Wednesday night I attended marketCHARLOTTE, a yearly event organized by Charlotte AMA and included participation from several marketing organizations in Charlotte.
The theme this year was Doing More with Less. Our marketing budgets are getting slashed but we want the same, if not better, results. How do we do that?
Mobile, big data, and inbound marketing and partnerships.
Sean Bartlett of Lowe's presented on mobile. Their challenge? Doing more with less with over 1,750 stores. Lowe's experienced a 70% growth in e-commerce in 2011, most of it was in mobile. Their main mission? To advance the customer and associate experience. Lowe's is utilizing mobile to provide the best experience for their customers by advancing the customer through compelling interactions. They also make it easy for the store associates with an app that has both a front and a back end.
Retail is no longer where people go to buy things, it’s now a place where they go to have an experience.
This idea of experiences leads to what some consider the future of retailing: showrooming. You can read more about it in an article written by Matthew Bishop on LinkedIn earlier this week.
Even if your product or service is B2B, the mobile experience still applies. For example, my day job is in the healthcare industry, specifically in medical devices. I see so many opportunities in improving not only our customers’ and end users’ experience but also internally (customer service and sales). Whether it is choosing the best orthopedic brace for an injured end user, a fitter punching in measurements and knowing what size compression stocking to put on a patient and all the style available in that size, to empowering our employees to give the best advice by providing them with the best tool – information. All of the scenarios help the customers have the best experience with the brand.
Lowe's went beyond a store app that helps a consumer find a product in their stores. They also have a lifestyle magazine for the iPad that has a heavy subscription base full of home improvement ideas. Their My Lowe's loyalty program is fantastic. Their social media team is quick to respond, whether it’s to give you a pat on the back for a job well done, say thank you for shopping in their stores, or use a YouTube video to answer a customer’s question (probably my favorite yet!).
Lowe's succeeds in providing a mobile experience worth experiencing.
And most importantly they practice what they preach: Never Stop Improving.
What's your mobile strategy?