet. “Today, the App Economy is creating jobs in every part of America, employing hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers today and even more in the years to come.”
“The App Economy, along with the broad communications sector, has been a leading source of hiring strength in an otherwise sluggish labor market,” said Dr. Michael Mandel, the report’s author and President of South Mountain Economics and former Chief Economist for BusinessWeek.