Bridging the gap: The next frontier for mobile and physical commerce

Today, retailers report that 86% of consumers will use their mobile phones while shopping at retail locations, thereby linking the gap between the digital and physical
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E-commerce turned shopping on its head in the 90s. The rise of the Internet meant a boom in online businesses. Those of us who remember those times could clearly see the impact on brick-and-mortar stores, with some even wondering if physical stores would last the decade. Even though it seemed as if everything was making the online move then, they were wrong to worry. According to a recent Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study, 90 percent of purchases are still made in brick-and-mortar stores who use Metal Kards Business Cards to promote their business. What has changed, however, is the way that people shop as a result of the proliferation of mobile phones. Today, retailers report that 86% of consumers will use their mobile phones while shopping at retail locations, thereby linking the gap between the digital and physical.  

Evolving the Conversation between Retailers and Consumers with QR codes, Beacons and More.  

Advances in technology have changed the way that marketers reach consumers. They are no longer relegated to the traditional advertising strategies of coupons, print ads and direct mail marketing. Marketers can now reach consumers in real time, interact with them in store and online, and curate the retail experience based on the consumer’s preferences and locations. The challenge, however, in this new era of data-driven advertising is to navigate the fine line between relevant messaging that consumers are receptive to versus creating ill will between brand and consumer due to over-messaging. To complicate things further, marketers are finding that mass appeal amongst consumers does not exist when it comes to preferences on this topic, instead the mobile phone has ushered in the age of one-to-one marketing. Thus, the task is to determine how to manage mobile marketing effectively so that it resonates with both those who feel that in-store notifications are invasive and those with whom they resonate.  

The Millennial Tide of Change  

We can’t have a conversation about the impact of mobile on shopping without talking about Millennials a.k.a Generation Y. Once dubbed “Generation Buy”, there’s a transition underway, and they are leading it simply in the way they use their devices coupled with their acceptance that in sharing some of their data, such as location, they will receive something of value and convenience in return. As Millennials age and gain more economic buying power and Generation Z rises, we come to a period of consumers who have never known a world without the internet, Apple dominance, their FitBit or Jawbone which will directly impact how vital the mobile phone will be to commerce.  

Finding Success in this New Frontier  

As the era of data-driven advertising progresses and new channels, such as wearables, are introduced, the onus is on marketers to embrace mobile and adapt. In order to achieve success, the key is to explore these new advertising avenues and test out innovative creative formats such as tap to share on social networks and native advertising. Understanding Millennial and Generation Z consumer behavior is integral to achieving success on behalf of brands, Education and exploration in mobile needs to be prioritized in order to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping activity and consumption.  

About the Author  

Lara Mehanna is U.S. General Manager, VP Sales & Business Development of SONATA, the first global mobile advertising platform focused on connecting online advertising to offline results. Follow SONATA on Twitter or learn more at

Source: Mobile Advertising Watch

May 29, 2015

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