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Consumers are swimming in a sea of apps. To cut through the noise in today’s “always on” world, brands must prioritize meaningful mobile experiences with everyday utility and real-time relevance. From geolocation services to augmented reality, many mobile features are heightening consumer engagement, ushering in a new era of connectivity. Here are a few innovative ways brands are leveraging mobile to strengthen brand-consumer relations.

 

Location, location, location

Imagine setting up a picnic and, instead of making sandwiches, ordering a pizza right to the park. Dominos recently made this dream a reality, harnessing geolocation services to provide consumers with flexible delivery options to their favorite spots. Other brands are following suit, identifying creative ways to customize mobile experiences based on consumers’ location.

 

Take RetailMeNot, for example. The digital coupon platform sends push notifications to alert app users about nearby deals. The app also includes a “mall map” feature that points consumers to discounts at stores within a particular shopping center, further tailoring the shopping experience.

 

For such exchanges to succeed, brands must be transparent about how geolocation will uplevel interactions. Many consumers are unclear on how their data is being collected and used and, as a result, often deny brands insight into their location. To earn consumer trust and maintain healthy opt-in rates, education is essential. At the end of the day, consumers want to ensure their information is being used responsibly. The best brands are going beyond just complying with GDPR requirements and instead seizing an opportunity to proactively gain consumer trust. Apple’s Privacy Portal (which provides a view into the data Apple has and how they use it) is a refreshing example of transparency at a time when Facebook and Google are facing negative press around their practices and shortcomings.

 

Convenience is key

QR codes made a splash when they were first introduced on mobile, appearing across apps, magazines, and product packaging. Designed to streamline information-sharing, QR codes have since seen a resurgence thanks to smartphones’ built-in readers. Brands are capitalizing on the simplicity to increase convenience and instantly unlock content, saving consumers valuable time and granting them richer resources. For instance, Amazon Go, the e-commerce giant’s cashierless convenience store, has leveraged QR codes to expedite grocery store runs. Brands should also keep in mind that QR codes are increasingly compatible with popular social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, lowering the barrier to entry.

 

Brands like Coca-Cola are innovating on the QR code concept. They have created mobile-only image recognition-powered campaigns, granting consumers instant access to exclusive content, mobile games, and offers via the scanning of a special icon placed directly on a product. Accessible to anyone via the web or an app, these QR-type codes have become an efficient and essential tool for refreshing existing marketing tactics and driving engagement in the moment.

 

Digital, meet IRL

AR and VR technologies have made significant strides in connecting the online and offline worlds to facilitate seamless mobile interactions. By allowing consumers to project products and experiences directly onto the tangible world, AR and VR have brought imagination – and efficiency – to everyday interactions.

 

Warby Parker, for instance, enables consumers to virtually try on glasses through its app. What’s more, the company also activates face mapping technology to cultivate personalized recommendations for the best frames, making finding new specs a contemporary and effortless process. Similarly, Sherwin-Williams allows mobile users to freely experiment with design by visualizing paint colors on their own walls through the brand’s app. In implementing AR and VR, brands should prioritize opportunities to remove friction and build affinity in a cohesive app experience.

 

Ultimately, the mobile interactions that drive deeper engagement will be those that speak to consumers on an individual level, whether meeting consumers where they are, streamlining their busy lives, or enhancing an everyday experience. The future of mobile doesn’t just hinge on the next technological breakthrough, but on brands’ ability to maximize existing app features in a fresh way to truly surprise and delight consumers.


 


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