Social Commerce

Google Wallet + Groupon Groceries: Say Hello to the SoLoMo Consumer

We all knew the SoLoMo consumer was coming, the new consumer who shops – and experiences brands – with social, location-aware, and mobile technology.

With news from Google and Groupon, the SoLoMo consumer is metamorphosing from a brand’s worst nightmare or fabulous fantasy – depending on the point of view – into reality.

Google is launching Google Wallet (California this summer) for the SoLoMo consumer, finally turning mobile handsets into viable payment devices; no more kludgy on-screen barcodes to wave in-front of scanners, smart phone NFC (near field communications) technology allows you to just tap your phone to Mastercard PayPass (EMV) readers at checkouts. See the breathless overview below from the illustrious G Vay-ner-chuck.  Forget ‘touch’, the future is ‘tap’.

Why is Google Wallet significant? Not because the NFC tap is the real-world version of Amazon 1-click and is more secure than chip-and-pin card payments, but because the tap has the potential to be a smart tap – linking payments to contextual information (what’s my account balance?), loyalty cards (reward balance?), coupons (how much did I save?), gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets…  Google Wallet makes the SoLoMo shopper smart, and the data-trail can make retailers smarter at selling and advertisers – Google – smarter at advertising too; combine with the smart tap with geo-fencing and you get REAL contextual marketing.

Link Google Wallet to other apps – price comparison, deal trackers, coupon clippers, travel upgrade calculators and you reinvent retail around the smart SoLoMo consumer.  Of course, the Google Wallet is just the first of a number of SoLoMo wallets – the iWallet is heavily rumoured to be in the works. But the trend is clear; SoLoMo makes consumer-centricity a pre-requisite to success – ignore at your peril.

The second new SoLoMo play is from social commerce giant Groupon who is integrating deals into supermarket loyalty programs.  Trialling with Massachusetts chain Big Y, Groupon will offer Groupon deals for groceries that if purchased are automatically redeemed at checkout on presentation of loyalty cards.  This is a smart move from Groupon, moving up the food chain from prepay vouchers to loyalty programs.  Don’t be surprised to see a Groupon loyalty card app/service emerge – especially given the recent talks and partnerships with Foursquare, Loopt, LiveNation and Expedia.  Think, for instance, of the opportunities for driving paid-up footfall with the new GrouponNow service offering time-limited deals, when the deal is linked to a loyalty account.

Big picture, we think social commerce is moving into a new phase – where JVs matter as much as innovation.  Big, big picture – the era of the SoLoMo consumer is upon us.  Social without geo-location and mobile is like Chris Bosh without Dwayne Wade and LeBron James.

The Big 3 are here – time to future-proof your strategy.

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

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