I like a good deal as much as the next guy, but stopping into a big box discount retailer the other day had me thinking about the dilution of the customer experience. Walking into a cluttered shopping experience where the in-store offer doesn’t match what I found online (or on their mobile site, because I’m definitely consulting that while I’m in the store) is an all-too-common occurrence in retail – and using discounts to defend a poor customer experience just doesn’t cut it anymore.
We’ve all done it: on the train, in the waiting area, enjoying a cup of coffee and browsing our phones. Then we go back to our desktop (or laptop) to make a purchase. According to the Accenture Seamless Retail Study, we’re not alone: 91% of shoppers find the experience of shopping in a physical store to be “easy or very easy” while only 32% of consumers shopping via mobile feel the same way. So why the disconnect?
Mobile marketing is like the game Operation. If you’re spot-on, you make a vital connection with your consumer. If you miss, even by a little, the buzzer goes off, your customer lights up and you lose, not only for this transaction, but maybe for the life of the consumer.
My local gym is always running some kind of crazy discount for enrollment. And I can always look at this month’s (or week’s) promotion and blow it off, knowing another deal is coming. It’s hard to know, from a price-conscious standpoint, the best time to make a long-term commitment because they’re constantly repackaging the same discount, or even out-bidding themselves for my business. In a similar instance, I bought concert tickets with a loyalty-based “early bird” discount, only to find out that a deeper discount was advertised to the general public just a month later. Really? Are we expecting consumers not to notice or react to our marketing misgivings? And are we brands really expected to keep up?
In today's Facebook and Google Ad Sense generation, where many a content experience is dictated by what you like, search for and click on, brands that aren't completely optimized at every touchpoint are now in perilous danger of becoming the dumb bouncer in a movie, blocking a consumer from a desired experience.