NEW YORK: "Mobile merchandising" could become a valuable strategy for luxury brands, but only if they find ways of engaging beyond simply providing coupons, according to an executive from Rémy Cointreau USA.

Emma Medina, vp/marketing, Rémy Cointreau USA, discussed this subject at the 2014 Mobile Media Upfront, an event held during Internet Week 2014. (For more, including insights into the company's mobile strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: How luxury brands can go digital: Insights from Rémy Cointreau.)

"One of the things I'm really excited about – and I want to see how we in the spirits industry start to look at more carefully – is mobile merchandising and in-store activations," she said.

The options available to brands in this area are increasing rapidly, a trend exemplified by the rise of beacons – small pieces of hardware that can automatically participate in two-way communications with smartphones.

And the slate of alternatives now open to brands spans everything from in-store digital screens and shortcodes to interactive vending machines.

"Consumers seem to be engaging with these platforms more so when they're getting something of value – and, for them, in most of these cases, what they're getting in terms of value is a coupon or a discount offer," Medina said.

Luxury specialists like Rémy Cointreau will thus need to take a different approach than is common in the FMCG sector, where supplying digital coupons is a popular technique to attract shoppers.

"My cheapest product is $40; it ranges all the way up to $3,500. So, we're not a couponing brand," Medina said.

"We have to find a way to deliver something of value to consumers that will motivate them to engage with whatever the mobile application may be in store."

Developing an appropriate strategy, she asserted, will require a deep knowledge of the customer's shopping and mobile habits to distribute messaging that is potentially both "immediate" and "much more personal".

"That's something that we're still exploring but I'm really excited by the opportunities that are starting to exist there," said Medina.

"I think it's a way to be able to stand out in store, and drive purchase, and not be in this cluttered environment of … displays and all the nonsense that you see in stores."

Data sourced from Warc