The Mobile Presence Marketing Holiday Checklist

As Black Friday and the holiday shopping season approach, location-based mobile marketing will play an increasingly important role for retailers. Because nearly every shopper will be carrying a smartphone, retailers that have already invested in deploying digital location signals in their stores should take advantage of this powerful technology to engage with shoppers and gain insight into their shopping behavior. To help you make the most of your mobile presence technology investment during this prime shopping season, here’s a handy checklist developed from our years of experience with leading retailers.

  1. Signal Health Check – Ensure that your location signals can reach shoppers in and/or near your stores by reviewing location signal strength before your stores are locked down for the holiday. You’ll want to review the battery life of your beacon fleet, update firmware as necessary, and make plans to mitigate any issues that might arise. For example, look for beacons that have battery levels that would require replacement before mid-January and take steps to replace old batteries with new ones. Also, verify that beacons and WiFi access points have recent detections of shopper traffic, thus indicating that they are working properly. Making sure that hardware and software are ready and up to date is a simple, yet important step in preparing for success.


  1. Testing, Testing – Utilize the time before Black Friday to A/B test push notification copy and other calls to action so you have optimized messaging during the months with the most store traffic. Making the effort to figure out what resonates with your shopper base and what doesn’t will ensure greater engagement at the time it matters most. For example, should you jump on the emoji bandwagon? If you haven’t already tried using emojis in your push notifications, the weeks leading up to Black Friday are a great time to learn about how this could impact mobile engagement rates. According to some studies, emojis have driven a 15% increase in open rates when used in email subject lines. To understand the impact emojis could have on your proximity marketing campaigns, set up an A/B test to isolate and measure its impact on push notification open rates.


  1. Optimize for the Gift-Giving Mindset– This time of year people are often shopping for friends and family rather than themselves and therefore may be in need of inspiration. Consider value-added content beyond promotions. Are there opportunities to leverage gift guides, digital catalogs, or your efforts in social media channels like Instagram or Pinterest to showcase products to in-store shoppers who might not be familiar with your brand? Combine this digital content with promotions and offers to inspire and incentivize holiday shoppers to make in-store purchases.


  1. Don’t Wait to Evaluate – Having a strategy with specific plans for each possible scenario or result at certain points during these important shopping periods is an important step to take when planning for Black Friday and the holidays. For example, if promotions are an important part of your holiday marketing strategy, consider how you can update promotional content on the fly based on the latest store sales data. Start by creating a calendar for Black Friday through the post-Christmas period that includes multiple scenarios (e.g. early promos exceed expectations, meet expectations or fail to meet expectations), and the dates at which you will evaluate POS data. Based on the promotions that you plan to run for each scenario, set up creatives and campaigns that can be activated at the various checkpoints on the timeline you set up.


  1. Set Up Post-Visit Messaging – In order to see, feel, and try on products before they buy, some shoppers will visit brick-and-mortar stores prior to making their purchase online (especially before days like Cyber Monday). Knowing that stores are often used for product research and evaluation rather than purchasing, retailers should think about how they can use in-store behavioral data to influence post store visit behaviors. To ensure that the customer chooses to complete the purchase of the product that they evaluated in-store with you and not with another retailer or e-tailer, retailers can deliver email or mobile messages 1-4 hours AFTER a shopper’s store visit. By following up with store visitors (and perhaps providing an offer or incentive to purchase), retailers can keep their brand in the consideration cycle for an important group of consumers.


In order to get the most out of mobile presence investments, retailers should be preparing before the chaos of the holidays ensues. By planning ahead, preparing engaging content and messaging (as well as alternative content and messaging), and tracking results and optimizing along the way, retail marketers can ensure that they deliver impactful business results for the holiday season and beyond.

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