Mobile wallet is also a potent tool in the retailer’s never-ending quest to accurately attribute offline sales to online campaigns.
“Mobile wallet gives us more real-time insights into who is leveraging our coupons in-store,” said Rachel Silva, director of marketing at Pep Boys. “The coupon is always with them. We go where they go.”
In addition to the mobile wallet integration, Pep Boys, which has a data partnership with Acxiom, works with Vibes to manage its opt-in SMS program. The brand also uses social, email and direct mail to encourage mobile opt-ins. Rewards program information, shopping habits, purchase history and other customer profile data is tied into the brand’s mobile messaging initiatives.
Although the jury is still out on whether Apple Pay will finally crack the mobile payments code, there’s no denying that Pep Boys has seen stellar results with its Passbook program, and once Apple Pay enhances the Passbook experience, it stands to reason that the numbers will go up.
According to the brand, 26% of customers who view a Pep Boys offer on its mobile site add that offer to Passbook, while 30% of all Pep Boys mobile wallet offers are subsequently redeemed in store – 6% higher than the average 24% redemption rate across Vibes clients.
And once a Pep Boys offer is saved in Passbook, it’s likely to stay there. Fewer than 1% of customers who add a Pep Boys pass to Passbook later remove it, as compared to the average 3% deletion rate.
Pep Boys plans to keep going on its “mobile-first” path in 2015, said Silva, whose team is hoping to start leveraging more in-store messaging, including SMS and creative collateral, to encourage mobile opt-ins and to create more targeted mobile offers by linking redemption data with CRM data and shopper information gleaned from in-store interactions.
“Mobile is our way into our customer’s pocket,” Silva said. “We’re definitely going to continue to grow the program, but it’s also not something that’s going to happen overnight.”
It’s a philosophy Vibes CEO Jack Philbin enthusiastically endorses – mobile wallet as training wheels toward NFC-enabled payments.
“I call this the bridging concept – it’s the bridge between now and the day when a retailer is ready to let consumers come in and tap or swipe to pay, which could be a year or two away,” Philbin said. “But nothing is stopping them from jumping in with wallet and getting their customers used to storing information on their phones. And I see the Apple Pay announcement as the moment in the market that we can all point to and say, ‘This is real. This is happening.’”
But that doesn’t mean Google is out for the count – far from it, Philbin said.
“This isn’t a discussion of who’s going to win in mobile payments, Apple or Google; that’s like asking, ‘Who’s going to win, Burger King or McDonald’s?’ – what we’re talking about here is an operating system race,” Philbin said. “It’s a little bit of a stretch to say that anyone is going to switch from Android to iPhone because of Apple Pay. But if you already have all your songs on there and your apps on there, having your credit cards on there is just one more items that makes the phone sticky. This is a loyalty play for Apple and for Android.”