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Marketing mobile payment tools to women

Nov 09, 2013 Dave King

Mobile payments have become a hot topic in recent years, as transaction processing firms have started to offer a number of mobile pay tools. Although many companies have become active in the sector and a large portion of financial experts predict a spike in mobile payments, consumers have been slow to embrace the technology.

Despite the fact mobile payments have been increasing, the rate of growth has not met the expectations of analysts. For many processing companies, the slow embrace of mobile tools has been frustrating. In some cases, mobile transaction services and portals can be costly to create, meaning that enterprises need to see widescale adoption of such financial tools to make their investments worth the effort.

For this reason, having the right insight into how consumers act and what they want from payment options is important for enterprises that want to grow their mobile payment sectors. With any new technology or financial tool, consumers may be slow to embrace change. Often, they trust more traditional options that have been tried and tested. Therefore, payment processing leaders need to create innovative features and marketing strategies to strategically capture the largest portion of consumers possible. Evidence suggests that targeting moms may be the best way to increase mobile payment adoption.

Moms rule the finances
A recent survey from Child's Play Communications found that 80 percent of household purchasing decisions are made by moms. Although the source admitted that dads are starting to play a greater role in purchase decision-making, moms are still very much in charge of the what products American families purchase.

In particular, moms dominate the decision-making process when it comes to buying children's products. The survey found that just 1.1 percent of dads were responsible for purchasing kids' toys and clothes. Even dads backed up this sentiment, with just 2.2 percent of dads saying they spearheaded toy purchases, while 1.2 percent said they were in charge of buying children's clothes.

Why innovative features are important
Parents can be incredibly savvy shoppers, always looking to get the most bang for their buck. With the holiday season approaching, the need to control spending is becoming more important and there is evidence to suggest that moms are using their mobile devices to find the best deal possible.

According to Burst Media, moms are likely to make sure they are getting the best deal, even if they are in a store. The source reported that 64.5 percent of moms who use a mobile device at retail outlets compare prices on their smartphones or tablets. Also, the source noted that 54.6 percent of women use mobile shopping apps on a regular basis. Men reported lower rates for both of those measurements.

This shows that females may indeed be more tech-savvy shoppers than their male counterparts, which is important for mobile payment marketers to consider, particularly for those looking to tailor their products to families.

Macy's provides innovative example
Because women are more likely to use mobile tools to dictate their shopping experiences, retailers and payment processing companies need to offer useful features that increase consumer engagements levels. Doing so will keep moms active on an in-house channel and away from the competition.

Macy's recently announced that it is including visual recognition technology from NantMobile in its new Macy's Star Gifts app. Users will be able to scan goods from catalogs and even billboards in order to access information about a product. Depending on which items are scanned, Macy's will offer holiday gift ideas and product videos for consumers looking to make more informed purchasing choices. Also, users of the Star Gifts app will be able to make purchases directly from the program, which can be an effective way to ensure consumers stay engaged with a brand.

"This new application of technology will assist us in delivering helpful and relevant content to mobile shoppers while at the same time providing them with the opportunity to get their holiday shopping done with ease," said Martine Reardon, Macy's CMO.

This free app provides a model for other retail and payment companies to learn from. Modern mobile consumers want convenient options that provide them with choices they have never seen before. Static apps and tools do little to increase brand engagement, so embracing the Macy's model should only benefit sellers.

Enterprises that fail to implement marketing strategies tailored to the most active decision-makers who use mobile tools may miss the chance to win over other consumers. Although mobile payment adoption rates have been slow, such channels are becoming more popular overall. For this reason, it's important for marketing teams to consult with mobile developers and sales departments in order to create applications that include features customers will actually enjoy. This approach could help companies increase their base of loyal customers.