Marketers can utilize mobile marketing and mobile-native features to meet the needs of consumers in a COVID world. Over eight months into the pandemic, brands and consumers have settled into a new normal - a phrase we're all tired of hearing. While consumers are returning to stores and old shopping behaviors, they are doing so with heightened concerns. According to the CMO Spend survey (subscription require), B2C marketing leaders are planning to significantly increase budgets allocated to mobile marketing in 2021. There are a number of ways that marketers can leverage mobile marketing to help bring shoppers back in store and close gaps in customer service. Mobile Helps to Bring Shoppers Back in Store Geolocation for Fulfilment Shopping experiences have become more planned since the beginning of the pandemic. Many more consumers are using lists or omnichannel fulfilment. Savvy brands are using geolocation to help consumers reduce their time in store. Retailers like The Home Depot and Target actually show where certain products are located in a specific store. Others have prioritized fulfilment on brand sites, showcasing real-time inventory or lettings shoppers filter by their preferred store locations. Contactless & Expedited Payments One major concern for consumers is the overall cleanliness of their physical surroundings. As a result, contactless payments have quickly taken off as a replacement for handling cash. In fact 80% of consumers said they’d be willing to do more on-premise shopping if contactless payments were available. Brands have taken notice and are actively integrating mobile payments into their apps. Mobile Helps Close Gaps in Customer Service Connecting Shoppers to Employees Mobile marketing offers a number of ways to directly connect shoppers with in-store employees in order to provide high touch customer service from a distance. Many brands have adopted live chat or video chat with retail associates that can send photos and videos of recommended products to shoppers. While implementing this type of service can be a heavy lift, several brands have trialled this service with more accessible and ready made apps like Slack, SMS, or WhatsApp. Discovery Through A/R Technology Consumers miss the serendipity of shopping in store. Our research shows that 56% of consumers miss casually browsing products and 37% miss exploring and trying new things. AR/VR on mobile can help to close these gaps. While AR/VR has been hyped up for several years, there is increasing comfort with the technology today because of social media. This is especially true among Gen Z and millennials. Marketers should think about how to best leverage mobile marketing technologies like AR/VR to showcase offerings whether that is product or design previews (e.g. Wayfair) or trying on new products (e.g. Rayban, e.l.f. cosmetics).