Mobile is here to stay. Visionary CIOs/CTOs are actively thinking about digitally transforming their businesses, creating opportunities for fast moving consumer goods companies.
Mobile is here to stay. A key part of digital transformation is mobility, especially due to the high maturity of mobile application development platforms today (front-end design features, native experience, powerful backend capabilities and more) and high penetration of mobile devices in both customers and employees alike. Per recent research, an average digital consumer has 3.64 connected devices, so not thinking mobile is not an option today.
The world is full of opportunities disguised as business problems. Each industry has its own unique problems that it’s trying to solve, which calls for different uses of mobility solutions. Some really big names have been able to appeal directly to shoppers by making mobile engagement easy and fun.
For example, Amazon’s amazing mobile app has not only made it easy for millions of Prime subscribers to order in one click, but their innovative “Subscribe and Save” model has definitely helped their revenue stream and increased stickiness.
I’m a T-Mobile customer and a customer service rep recently told me about the T-Mobile Tuesdays app. The app adds a mobile gamification experience for T-Mobile customers and rewards customers on Tuesdays with free pizzas and more. You can see how people are reacting to this.
Pretty much everyone in the universe knew about the wild success that Pokémon Go has had recently. In my opinion, some of the key reasons for its success were mobility, the element of surprise and the augmented reality features. These factors really drove the adoption very high.
The moves these brands made to be more mobile-friendly directly resulted in success. Now, let us look at how FMCG and retail industries could learn from this.
Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies are usually suppliers to retailers, but sometimes they can be retailers too. On the other hand, some retailers can be fulfilling the role of FMCG as well (e.g. Target or Walmart). With this in mind, mobile apps address a variety of business needs for both groups.
For FMCG companies, product and market research is essential, and mobile apps can help with that. To understand the consumer’s needs and differentiate themselves in the marketplace, they can leverage mobile apps.
FMCG companies can also use mobile apps to enhance the in-store experience of their end-customers in partnership with retailers. They can achieve this by leveraging geolocation, and offering loyalty rewards or mobile discount coupons. This way, FMCG companies can enhance the experience for their customers while gaining key information.
Once they have key customer information, they can further tailor their interaction with the customers and expect better retention and higher customer lifetime value. This is where it starts going into the turf of big data analytics and machine learning. This is a nut that many businesses have yet to crack.
Retail companies can benefit tremendously by leveraging mobile apps for placing orders from the mobile channel, optimizing catalog search, showing device optimized “responsive” images, easy checkout with mobile forms of payment and a highly simplified checkout process. If they can personalize the entire catalog search experience and provide recommendations based on previous search history or demographics, there’s nothing like it. Not surprisingly, Amazon has scored big on these aspects.
Shoppers love mobile coupons, especially when the rewards are tied to geolocation services. Shoppers can get further delight from several customer-friendly features like tools to plan shopping trips and in-store navigation.
Retailers can also leverage SMS or push notifications to engage better with customers. SMS is simple, familiar and has global reach to almost every mobile phone. Here is an interesting article on how SMS is the new channel for customer support. Here is another interesting read on mobile push notification strategy for customers, which applies to retailers as well. There are so many campaigns that you can actually run on push notifications, with good results.
Attacking specific business problems, be it customer experience/engagement, partner engagement or internal productivity), is a great way to “transform” your business. Visionary CIOs/CTOs in today’s age are actively thinking about Digitally Transforming their businesses.
If you haven’t started yet, you’re not alone. Many companies are behind the curve on adopting digital transformation IT initiatives due to several non-technology oriented barriers: leadership, organizational incentives, risk-taking appetite, culture and market awareness. However, there are companies who have used digital transformation to really turn around business success metrics like customer engagement, supply chain negotiation, sales, cost and revenue. Now is a great time to start developing your digital mindset and explore possibilities for taking your business operations to the next level.
Based out of Fremont, CA, Gaurav loves to evangelize world-changing products, loves a challenge and has published Android apps to the Google Play store. In his spare time, Gaurav learns a musical instrument called the Harmonium (origins: France), publishes tutorials on YouTube and organizes private musical get togethers in the Bay area. You can follow Gaurav on Twitter @gvermag.
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