Name Institutional Affiliation
My Mobile Shopping Experience
Just recently, I had my first mobile shopping experience when Iordered my TV from an online shop using the shop’s mobile orderingapp. Initially, I had heard about mobile shopping from my friends butI never had the interest to make the idea a reality. However, whenrecently I thought of upgrading my TV to a bigger and newer model, Irealized how cumbersome it would be to transport it back to myapartment because the elevator in our building broke down. The fearof carrying a big TV up five floors made me consider the idea ofmobile shopping.
Apart from being too lazy to carry my new TV, I also chose this modeof shopping because it is easy to use. All I had to do was to perusethrough the TV models, select my favorite, and the press the ‘Order’button. I saved a lot of time for something else instead of goingaround in several stores trying to find a TV that impresses me. Theprocess was also efficient and I only had to pay after inspecting theproduct.
I cannot attribute every bit of my decision to do online shopping onmy friends’ influence. The media had a role to play too. The onlinestore from which I bought the TV has always run adverts on TV andradio to display its prowess in making shopping easier. Overall, Iwas happy with my first experience of mobile shopping because of anumber of reasons. The TV that I received was the same that Iordered, the order arrived on time, and I saved a lot of time andeffort.
Accordingto Heisenberg and Hrdy (2015), the daily screen use of the USAcitizens is at an all-time high. People are now using theirsmartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs more than ever. Whilst thetablets and TVs are used more for entertainment and information,smartphones and laptops are used for accessing the internet andonline shopping. It is therefore prudent for manufacturers to utilizethe online platform in order to maximize their sales. An emergingtrend shows an overreliance by consumers on their smartphones thanany of the other three screens. Considering the bulk of carryinglaptops around, USA consumers are slowly turning to their smartphonesas the primary means of accessing the internet. The realization hasput marketers on their feet trying to create appealing apps forpeople who wish to shop online using their mobile phones. Resultshave shown that the producers who have capitalized on the Smartphonecraze are already ahead of the pack.
Researchhas revealed that Smartphone users rely on both mobile apps and theirbrowsers to do online shopping. The statistics on the dependence onsmartphones for shopping makes the issue of mobile marketingincreasingly important. This realization creates the debate ofwhether marketers should focus their resources on developing apps ormaking their website accessible to all browsers. Experts advise thatit is important to have a website that is easily accessible via aSmartphone in addition to developing a mobile shopping app. Since theaverage Smartphone user can load up to a maximum of five shoppingapps on his phone, it would be unwise to concentrate all marketingresources on app development. However, the bottom line remains thatSmartphone users are now downloading online shopping at a higher ratethan ever recorded in history. This development has made marketers toreconsider the role of mobile marketing when developing a marketingstrategy.
Thesuccess of using mobile marketing in some companies has made themarketing strategy increasingly important. According to Clift (2015),McDonald’s is reaping big from the use of mobile marketing in itsEuropean Market. A classic example of McDonald’s use of Mobilemarketing is the creation of GoMcDo in France. The app allows itsusers to order food at the restaurant prior to arriving there. Whenthe client arrives at the premises, he finds that his order is readyand all he does is pay and pick it. The mobile marketing strategygained much popularity in France owing to the fact that it reducedtime spent at the restaurant, and it was more efficient than thetraditional ordering methods.
McDonald’shas also incorporated several mobile marketing apps in its bid to goglobal. The apps vary from one country to another depending on theconsumer behavior and market dynamics. For instance, in Germany, thecompany has an app called McVIP that seeks to reward customer loyaltybecause in German culture, loyalty is a valued trait. The companyalso seeks to create apps that correspond with trending topics suchas healthy eating. The ‘Fruit Match’ is an app that seeks topromote McDonald’s smoothies and healthy eating. Since many peoplehave blamed the company for promoting obesity in America, McDonald’suses the app to absolve itself from any wrongdoing.
Mobile Media Analysis
Heineken Lager seeks to increase its popularity among drinkers intheir twenties by creating an app for iPhone and iPod touch. The appthat originally targeted young drinkers in Brazil is divided into twosection- bar finder and taxi finder. The bar finder segment uses thephone’s GPS system to locate the nearest bar. In addition, it showswhether the nearest joint is a bar, pub, restaurant or hotel. Thisapp seeks to carter for beer lovers who are far away from their homeareas. The taxi finder offers Heineken drinkers an opportunity toperuse through the numbers of taxi drivers who operate within aradius of 10 miles. The app locates the registered taxi driversthrough their iPhone GPS and then relays the information to thepotential client in a bar.
The Heineken experience is a mobile website that seeks to display allthe services offered by the beer. Therein include the sale of ticketsfor events that the beer hosts. For instance, in the just concludedUEFA Champions league finals, Heineken was a key sponsor. Consideringthe popularity of the league, many Smartphone users will browsethrough the website of Heineken in order to purchase. Through thesale of tickets, Heineken gets to market its services. The mobilewebsite also has list of events that the company will host. Theseinclude activities such as general promotion, launching of newproducts, and big sporting events that the company will take part.Mobile users can log in to the site and register for the events. Theydo not have to wait until they get to their computers before they canaccess such services. The mobile marketing strategy is a move in theright direction considering that numerous people are now using theirsmartphones more than they use their computers to access theinternet.
Fig1: screenshot of the Heineken mobile website. Image adapted fromHeineken.com (2016).
Budweiser is a European beer, which forms Heineken’s biggestcompetitor. Just like her competitor, Budweiser has invested inmobile marketing. The company has created an app for both iPhone andAndroid that allows fans to interact. The online community also offerthe fans an opportunity to learn of any major events that the companywill be holding in the near future. The company sponsors somesporting events such as the FA cup in England and it uses the app topublicize them. In addition, ticket sales for events that aresponsored by the company are available at the mobile app. The companymakes the point of updating the app with the emergence of every newversion of android and IOS. Just like Heineken, Budweiser uses mobilemarketing to interact with fans and market its products.
Fig2: Budweiser mobile app for android. Image adapted from googleplaystore (2016).
Guinnessis a key player in the beer industry. The stout beer has its presencein more than 100 countries. Just like the other worthy competitors inthe beer industry, Guinness uses mobile marketing to create morepopularity for its products. The Guinness mobile app is available foriPhone and android. Users log in to locate more than 6500 pubs withintheir vicinity. The app also offers incentives to users who logseverally in a day. Smartphone users who download the app will get afree pint at any participating bar just for taking part in thepromotion exercise. Guinness plus also allows the users to viewfellow users who are already in the participating bar. This impliesthat the app is not only a marketing strategy, but also a platformfor users to interact and make new friends.
The primary strength of these mobile apps for the beer manufacturersis that it helps them interact with their customers. The apps allowthe loyal customers of the companies to keep up with the companyevents instead of having to browse through the company websites. Inan age where people are slowly moving away from the norm of readingnewspapers, these apps act like a tool for disseminating importantinformation to the customers.
The primary limitation to this mobile marketing strategy is that itonly focuses on Smartphone users who have downloaded the app. In thestudy by Heisenberg and Hrdy (2015), the average Smartphone user willdownload about five marketing apps. This statistic implies that theapp will only be effective on loyal customers but it will do littlein attracting new customers. Controversy has also come up regardingthe privacy of these apps. Some users have complained that the appsask for too much personal information, which might be dangerous if itfalls in the wrong hands. Apps that reveal the location of otherusers have also been criticized for violating the privacy of someusers who do not wish to be found. If the companies are to succeed intheir mobile marketing strategy, they should address the issue ofprivacy because it is making many Smartphone uses weary of theseapps.
Clift. J., 2015. How McDonald’s is responding to the mobilerevolution in Europe. Event reports MMA forum.
Eisernberg, R., and Hrdy, K., 2015. Getting Mobile right. WPP atticusawards highly commended nature and value of insights.
Heineken.com, 2016. Heineken experience. Retrieved from<http://www.heineken.com/Heineken-Experience/Heineken-Experience >accessed May 29, 2016.
Play.google.com. 2016. Budweiser. Retrieved from<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.abinbev.budweiser.facup&hl=en_GB> accessed May 29, 2016.