Top 100 Retailers Enable More than Payments by Mobile

Navigator Edition: August 2012
By: Paul Grill and Dara Khan

According to the First Annapolis Top 100 Retailer Mobile Payments and Marketing Study, 62 of the largest U.S. 100 retailers enable mobile shopping. Thirty merchants have announced that they have or will implement a mobile wallet, and ten accept an alternative payment method such as PayPal at the physical POS. But payments are not the primary use case for interacting with retailers just yet; consumers are increasingly using their smartphones while shopping to make purchasing decisions. This includes receiving unique offers and redeeming rewards points via mobile, as well as utilizing shopping tools that include store locators, third-party loyalty programs, and location-based services that can be used to enable these features. Together, these capabilities empower mobile shoppers with information and help to lay the groundwork for developing a fully mobile payments and marketing environment in-store.

According to Google and the Wall Street Journal, 50%-60% of in-store purchases are influenced by mobile today. In today’s omni-channel shopping environment, some retailers are experiencing difficulty in retaining customers in brick-and-mortar stores. Indeed, 20%-30% of consumers shop via mobile, try products out in-store, and then purchase the product online. Retailers can use mobile and these trends to attract customers and encourage them to purchase in-store by enabling offers, loyalty, and shopping tools via mobile.

Twenty-eight of the largest 100 retailers provide offers or coupons for use in the store. These offers are delivered by 2-D barcode or a shortcode that is presented at checkout. Retailers like 7-Eleven and Walgreens allow users to “clip” and save coupons in their respective apps to later present at the point of sale. These coupons are scanned via an optical laser. Others, like Target, integrate their mobile gift card with coupon search and redemption in the same app. Half of the 14 Google Wallet partners enable single-tap, which allows users to send payments and offers data to the reader via NFC in one tap.

While only Best Buy, Starbucks, and OfficeMax offer the ability to redeem proprietary loyalty program points via mobile in-store, 13 retailers partner with third-party loyalty provider Shopkick. Participating merchants install devices that can be read by the smartphone when visiting the brick-and-mortar store. This allows customers to receive loyalty points for checking in, visiting a specific part of the store, and scanning certain products. These points can then be redeemed for gift cards, special offers, and discounts. Visa and MasterCard cardholders can link their cards to Shopkick to earn even more points when they spend at participating retailers. Starbucks integrates mobile loyalty with payments, combining its mobile gift card with Starbucks Rewards in the same app, so customers know when they have made enough purchases to redeem a free drink. Kroger uniquely combines its loyalty program with mobile offers. Coupons are clipped via the Kroger smartphone app and saved to the user’s loyalty card, which is swiped at checkout to redeem.


Source: 2012 First Annapolis Top 100 Retailer Mobile Payments and Marketing Study

Many retailers have partnered with third-party providers and added functionality in-store and in their applications to interact with consumers in the brick-and-mortar environment. Thirty-two of the retailers included in the study partner with Foursquare to enable customers to check into stores they visit. Twenty-six go a step further and provide location-based offers. Thirty-one have QR codes throughout their stores. These barcodes can be scanned via mobile to learn more about products and receive special offers. Twenty-four retailers offer price comparison tools. Some, like Amazon, hope to steer customers away from immediate purchases by offering products at a lower cost and without tax. Others, like Best Buy and Walmart, enable users to check prices on goods to make sure online and in-store prices are aligned. These retailers and nine others also allow customers to place orders via mobile for in-store delivery.

As the nature of the physical shopping environment continues to change, retailers are empowering customers with mobile shopping tools and delivering compelling offers and loyalty. These services are laying the groundwork necessary to spur mobile payments adoption and build the value proposition for consumers.

The 2012 First Annapolis Top 100 Retailer Mobile Payments and Marketing study is available for purchase,

For more information, please contact Paul Grill, Partner specializing in Mobile Commerce and Emerging Payments,; or Dara Khan, Associate specializing in Mobile Commerce and Emerging Payments,

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