Phil Vickery Checks Out on Mobile
MMN’s MD John Milliken featured heavily in last week’s Retail Week article ‘Smartphones Ring the Changes in Retail’. Discussing in-store mobile payments, John says, “The technology is available and relatively easy to implement; the innovation exists in being able to link systems together.” Our collaboration with Thomas Pink is an example of MMN’s innovation in this area: this week Thomas Pink unveiled the range of official merchandise for the British and Irish Lions’ Tour at The Golden Lion in Mayfair – renamed The Pink Lion for the duration of the week-long campaign. Lions’ coach Warren Gatland pulled pints while customers purchased Thomas Pink Lions’ apparel from pictures on the walls using MMN’s Thomas Pink mobile checkout app (demonstrated by Phil Vickery above). Martin Bayfield, Lewis Moody and Andy Irvine joined in the fun with rugby lessons on the turf outside.
Retail Week e-Commerce Summit
MMN Marketing Director Nick White gave the keynote speech at the Retail Week e-Commerce Summit on Wednesday, in which he explained both how mobile payments provide consumers with a simpler, faster way to pay, and how to improve distribution, reach and revenue by enabling mobile payments across all channels. The Summit saw a strong turnout from forward-thinking retailers and featured inspiring talks from Ishan Patel of Aurora Fashions and Sarah Baillie of Debenhams. On Tuesday, Nick’s panel ‘How Will e-Commerce Change the Future of Retail?’ provoked passionate discussion amongst panelists from Waitrose and Morrisons. A key theme from the event was the importance of data to both customers and retailers.
What is Mobile Commerce?
Nick White used this slide (above) to illustrate the mobile purchase process in four key quadrants: marketing, search, merchandising and checkout. The concept is expanded in our slide below, detailing the purchase in three domains – home (where PC and tablet are dominant), out and about and in-store (where, for both, mobile is dominant). As a channel, what makes mobile unique is its application to every quadrant and therefore its ability to draw together the purchase experience. For example, mobile can be used for search at home with the Tesco app, which enables customers to compile their shopping list by scanning the barcodes of products they are throwing in the bin. Equally, mobile is used at an in-store checkout with Pay by Square, which links the mobile device with the till. m-Commerce is a broad term and, as it develops, we will have to analyse its various components in greater detail to better explain it. The key is to understand that the mobile device, uniquely, knows everything about its owner and can influence and personalise their experience in each quadrant, enabling a targeted, bespoke service that perpetuates the ‘demographic of one’ experience. Mobile will never completely take over from e-Commerce, but it will become equally as dominant.
4G is here, but is it any good?
Everything Everywhere has launched 4G in 11 cities across the UK, offering a massive opportunity for the network if it can get it right. In the UK, we pay a lot for data and generally the experience falls short: at the moment, the quality of the service is holding the industry back. Faster broadband is expensive and, if it proves to be unreliable or offer poor coverage, customers won’t be happy. The predictions seem lukewarm: Guy Laurence, CEO of Vodafone, says that its own 4G service to be launched next year has a longer wavelength and will focus on providing a good service indoors, casting doubt on the reach of EE’s offering.
Battle of the mobile wallets
Vodafone made the news again this week when Gemalto announced the launch of its mobile wallet in partnership with the operator, as Project Oscar (the UK network operators’ JV, which includes Vodafone) announced its rebranding as Weve. On Twitter, the community questioned what this meant for Oscar/Weve: Vodafone is a global company with presence in 30 territories, and it is not surprising that it is exploring solo projects alongside the JV. All the member operators of Weve have their own wallets and NFC initiatives. Tweeters are missing the point: in the near term, Weve is positioning itself as a marketing platform while Vodafone launches the wallet in Germany and Spain. The question is how Vodafone will add differentiation to NFC that benefits consumers and retailers. If it’s only concerned with in-store checkout, it’ll miss out on a lot of what m-Commerce offers. Ultimately, to benefit the consumer and retailers, it needs to add value across the purchasing journey.