Retailers are often keen to embrace the latest innovations when it comes to marketing their brand to customers.

From sending promotional text messages to establishing a presence on Facebook and Twitter, the biggest companies have actively sought to make themselves known on the platforms favoured by the buying public.

This makes sense, as it means their message is more likely to be heard by their target audience, and it also displays a willingness to move with the times rather than rest on their laurels.

However, retailers need to be careful when they are incorporating new channels into their marketing mix – such as web-enabled mobile devices – and make sure they are not using them just for the sake of it.

Alastair Lockhart, insight director at Savvy Marketing, said any promotional drive that involves platforms such as smartphones and tablets must instead be based on "how your shoppers behave, how they're going to use it, and ultimately how it will make their lives easier".

"These types of marketing activities must be well thought out, personalised, relevant and timely to inspire purchases," he commented.

Speaking to Retail Week, Mr Lockhart warned that if retailers do otherwise, they risk eroding the trust of customers.

He went on to note that mobile devices are becoming more and more powerful, which has led to shoppers becoming increasingly willing to use them to carry out a wide range of tasks.

Mr Lockhart said this has opened up exciting opportunities for retailers to engage with shoppers and interact with them directly.

For example, he stated that nearly two-thirds of shoppers in the UK are happy to receive targeted coupons directly to their smartphones.

Mr Lockhart described this as a sign that the appeal of digital shopper marketing initiatives has risen "exponentially" over the last two years.

He added that during the next 12 to 18 months, the retail sector is likely to undergo a "fundamental shift" in how it engages with consumers, with digital channels playing an increasingly prominent role in driving communications.

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