Mobile_WalletWith Mobile Wallets continually gaining attention across the world, American market research company Forrester has predicted that the future of mobile wallets will be far bigger than mobile payments. To do this, wallets will offer more efficient and smarter commerce experiences through the delivery of value-added services, before, during and after the payment moment.

Asian mobile wallets such as WeChat and Alipay are fantastic examples of the real power mobile wallets have in generating powerful customer engagement opportunities. The report on mobile wallets by Forrester talks about how they have already created sophisticated customer engagement features within the customer lifecycle and how marketers in Europe and America can learn and create opportunities from this.

Following in Alipay and WeChat’s footsteps, marketers can gain reach and opportunities to better serve their customers. The entire customer lifecycle is supported by the two feature-rich wallets and have evolved into lifestyle platforms for Chinese consumers. The social nature of WeChat and Alipay’s commerce functions have created different wallet innovations that apply to different stages in the customer lifecycle. The following functions are being used by B2C marketing professionals in their marketing strategies and show how mobile wallets can be utilised:

Innovative Coupon

New formats similar to regular coupons and display ads have been invented for wallet, such as Alipay’s AR red packets. The augmented reality mobile game Catch the small Cat launched by Alipay had more than 30,000 retail stores participate, from Disneyland, to Starbucks and KFC, with Starbucks alone giving away 270,000 AR coupons.

Enhanced Location Based Services

Not only are location based services offered in local markets, but cross-border travel is now offered by Chinese Mobile Wallets. When consumers travel to another country, Alipay pushes banner advertising tourist spots on it’s homepage.

Value-Added Features

Valuable features such as ordering food and rides is something that Chinese mobile wallets have added to offline services.

Convenient Digital Service

Alipay has partnered with many retailers and tax-rebate companies over the past few years providing their customers with cross-border shopping and tax rebate services to Chinese travellers.

Deep Customer Engagement

With most mobile wallets, users can save brand loyalty cards, which can then be leveraged by marketers to engage consumers. WeChat saw this opportunity and added a social gifting feature to its mobile wallet. Starbucks took advantage of this feature and added a Starbucks-branded button in WeChat Wallet, which allowed users to instantly give a Starbucks beverage, or digital gift card to their WeChat friends.

Marketers should take the initiative like Alipay and WeChat and not just offer coupons and loyalty cards. Instead, try to create new ways to engage customers with mobile wallets. If UK and US players, such as Apple and PayPal can harness this into their mobile wallets then they will have much more powerful customer engagement platforms.

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