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Journal of Interactive Marketing 24 (2010) 111 – 120 www.elsevier.com/locate/intmar
Mobile Marketing in the Retailing Environment: Current Insights and Future Research Avenues Venkatesh Shankar, a,⁎ Alladi Venkatesh, b Charles Hofacker c & Prasad Naik d a
Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, USA b University of California, Irvine, USA c Florida State University, USA d University of California, Davis, USA
Abstract Mobile marketing, which involves two- or multi-way communication and promotion of an offer between a firm and its customers using the mobile, a term that refers to the mobile medium, device, channel, or technology, is growing in importance in the retailing environment. It has the potential to change the paradigm of retailing from one based on consumers entering the retailing environment to retailers entering the consumer's environment through anytime, anywhere mobile devices. We propose a conceptual framework that comprises three key entities: the consumer, the mobile, and the retailer. The framework addresses key related issues such as mobile consumer activities, mobile consumer segments, mobile adoption enablers and inhibitors, key mobile properties, key retailer mobile marketing activities and competition. We also address successful retailer mobile marketing strategies, identify the customer-related and organizational challenges on this topic, and outline future research scenarios and avenues related to these issues. © 2010 Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Keywords: Mobile marketing; Retailing; Interactivity; Wireless; Strategy; Marketing communications
Introduction Mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous. There is an explosion worldwide in the use of handheld electronic communication devices, such as mobile phones, digital music players, and handheld Internet access devices. As the number of such devices is multiplying, subscriptions to services offered through these devices are expanding.1 The number of such subscriptions worldwide grew at a compounded annual rate of 24% from 2000 to 2008 with the number of mobile subscribers reaching 4 billion in December 2008 (International Telecommunications Union 2008). The huge number of adopters of these devices and of the related services indicates a growing mass audience for mobile electronic communication and promotion, an emerging mobile lifestyle, a popular channel for delivering mobile electronic ⁎ Corresponding author. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (V. Shankar). 1 See Bolton and Saxena-Iyer (2009) for a detailed review of interactive services, Berry et al. (2010) for details on innovating with interactive services, Pagani (2004) for details on multimedia service, and Kleijnen et al. (2004) for information on wireless services.
services, and a mass market for executing mobile transactions. Communication to this audience can be delivered in the form of text, audio, or video. Consumers cannot only receive information from firms but also initiate interactions, actively sending requests or information to firms.2 To reflect these characteristics, we adopt Shankar and Balasubramanian's (2009) definition of mobile marketing as “the two-way or multi-way communication and promotion of an offer between a firm and its customers using a mobile medium, device or technology.” Mobile marketing is becoming increasingly important in retailing. Due to the time-sensitive and location-sensitive nature of the mobile medium and devices, mobile marketing has the potential to change the paradigm of retailing.3 The traditional model of retailing is based on consumers entering the retailing environment, making location the primary source of competitive advantage. Mobile marketing is turning this paradigm on 2 For expositional ease, we use the term, consumer, and customer, interchangeably, throughout the paper. 3 See Shankar and Balasubramanian (2009) for a...
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