Skip to main content

Reaching tech-savvy customers with mobile marketing


The prevalence of smartphones in retail—both in-store and online—continues to grow at a rapid rate. In fact, more than half of consumers around the globe make most or all of their online purchases using their mobile device, according to two 2021 studies conducted by 451 Research.1

With each new app and productivity tool comes new opportunities for merchants to attract customers from around the world— and new opportunities for the payment facilitators they depend on. Following several key mobile marketing trends will help retailers engage customers at home and abroad. 

Mobile trends to watch and capture

Residents of countries that are leaders in emerging payments are shopping online and via mobile phones in ever-increasing numbers. China, India and Singapore have the highest level of digital wallet usage, with 78 percent of consumers having used the technology— and the U.S. and parts of Latin America aren’t far behind.1 The mobile marketing trends that international consumers might already be familiar with, and the ones that brands can leverage to capture more traffic, include:

Social commerce

Social media sites with global reach now allow users to click directly through to a company’s website to “Learn More” or purchase a featured product. Some sites have even launched native in-app payment capabilities, making checkout more seamless and more immediate for customers all over the world. Web developers can offer merchants valuable advice when it comes to designing a mobile-optimized site.

Use of “Near Me” searches

Whether at home or while traveling, “Near Me” searches on web mapping platforms have increased rapidly in recent years. Consumers everywhere are curious about which local businesses can meet their immediate needs. Make sure your business shows up on these platforms and that your profile and contact details (including web address) are complete.

Holistic Value Propositions

Some mobile search functions are designed to address consumers’ desires in a more holistic way. Instead of targeting a narrow category of goods and services, for example, these searches provide valuable information on dining, transportation, entertainment and even basic needs like nearby drugstores. 

Opportunities for retailers abound worldwide

While many businesses are prepared to welcome a customer at either a physical location or digitally (e.g., mobile or desktop), best-in-class retailers are always considering how to reduce checkout friction by focusing on emerging payments and overall acceptance. Each of the channels should be considered and optimized:

Mobile Payment Adoption

If you haven’t made the shift to accepting digital payments from platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, you could be missing out.  By September 2020, Discover® Global Network had experienced a 184 percent increase in contactless spending year-to-date,2 as consumers started to look for safer, faster ways to pay. And the majority of respondents to the 451 studies said they’re “very interested” in using tap-and-pay payments (either with a contactless card or mobile wallet).3 To reach all these consumers, consider shifting your brick-and-mortar and digital point-of-sale (POS) acceptance toward contactless cards and digital wallets. Savvy payments partners can help you get there.

Social Payments and Chatbots

Large-scale social media platforms have given brands the ability to use chatbots to quickly engage consumers in a conversion oriented conversation. This strategy could allow you to welcome customers to your brand faster and on channels they’re already accustomed to using—even before they visit your business online or in-person.

Optimize Local Search

Take advantage of the uptick in “Near Me” searches by ensuring that you’re pursuing a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps customers easily find your business. And talk to your web developer about making your payment acceptance standards highly visible in your mobile presence.

Secure Remote Commerce (SRC)

Also known as Click to Pay, SRC is a payment technology based on EMV specifications that gives consumers what they most want in a payment experience: security, speed, and convenience. Instead of shoppers entering card information for each new merchant transaction, that data is stored and tokenized by their card network and can be used wherever they see the Click to Pay icon.

Accept All Card Brands

Consumers actively seek businesses that accept their preferred way to pay, whether at home or traveling internationally. Your payments partner can upgrade your system to accept a variety of payment methods and card brands, so you can capture this international business. Discover® Global Network, for example, is expanding its global reach through a growing number of international network-to-network partnerships, so cards from around the world can be accepted.

Bringing best practices throughout mobile marketing

With smartphone commerce continuing to rise around the globe, a forward-thinking, omnichannel strategy is essential. Successful retailers are prioritizing the need to stay visible to the mobile-centric shopper and aren’t shy about advertising the payment methods they accept. At the same time, payments partners who can help these merchants accept the full spectrum of payments available today—including mobile and contactless payments from every card brand—are winning new and repeat business. 

Download Article


 1 451 Research, February 2021. 2021 Global Fintech Vendor & Consumer Study. Viewed 19 August 2021. 

2 Discover® Global Network Internal Reporting 3 451 Research, February 2021. 2021 Global Fintech Vendor & Consumer Study. Viewed 19 August 2021.

3 451 Research, February 2021. 2021 Global Fintech Vendor & Consumer Study. Viewed 19 August 2021.


The information provided herein is sponsored by Discover® Global Network. It is intended for informational purposes, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.