- Mobile brand hubs, direct-to-consumer (DTC) expansion into brick-and-mortar retail and audio identities are among the trends that will become more pronounced next year as retailers aim to form stronger bonds with on-the-go consumers, per a report that Alliance Data Systems (ADS) shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Some brands are working to build stronger bonds with customers by creating content-rich, "one-stop" mobile apps that keep users engaged. However, many brands have more work to do. Only 41% of surveyed marketers said their brand offers a mobile app and uses it to communicate with customers, ADS found in a survey. Among the 18 retailer app features tested by ADS, 16 were rated as "somewhat to very important" by consumers.
- A handful of brands are experimenting with sonic logos, branded podcasts, audio augmented reality (AR) and innovation in audio advertising and content to connect with consumers who increasingly interact with brands through voice-powered platforms. Just 7% of brands offer voice-based engagement through Amazon Alexa or Google Home, per ADS.
As an issuer of branded credit cards for retailers, ADS monitors how technology shapes retail trends, and its 2020 forecast provides several key insights that mobile marketers must consider. By developing their mobile apps into more holistic brand hubs that are immersive and personalized, retailers can give their customers more reasons to shop at their convenience via smartphone. ADS recommends that retailer apps give special prominence to ratings and reviews that urge consumer participation and make customers feel as if they belong to a community.
ADS also sees a growing trend of DTC brands establishing a stronger toehold in brick-and-mortar retailing. The company found that 38% of consumers would shop an online brand more frequently if that brand also had a physical store. Multichannel marketing has becoming more normalized, with 70% of retail marketers using six or more sales channels to reach customers.
As more consumers experience brands through audio platforms like smart speakers, sonic branding will be become increasingly essential. Only 8% of consumers said they had discovered a brand or product through a podcast, ADS found in its survey, but brands shouldn't underestimate the growing reach of podcasts as mobile consumers seek on-demand audio programming from streaming platforms.
Brands and platforms are already preparing for increased attention around audio identities. Mastercard was one of the first brands this year to introduce a sonic brand identity in an attempt to stand out at the point-of-sale in stores as more consumers use contactless payment methods. Pandora this year also debuted a sonic logo and established an in-house consultancy called Studio Resonate to work with brands on their audio marketing strategies.