5 Ways Mobile Can Boost Retail

by Jill Draper on May 26, 2015 3:00:00 AM Digital Marketing

5_Ways_Mobile_Can_Boost_Retail-765512-editedIt wasn’t so long ago that conventional wisdom said that people did not want to interact with brands on their mobile devices. That it was intrusive and disruptive. Well, conventional wisdom, as is often the case, was late to prom. Consumers now spend 160 minutes a day on their smartphones, surpassing all other media, and mobile ad spending is expected to top $100 billion in 2016 to account for more than 50 percent of all digital advertising. Clearly, mobile is where it’s at. So, how can retailers drive consumers from their phones into their stores? Let us count a few ways.

1. Value the user experience.

Pablo Slough, head of mobile solutions at Google, says that the best way to turn off the mobile user is to provide them with a desktop experience. It may seem like Captain Obvious here but websites need to be optimized for mobile or 40 percent of users will look elsewhere immediately.

2. Display relevant ads.

This is all about being part of the conversation rather than providing a rude interruption. Everyone loves a helpful concierge. As Mr. Slough says, “Snowblowers in Sunnyvale? Surely, you can’t be serious.”

3. Personalization.

Did you know that 68 percent of users who download mobile apps enable push notifications, signaling their intent to interact with brands and receive relevant messaging? The number is even higher (76 percent) for the 18-34 demographic. “It’s hard to overhype the power of mobile push notifications,” entrepreneur Ariel Seidman has said. “For the first time in human history, you can tap almost two billion people on the shoulder.” The key, of course, to achieving high engagement rates—and not alienating customers—is to Push only personalized, highly targeted information.

4. Geo-Targeting.

Beacons, the Bluetooth-enabled hardware that allow apps to send notifications to nearby mobile phones, are set to transform the retail landscape. Shoppers who receive Beacon messages are 19 times more likely to interact with an advertised product. No wonder Facebook wants in.

5. Be social.

Users now spend much more time accessing social media networks via their mobile devices than their desktops. Here’s the breakdown:

a. Instagram: 98% mobile
b. Pinterest: 92% mobile
c. Twitter: 86% mobile
d. Facebook: 68% mobile

Clearly, a social media strategy that engages customers, delivers valuable content and enhances the retail experience will go a long way toward converting sales.

Photo by tuelekza/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jill Draper is president of Marketsmith, Inc.

Jill Draper's blog
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