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Finding the consumer mobile 'happy path'

Redbox, a video rental company, is well past the tipping point for its customers being on mobile. But capturing sales requires understanding their 'happy path.'

LAS VEGAS -- Consumers want companies to meet them wherever they are: on the Web, in the store, in SMS chat.

But Redbox, a video rental company with more than 40,000 kiosks throughout the country, wants to do more than just meet customers where they are. The Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based company wants to meet them across their various activity channels and at different points in their day to create a truly omnichannel consumer mobile experience.

Redbox customers can order a video online, pick it up on the way to work and then drop it off at an altogether different kiosk near home. But part of the company's challenge is to match its flexible rental model with a consumer mobile strategy that provides customers with value and the company with insight. To get closer to this goal, Redbox ramped up its mobile app tactics.

The consumer mobile tipping point

The company is "well past the tipping point" for consumer mobile, said Mike DiMiele, Redbox's senior analyst for Web and mobile e-commerce. At Redbox, 80% of customers use mobile, not laptops -- but the goal is to understand their path, or journey, on these devices and then identify how to "convert more" or turn consumer mobile browsing behavior into video rentals. Determining this "happy path" poses questions like, "What's the conversion path and what is the highest-rate conversion path?" DiMiele said during a session at Adobe Summit 2016.

But creating compelling mobile apps that drive that conversion rate is a tall order. The 2015 Forrester Research State of Mobile Apps for Retailers survey of more than 500 consumers indicated that of the consumers who have used a mobile phone in the past three months to perform a retail-related activity, 60% have two or fewer retailer apps on their phones, and 21% do not have any. And according to the Mobile App Marketing Insights: How Consumers Really Find and Use Your Apps 2015 survey of more than 8,000 smartphone users, consumers need incentives to use apps once they download them. A full 30% need to be re-engaged with a coupon or offer to reuse an app after the first use -- or after uninstalling it.

DiMiele and his team enlisted Adobe Marketing Cloud to gauge the effectiveness of certain offers for its consumer mobile base. The goal is to learn the best timing for offers as well as the role of content and other factors in getting consumers to rent more videos.

Creating compelling mobile apps that drive that conversion rate is a tall order.

DiMiele said well-timed push notifications from Adobe Target and offers and coupons provided through its app member messaging center helped Redbox garner a more than 200% increase in rentals on mobile. Abandoned shopping carts with videos left unrented presented another area to tackle. Using Adobe tools, Redbox increased click-through rates to consumers that had abandoned a cart by 130% and increased open rates by 9%.

Data challenges on horizon

There are still to-do's on the horizon, though. One is bringing the mobile app to the iPad. That's a critical channel to service with the app because in addition to being an e-commerce channel the iPad is also a viewing channel for some consumers.

Another challenge is stitching together data silos and being able to get a full picture of customers. First, "getting customers to log in to the website is critical," DiMiele said, to be able to identify a customer and know it is that same consumer on a different device later on.

Stitching together siloed customer behavior from a mobile device, website or even the kiosk may also get help from Adobe's new initiative known as the Adobe Marketing Cloud Device Co-op, which can identify consumers based on their activity, not their use of a particular device. The device co-op enlists the power of the crowd by joining customer data together from multiple sources and companies. Adobe executives said that the device co-op will ensure security of customer data while pooling data among companies to get that 360-degree view of customers even as they switch devices.

"Members can benefit from a truly open ecosystem and a massive pool of devices enabling them to turn yesterday's device-based marketing into people-based marketing," said Brad Rencher, executive vice president and general manager of digital marketing at Adobe during the Adobe Summit 2016 conference.

As with other co-ops, the validity of the data will rely, in part, on the number of companies that join the co-op. Ultimately, DiMiele said, "We're focusing on getting all the data in one place." Indeed, there's no other way to serve the mobile consumer effectively.

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