An unlikely panelist showed up Wednesday at the Fall 2015 Mobile Payments Conference in Chicago: country music singer and songwriter Rick Monroe, who urged his listeners to get down and get to work on apps that can help musicians sell songs and merchandise.
“Mobile has become a way for artists to connect to fans,” said the Nashville, Tenn.-based Monroe. His latest release is “Great Minds Drink Alike,” which followed 2014’s “Fire’s Out.”
Monroe is developing a mobile commerce app with Carlsbad, Calif.-based AP Technology that will be called “The Experience” and will enable fans to purchase merchandise at his concerts, Monroe tells Digital Transactions News. The app also will have a loyalty and rewards component. Monroe didn’t give specifics about the rewards, but as an example he cited the possibility of free or reduced-price song downloads based on purchase history.
The bane of musicians seeking to get the most revenue from a concert is long lines at booths and sales tables that deter fans from buying theme-related merchandise, apparel and CDs.
“We are an impulse buy,” Monroe said while speaking on a panel entitled “Mobile Payments: A Retail Fairytale in the Making.” He later added: “In a fairytale like this, our villain would be the Wicked Witch of the Wait … our relationship with our fans is so delicate.”
Another panelist, Mario Di Prizio, divisional vice president for mobile commerce at Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Corp., said his idea of good mobile fairy tale is one that has the fewest steps for the customer to complete a purchase without compromising security. That’s especially important when a customer who has used a retailer’s mobile app before comes back: the merchant’s system should be able to connect the customer’s device ID, rewards account number and other pertinent data so that a new purchase from the same customer doesn’t “need to go through the wringer” of fraud analysis, he said.
“Security is a push and pull,” Di Prizio said. Adding more steps to the purchase process to enhance security means the retailer is “adding friction,” he said.
Other panel members included two executives from AP Technology and Nick Holland, head of mobile at Pleasanton, Calif.-based Javelin Strategy & Research.