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The power of mobile commerce: how to fully engage your customers in the lead up to Christmas

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by Startacus Admin

Isabelle Ohnemus is the Founder and CEO of mobile-first, fashion-sizing shopping platform EyeFitU. Isabelle’s Isabelle Ohnemusbackground in international finance gave her the solid foundation to turn her passion for fashion and desire to help change the face of shopping into a growing business. As the CEO of a fashion retail startup she is all-too-familiar with brand-consumer engagement tactics at this time of year.

Here, Isabelle shares all on the power of mobile commerce to engage with customers. 

"Data is continuing to prove that mCommerce is on the rise; with desktop eCommerce and traditional brick-and-mortar stores only just remaining in shopper’s favour.

Research collected in the lead up to 2017’s holiday season is testament to this, with Sky News reporting on a survey carried out by Branding Brand and Leanplum that predicts “65% of shoppers will turn to their phones and tablets to do their Black Friday and Christmas shopping this year”. What’s more, approximately 35% of that figure will be making said purchases through mobile apps.

In order to maximise on this opportunity, a growing number of brands and retailers are pushing their mobile offering to the forefront by investing in advanced tech to offer unique and personal shopping experiences. Ultimately, customers are looking for highly competitive individualised promotions and greater convenience.

The tech-savvy consumer of today’s world actively seeks a better shopping experience, now particularly through mobile. Here we take a look at how retailers and brands can fully engage new and existing customers in the lead-up to the biggest shopping season of the year.
Instagram mcommerce

Connect through social media

There’s no denying the power of a great social media presence; particularly in fashion retail. With retailers advertising their Christmas lines as early as September, shoppers are encouraged to prepare for the festive season sooner than ever and are eager to get the best possible deal!

Instagram Stories, clever hashtagging and social media-specific promotions are just some of the tactics brands are utilising to enhance that all-important connection with consumers. Not to mention competitions and giveaways, which appear to be even more prevalent during the Christmas period. This is a clever consumer engagement strategy as brands with popular social media accounts will reap the benefits of reaching new and existing customers. For instance, the standard competition entry format on Instagram involves: liking the giveaway post, following the account and tagging a friend (or more). Thus, the brand automatically creates a buzz with existing followers whilst gaining new followers, and consequently, customers.

With each social media channel comes the opportunity to create different types of competitions: brands can capitalize on this potential to engage mcommercefurther by adjusting any giveaway per platform. 

Social media allows for creativity, humour and one-off promotions in real-time - all of which are directed towards the brands’ target audience. The target audience, in this instance, primarily being Gen Z and millenials.

Research conducted by L2 via Retail Dive found that 80% of Gen Z and 74% of millennials are influenced by social media while shopping and Gen Z is twice as influenced by social media as by deals.”

This means that retailers’ social media activity needs to be not only relevant, but fast-paced to reflect their target audience’s lifestyle and rate of browsing. Afterall, the main aim is to turn a ‘browse’ into a ‘purchase’.

Instagram is particularly effective when it comes to driving engagement and sales with “72% of Instagram users report making purchase decisions based on something that they saw on the site.” 

Which begs the question, where is the power of its reach coming from? One answer is influencer marketing. 

The rise of influencers

According to research firm eMarketer via Bloomberg, it has been estimated that around $570 million was spent on Instagram influencers in 2016. It is a staggering figure that proves there is no doubt influencer marketing is now an integral part of a brand’s overall marketing strategy. So, what exactly is it that gives influencers that extra edge on other forms of advertising?

Teaming a well-known and well-liked persona to a brand can be a hugely effective method of creating engagement between a brand and its consumers. This is specifically true in the lead up to Christmas, when the market is already saturated with long-winded campaigns and special seasonal offers. Celebrities or social media personas are often involved in competitions or promotions during this period, adding validation and worth to a brand’s offering.

Cue the influencer: cementing a brand’s genuinity and trust and reaching new consumers through their own fan base via social media. Essentially, influencers are the relatable human touch that consumers lean towards when competition is high. By affiliating a ‘real-life” person to a brand, new and existing consumers can relate: it creates a sense of “authenticity” that other engagement tactics lack in. Taking into account the kind of images consumers like to see and the kind of stories and opinions they like to read, the face and voice of an influencer is employed to inspire, strengthen and boost engagement by tapping into the target audience’s needs.

The fashion retail industry is extremely competitive and if the ‘right’ influencer is selected to define a brand’s tone, the results prove the investment is worth it. 

Influencer marketing

Party season vs. Gifting

The weeks leading up to Christmas can be socially exhausting. Despite the unsociable climate of cold weather and dark nights it is, for some, unarguably the most social time of the year. Brands must capitalise on the ‘party season’ by addressing its consumers on a personal level, offering on-trend and personalised promotions for partywear. The most effective way of doing this is via a mobile offering that has on-the-go accessibility during such a chaotic period. Finding the perfect party shoes has never been easier.

That being said, as 25th December gets closer, consumers will inevitably lean towards brands that offer even greater convenience. 

EyeFitU is a multi-profile mobile platform that allows its users to buy for others, as well as themselves. The set-up is quick; once the user has createdEyeFitU a personal profile. and for whomever else they wish to buy for, they can start shopping for items in the correct size instantly. What’s more, a profile can be shared so that another user can buy a gift in return. This level of convenience is exactly what is needed from busy shoppers in the run up to Christmas. Of course, there are other retailers on the high-street who are cleverly including the gifting market in their offering as well and it absolutely works.

Engaging consumers - new and existing - in the lead up to Christmas is cutthroat; yet, the methods of doing so have never been more exciting and unique. MCommerce offers another branch to the shopping experience; enhanced accessibility, ensuring the brand-consumer connection is even stronger. Ultimately, it boils down to awareness of the target audience and pinpointing exactly what they are looking for in a shopping experience - and this is never more relevant than at Christmas.

If you liked this article by Isabelle, you might also want to read her previous article on: 

Personalisation in fashion retail: why it is compulsory


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Published on: 13th December 2017

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