What’s in-store for 2016?

Proximity marketing zone

The past few years have seen an awakening among marketers of the importance of mobile devices in their communications strategies and CRM programmes.

This is obviously set to continue as the Internet of Things (IoT) starts to take a iron-like grip of our lives.

As ‘wearables’ like Apple Watches and FitBits start to gain casual acceptance, IoT devices are following closely behind offering internet-connected functionality to everything from light bulbs, to chiller cabinets and even coffee machines.

Obviously an advertiser shouldn’t expect to reach a coffee lover through a coffee machine. Not yet anyway. But they will be able to reach them through other devices, like Bluetooth beacons that may have been installed in the coffee shop. This will be a key trend in the UK during 2016.

We believe the biggest change for marketers will be the ability to reach consumers during the physical shopping experience. Having been led by the increasing take-up in the US, we see that UK marketers will be focussing on delivering contextual messages to target audiences in physical locations. From theme parks selling fast-passes over-the-air to visitors stood in long queues, to whisky brands reaching a customer they know is in the spirits section of the Duty Free store at the airport.

Another key activity we’ll see a lot more of is smartphone enabled loyalty programmes. Wallets and purses will become slimmer as mobile payment, in-store hardware and loyalty apps replace the cumbersome plastic cards.

In the retail and leisure location, the smartphone especially is becoming a key part of the customer experience. Starbuck’s, the famous coffee retailer, has put mobile at the heart of the customer journey, facilitating not just ordering ahead but also payment through your smart device.

And what of Virtual Reality, Ai and the myriad other must have techs that are the darlings of the blogs, tech websites and innovation thought leaders? Very little will be implemented in 2016.

This will be the year of using mobile devices, of all shapes and sizes, to enhance the customer experience – at home via apps and mobile optimised websites now that more of us surf on mobile then desktop. And in store, as we use those same devices to make a purchase 14%* more likely to happen.

2016 is about giving the customer what they want, when they want and where they want. And that means on mobile.

This article was originally posted on the website of our app build partners, We Are Apps.