5 Innovative Mobile Wallet Uses for the Holidays

The next wave of mobile innovation to grow and sustain direct customer relationships is finally here; and unlike apps, the mobile wallet opportunity is one any business can seize.

  • Mobile wallet usage will reach critical mass in the next three years. The top things that US and EU7 consumers want in their mobile wallet are loyalty points/rewards and coupons/special offers—far more than those that want their payment card stored there (Forrester Research Inc., The Future Of Mobile Wallets Lies Beyond Payments, February 9, 2015).
  • The number of mobile coupon users is expected to nearly double to more than one billion by 2019 (Juniper Research, Mobile Coupons: Consumer Engagement, Loyalty & Redemption Strategies 2014-2019, July 29, 2014).

Retailers have decked the halls—both the physical and virtual—or at least have set everything in motion that they will be tackling for this festive, make-or-break time of year. However, using mobile wallet marketing capabilities within Apple Wallet and Android Pay, marketers can seize last-minute, quick-turn opportunities to surprise and delight more customers and get cash registers jing-jing-jingling too.

Here are five innovative holiday use cases that illustrate the customer engagement opportunity mobile wallets offer:

mw-1Skip the Line, Save Them Hassle

Sales extravaganzas and deep discounts have become a holiday mainstay, so too have the crowds and long lines. A mobile wallet pass can be customers’ golden ticket to preferential treatment, such as early access to the door buster Black Friday sale.

We’ve found up to 85 percent of installed passes are not deleted off devices, so after the big day, wallet items can be updated to showcase the next sale or special offer.

Show True Love with 12 Days of Deals

Get lords a-leaping by quickly implementing a sustained wallet campaign to engage customers throughout the holidays with daily or weekly high-value offers that can be redeemed online or in the store—all on the same wallet pass. mw-2

A mobile wallet management solution makes it easy to dynamically update pass content and alert consumers to new offers with notifications displayed on their lockscreen. Companies gain the immediacy and top-level visibility of notifications, which some find generate 4-12X greater response than email, as well as more advanced mobile capabilities like triggering passes to display at defined locations, times or proximity to beacons—all without the cost and investment of building and maintaining a mobile app.

Reward the First 500, Everywhere

Mobile wallet passes are distributable anywhere a link can be placed: emails, push notifications, SMS/MMS texts, social channels, websites and even offline signage or ads with QR codes. For every channel, the first 500 people adding the wallet item can be given something special, creating rapid demand through exclusivity. mw-3

Businesses gain great perspective on which digital channels are most effective in helping them establish sustained connections to customers through mobile wallets.


Build Anticipation, Counting Down to the Big Day

Create a mobile wallet pass for a special sale complete with a countdown timer. Businesses can choose which countdown intervals visibly notify customers that the event is getting closer, or which simply update the pass to display the latest countdown when customers open it. mw-4

Marketers could also update the strip image to encourage broader engagement, promoting extra giveaways or reposting recent customer social commentary.

Enable Gifts That Keep on Giving

Gift cards are a holiday favorite and using mobile wallets to deliver them not only helps consumers avoid over-stuffed, cluttered wallets, it cuts down on hard costs for printed plastic or paper. Gift givers would simply need to provide the recipient’s email or phone number for delivery, and fields within the pass can be updated to reflect the current balance.

In addition, as an added benefit, businesses can highlight links to their app or website, along with physical location/contact information on the back of the pass to usher people from a transactional “got to use the gift card” focus to a deeper relationship. mw-5

The opportunity to use mobile wallets as a sustained customer engagement channel extends far beyond the holiday season. Retailers without an app can capitalize on their low cost and broad reach, distributing wallet items through any digital channel without the hurdles of getting consumers to download a brand’s app. Retailers with an app can combine digital wallet capabilities for multiple touchpoints to offer consumers seamless experiences.

Judy Chan is the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Urban Airship Wallet Studio Solution










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