Copywriting great Drayton Bird recalls one of the finest talks on copywriting he's ever witnessed. Entitled “20 Opinionated Answers to 20 Questions Nobody Asked,” it's full of wit and wisdom which is just as relevant today - even if the mediums have evolved. Take away just one lesson and you're sure to benefit.
Many retailers are fully equipped for the festive shopping rush throughout December, implementing precautionary measures to cope with the increased footfall by employing more staff and relying more heavily on technological support such as mobile points-of-sale (mPOS), digital signage and Click and Collect services.
However, fewer businesses maintain this momentum to ease the strains that come with the January sales.
Though perhaps less notorious than the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the January rush always sees crammed shopping centres, high street congestion, long check-out queues and traffic jams, year-on-year. Despite the rise in online shopping, the chaos of the January sales can blight the high street experience of even the most seasoned shopper.
Our new data, extracted from Corethree’s integration platform, CoreEngine, shows that in actual fact, more people than ever are opting to streamline their journeys when shopping the sales by purchasing mobile tickets (m-tickets).
The figures highlight that on the first trading Saturday of the year, and consequently the most popular day for browsing the January sales, the number of Corethree m-tickets issued has increased almost ten-fold since 2014. Not only this, but the total number of m-tickets sold doubled from both 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017, with a whopping 31,000 m-tickets purchased on the same day this year (Saturday January 7th).
So what effect does mobile ticketing have on busier shopping periods?
First and foremost, there is no denying the impact that technology has on the retail space. The concept of a consumer purchasing exclusively from bricks and mortar retailers is now a notion of the past, thanks to the rise of omni-channel retailing and mobile technology.
Technology is now one of the dominating facets of retail, and m-tickets in particular are a vital means of making use of multiple data points. With the mobile wallet providing simpler and controlled methods of purchase for the customer, they are also a priceless tool for a business to extract key information on the behaviour patterns of its customer database.
By working together with a transport operator, retailers have the ability to ‘talk’ to their consumers as and when they pass through specific locations via push notifications. This then allows the retailer to tailor its services to suit the specific needs of its consumers, and with competition rife on the high street, personalisation is crucial for a business to stay one step ahead of its rivals.
When the data on travel behaviours is teamed with that of a retailer’s loyalty scheme, the possibilities for both transport and retail companies evolve into the ability to provide an unrivalled experience for their customers that respectively work hand in hand to complement each other.
If a consumer signs up for a loyalty card at a coffee shop, purchases are tracked every time the card is used. Let’s say, for example, that this particular customer buys a cappuccino every day when passing through London Waterloo on her commute. If that same passenger purchases a mobile ticket on a Saturday to shop instead of travel to work, the reward scheme integrated with the app she used can alert the coffee shop to send her a push notification informing her of a two-for-one offer on coffees.
Not only can the coffee retailer harness the data from the consumer’s travel behaviour, but also utilise this in a mutually beneficial way and provide a more bespoke service for its customer.
Offers and incentives can be tailored to the needs of one consumer as opposed to a blanket approach which, more often than not, creates a sense of harassment from a brand as opposed to instigating loyalty. In essence, by carrying a smart device in her pocket, the consumer is in the centre of her own personalised high street and tailored journey home.
Equally, during times of congestion on the public transport around popular shopping areas, passengers can be incentivised to wait for a later tram service or indeed walk to a different bus stop altogether and receive a discount code for a nearby bookseller, for example.
This technology allows for smoother and safer journeys, reduces overcrowding on transport and most importantly, keeps passengers satisfied.
Though online giants offering cheap deals from the comfort of one’s own home are a threat to the high street, for retailers, mobile technology is not a development to be feared, but to be embraced. Through the use of smart data, personalisation and incentives, retailers can harness these pioneering technologies to not only compete against internet shopping but also develop stronger and more meaningful relationships with their customers.
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