Extending the Shelf Edge with Mobile Marketing


Retailers and brands alike are looking to maximize the shelf edge to build brands and drive sales, and in this age of technology both parties are looking to redefine how they communicate with customers.

One natural extension of the shelf edge, and a complementary component of shopper marketing, is mobile technology. By making use of this nearly ubiquitous communications device, retailers now have the opportunity to turn a simple communication device into an indispensable shopping aid that extends the shelf edge directly into the shopper's hand. Developing mobile applications is poised to be the future of how retailers will communicate with shoppers in a way that's most convenient for them.

While appealing to mobile-enabled shoppers is still an emerging trend, it will undoubtedly accelerate as the next generations turn to their mobile device for coupons, specific product information, brand comparisons, and more. A recently published Deloitte survey confirms that 57% of consumers already feel they would be interested in receiving a coupon on their phone.

Many shoppers already use mobile technology as part of their shopping trip, and the sooner retailers begin looking for ways to incorporate this medium into their broader marketing communication plans, the sooner they will begin reaping the benefits. Ultimately, the key to success will be integration across all platforms to deliver a consistent, relevant shopper message that encourages loyalty - resulting in increased revenue.

Virtually all retailers are communicating via the web, and while there's been a lot of focus in recent years on building an online presence, returns have been mixed. Supermarket Web sites have been a real boon for shoppers who plan ahead, but with many shopping trips made spur-of-the-moment, the value can be lost.

One answer to this issue could be a retailer application downloaded to an iPhone or other PDA that allows easier access to retailer information for shoppers on the go. This puts the retailer brand directly into the shopper's hand, and could contain relevant information, such as shopping lists, weekly specials, and new items. At least one consumer package goods (CPG) company has already created an application like this, but the opportunity is wide open for a retailer to take the lead.

Jeff Weidauer is vice president of marketing for Vestcom International Inc., a provider of technological retail solutions based in Little Rock, Ark. He can be reached at [email protected], or visit www.vestcom.com.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds