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Apple Pay: A new digital marketing tool

Launched this summer, Apple Pay has been an advanced step in ridding the traditional wallet. And not only will it have consumer benefits, and is a big plus for the retail sector - this new technology is also bringing a fresh tool for digital marketers to play with.

Here, Ben Sebborn, technical director at events and ticketing agent, Skiddle, which has adopted Apple Pay into its latest app, gives his advice on how digital marketers can use it to their advantage.

About Apple Pay

The popularity of contactless payments since its launch has been apparent; transactions for the first half of 2015came in at £2.5 billion, which is already beating the £2.32 billion spent in 2014.

It was no surprise to anyone, then, when the limit of spending on this technology was recently pushed to £30 from £20. The new Apple Pay technology takes the contactless payment industry one step further – by allowing customers to spend easily and fast in-store and online using just their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, or iWatch.

Research has found that due to a strong sales increase with the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple has boosted its share of the UK smartphone market to 42.5 per cent. And this is on the rise – so it’s time for digital marketers to get clued up about what Apple Pay could mean for their strategies.

Apple Pay and customer data

Although an obvious bonus for retailers in terms of easing the spending process for customers, this isn’t the only advantage of Apple Pay. A new way of collecting customer data is something that all brands with a digital marketing strategy can, and should, benefit from.

Apple has announced that it won’t be collecting any data itself through the new technology – even though this offers immense insight into its customers' spending habits and could have been extremely useful for digital marketing purposes. Instead, the data will be shared between the customer, merchant, and bank.

So digital marketers will be able to build a profile on a customer based on data about their purchasing habits, and across different platforms offline and online, which is something that is renowned in the industry as a tricky task.

A new digital marketing tool

Collecting customer data is one element that digital marketers will obviously find incredibly useful, but there are other things that Apple Pay brings to the table, especially in terms of new ways of reaching consumers with marketing messages:

Building loyal relationships

Those that are using Apple Pay are much more likely to be open to e-receipts. And this is an ideal way for digital marketers to engage with customers after the first interaction or purchase, as up to 20 per cent of the space on the receipt can be used for promotional content. Here brands can plug offers, and push social media channels, amongst other things, to consumers that are already engaged with them.

The mobile wallet

The ‘Passbook’ app (soon to be renamed Wallet), where Apple Pay will be available to customers, allows users to input all of their credit and debit card details, keeping their methods of payment in one place. And with consumers constantly having their phones on them – this can only be good news for brands who are trying to reach them. Something as simple as including a clickable ‘Add to Passbook’ button in marketing campaigns, when promoting a voucher or offer, for example, could work well.

Plus, the app will soon give brands the chance to build loyal relationships with consumers. Customers will no longer need to carry around multiple loyalty cards, and points and rewards will be available to them at a click of a button on their device, rather than having to collect receipts to see where they are up to – which provides a brilliant opportunity for brands.

The in-app purchasing process

For apps that have adopted Apple Pay, iOS developers have already witnessed the checkout rates more than double. Apple has created a smoother and simpler in-app buying process and consumers can now spend with the touch of their finger with the new technology. Not only does this improve the user experience (UX) on mobile, but customers might be more likely to download an app in the first place if they know how easy and quick they can buy items or services. Once downloaded, the app provides another channel through which digital marketers can reach consumers with their messages.

Apple Pay is a big step for the contactless payment industry, and as other brands begin to create competitor technologies, the future of the industry is looking bright.

As these new technologies are introduced, they may provide more ways for digital marketers to reach their target audiences, and it’s therefore important that brands embrace them as soon as possible to keep up with the evolving landscape of digital marketing.

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