Image source: Essential Journal
With consumers spending 89% of their time on media through mobile apps (source: Nielsen), the potential of mobile commerce has not been lost on fashion brands. The move towards shoppable Instagram posts and Pinterest pins, as well as commerce-capable social networks like Net-A-Porter’s The Net Set, are all recent examples of brands getting on board with mobile. But is the incentive to gain profit being pursued at the expense of other ways of earning customer loyalty? In these fast-moving times, certain start-ups and retailers have realised that just saying “thank you” can be as valuable to fashion fans as giving them easier ways to shop.
One app leading the charge is Thanx, a mobile app for iOS and Android that allows you to automatically earn rewards from your favourite retailers. This might be your local bakery or gardening centre – or, interestingly, local fashion retailers that might not have a definitive online presence. If you have a favourite designer boutique in your neighbourhood, for instance, but can’t wait until sale season, the app will allow you to accrue rewards towards purchases and let you know when and what you’ve earned. It will even inform you when you’re near a certain merchant that is signed up to Thanx. As one user puts it: “Amazing that I don’t need to jump through a bunch of hoops or fumble through my wallet.” This comment says much about the value of frictionless sharing in all aspects of customer experiences: not only on social promotions or in the process of checking out, but also with regards to giving something back to the consumer.
The “thank you” effect is spreading across other m-commerce apps, too. The Urban Outfitters app allows customers to become an Urban On insider, unlocking exclusive rewards and getting first access to sales, new collections and events. Harvey Nichols launched a new app last month, Rewards by Harvey Nichols, which promises to reward customers for every pound they spend – an unusual move for a store where pounds spent could regularly number in the thousands. The ideas are simple – not much different to a physical loyalty card – but the digital environment gives far greater scope for the kind of customisation that could make a customer feel like you’re saying thanks to them personally.
Reported by Claire Healy