OPINION: Taking Mom Mobile

The following is an exclusive guest contributed post from Amanda Wilson, MobileBridge VP of Global Marketing.

A mother’s love is unconditional, but that has not stopped Americans from turning the annual celebration of the most important lady in their lives into a spending frenzy. Behind only the winter holidays and back to school, Mother’s Day is the third largest retail holiday on the calendar with Americans expected to spend a record $23.6B this year on mom, up from $21.4B in 2016.

Gifting for mom is no longer “your mother’s retail,” as more than 30% of shoppers are expected to make their purchases online, up from 27% last year. More importantly, 70% of this online-focused Mother’s Day activity takes place in this final week before the big day, as shoppers, especially millennials and younger, wait for last minute deals and promotions in the online world.

While the bulk of Mother’s Day shoppers (35%) expect to make purchases at department store locations, a whopping 34% of smartphone owners are expected to research gift ideas via mobile with 19% making mobile purchases, a record high.

With just a week before the holiday and no shortage of shoppers researching jewelry, flowers and the best brunch deals in town on their phone, phablet and tablet, how can marketers take mom mobile in 2017?

Who Exactly is Last Minute Gifting for Mom?

Analyzing your customers should be the very-first step in any mobile campaign, but even more so for an event as specific and personal as Mother’s Day. This is about mom, so make it about her, but more importantly, make it about who is purchasing for her.

Take a close look at your data – ideally its integrated so you can connect your customers’ online and offline worlds to determine what exactly drives them and how they purchase. This will be critical in creating effective campaigns for Mother’s Day purchases.

Remember, the ideal opportunity to capitalize on everyone’s online love for mom is in this week just before the holiday, and the majority of these last-minute shoppers are sub-35 yrs old. Review previous purchase history, location data, mobile app activity, as well as personal preferences and profiles specific to this group. Once reviewed, segment your customers to begin categorizing them by preference to target effectively.

Design an Omni-Channel Journey

Once you’ve created your segments, think about the actions and information needed for this segment to purchase. Do they like discounts? Do they prefer to purchase online or in the store? With which channels do they engage the most? Do they even know what mom wants? Answering these questions will help you define the journey for them to find that perfect gift.

Now, you can build-out an automated workflow that will react to your customers in real-time. As people walk by your store, view product information online, or any other relevant action, your automated workflow will continue to engage and lead them to just the right gift.

If you are a department store and are attempting to boost brick and mortar sales through mobile app capabilities, do not use proximity or location-based marketing to deliver a push message to a 25 year-old while he/she is passing through the lux jewelry section of the store. Yes, jewelry is predicted to be the top revenue producer for Mother’s Day sales this year at a cool $5B, but know your audience – utilize inventory in mobile campaigns specific to the target, and in these last few days before the holiday, that is someone looking to spend closer to $100-$200 than $10K.

Speaking of engagement, think long term, there is plenty more to be sold after Mother’s Day this year and even during Mother’s Day retail season next year. Take it a step further than push messages – utilize polls/surveys and games to gather more info from the user to then drive the next action.

Reward Them for Loving Mom

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. And in today’s highly competitive landscape, rewarding your customers is more important than ever. If you do not already have a loyalty program, Mother’s Day is a perfect time to start with an almost guaranteed influx in sales and activity via mobile channels.

It does not need to be complicated – for example, simply offer points within your app that people accrue to, then cash in for discounts or gifts later on. Even a simple gesture will go a long way with today’s consumer, especially the consumer who will be shopping for mom this week.