[PRESS] WWD: Mobile Commerce to Transform Retail From Transactional to Conversational

WWD-2-21-17.jpgSource: WWD

Women's Wear Daily included insights from Branding Brand's most recent webinar in a story about omnichannel retailing. 

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Growth prospects for integrated customer experiences are poised to rise and swift, successful transitions to omnichannel dialogs between retailers and consumers could likely determine survival of the fittest.

And most likely, that dialog (and hopefully conversions) will occur on a mobile device. Mobile commerce is pegged to garner 45 percent of total e-commerce by 2020, reaching $284 billion in sales, according to a BI Intelligence report.

The journey there is expected to be challenging as retail’s landscape has evolved into a battlefield of pure-play, bricks-and-clicks and brick-and-mortar brands. Success hinges on the adoption of emerging technologies and strategic customer communication. “Faced with a plethora of choices and communications, consumers tend to fall back on the limited set of brands that have made it through the wilderness of messages,” according to researchers at McKinsey & Co. Today, retailers are tasked with the challenge of cleverly navigating through this wilderness to connect to customers in a way that is both personal and profitable.

Omnichannel retailing underscores engagement at all levels: in-store, online, mobile and social media. Branding Brand, the largest retail app and mobile commerce platform, envisions a future led by real-time commerce — fueled by a seamless shopping experience.

“Retailers must connect all touch points in the buying journey,” a cyclical process that integrates personalization, engagement, data gathering, observation and the development of customer and associate apps, noted researchers at Branding Brand. “Even if a customer starts and ends the buying process in the same channel, there are many touch points in between when they’re researching and comparing products,” they observed.

And while those touch points are increasingly done online and via apps, physical stores still have a vital role to play. Amid store closings at The Limited, Macy’s, Office Depot, CVS and Wet Seal, there is a concurrent resurgence of brick-and-mortar store openings for digitally native pure-play brands — the likes of Amazon, Modcloth and Rent the Runway — that are ahead of the curve in their customer experience curation.

“Being able to touch and feel products at physical stores often makes customers more comfortable buying apparel and accessories. Storefronts also act as advertisements and can boost the prestige associated with a brand,” CB Insights said in a separate report.

Meanwhile, retail mobile activity has become a preferred form of engagement, with 74 percent of customers shopping in-app while waiting in store lines, according to Branding Brand. Though only 21 percent of smartphone owners had a range of three to five retail apps on their device as reported in an October 2015 comScore survey, vast improvements in the mobile sector allude to a surge of growth. “Advances in smartphone technologies, upgraded mobile networks and mobile-specific digital tools and platforms are making both mobile commerce and location-based services a reality. This, in turn, enables brands and consumers to engage with one another anytime, anywhere,” said researchers in a report from Deloitte.

Effectively, consumers now anticipate the conveniences and amenities of real-time communication, with most expecting to use shopping apps for purchasing products, tracking orders, earning rewards, accessing or saving coupons and browsing products. “Individualization means engaging in real-time by listening, measuring, assessing and addressing intent across every enterprise touch point,” Branding Brand stated. This practice marks the shift from transactional commerce to “conversational commerce.”

View on WWD.com

full recap from the referenced webinar "Retailers: Are You on the Road(map) to Success?" is available below. 


Topics: Trends Media Coverage Company

NRF: How Mobile and Big Data are Changing Retail Marketing

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Source: NRF

The National Retail Federation (NRF) featured Chris Mason, CEO of Branding Brand, in story about how mobile and data converge to build consumer brand loyalty. Chris is slated to further discuss this topic at NRF's Retail's Big Show on Jan. 15-17, 2017. 

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For many retailers, mobile has shifted from a long-term consideration to the driving force for growth, delivering new customers and revenues — right now. “Mobile is the primary growth channel, traffic channel and soon to be revenue channel for e-commerce,” says Chris Mason, CEO and co-founder of Branding Brand, a digital platform that helps retailers build app, web and in-store shopping experiences. “New customers typically first interact with a brand online through mobile web and once they become a loyal customer, adopt their app,” he says.

Read the full story and learn how to register for NRF's Retail's Big Show. 

Topics: Trends Media Coverage Company

[PRESS] USA TODAY: The Fake Web: Why We're So Apt to Believe Fake News, Apps, and Reviews

Google Play Fake App

Why people are subscribed to believing in fake news, apps, and other content they see on the web is explored in a story by USA Today and this TalkingTech podcast. Both include commentary by Branding Brand CEO, Chris Mason. 

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Fake app whack-a-mole

Fake apps for Apple and Android operating systems are increasingly becoming breeding grounds for fraudsters who see an opening to peddle bogus products and collect sensitive personal information.

Chris Mason, co-founder of Branding Brand, a Pittsburgh-based app developer, started noticing “hundreds” of phony apps on those virtual stores in September as the holiday push neared.

“Mobile shopping has finally really taken off this year,” Mason says. “And only one out of three retailers has an app, so there was a void.”

He alerted Google and Apple and many were taken down, but not all of them. There are still “dozens” that look like the real thing, Mason says, pointing to phony apps for retailers such as Dillard’s, Foot Locker, Nordstrom and Pandora Jewelry.

Mason suggests downloading the app from the retailer’s website — not the app store — to ensure it’s authentic and check reviews. If they are from upset customers, odds are it's fake, he says.

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[PRESS] CBS This Morning: Cyber Shoppers Report Being Hacked

Chris Mason CBS Evening News Fake Apps

Chris Mason, Branding Brand's CEO and Co-founder, appeared on CBS Evening News on Cyber Monday to warn consumers about the fake shopping apps he discovered in app stores. 

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[PRESS] CBS This Morning: Fake Shopping Apps Offer Back Door for Thieves

Cyber Monday CBS News Fake Apps

Branding Brand's CEO and Co-founder, Chris Mason, appeared on CBS This Morning on Cyber Monday to warn consumers about downloading fake shopping apps during this holiday season. 

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Topics: Trends Media Coverage Fake Apps Company