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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : November 15, 2013

How to use 2013 mobile plans to boost 2014 sales

One of the biggest trends we're seeing is that the ratio of mobile commerce to e-commerce sales is becoming more balanced. Increasingly, mobile commerce is a major player when it comes to online purchases. For instance, mobile commerce in the U.S. is expected to reach $43.2 billion by this year's end, a 63% jump from $21 billion in 2012 and accounting for nearly 16% of online sales.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Mobile has shown itself to be a strong player with shoppers through 2013. What trends are you seeing in the mobile commerce space?

Len Shneyder, Marketing Manager, OtherLevels: Americans aged 18-44 years are now spending more than half of their online shopping time on smartphones and tablets than on desktop devices. Mobile is also becoming an all-encompassing shopping tool; instead of only using mobile as a product research tool (showrooming), mobile devices are becoming their own, standalone point of sale. The reason for this comes down to two developments: near-ubiquitous smartphone adoption rates, (64% in the US) and also the development of apps, native and otherwise, that make for a smoother, more seamless and intuitive mobile experience.

Kristina: According to a recent NRF study, many shoppers began picking up holiday items before Halloween; many of those will be shopping via mobile. What can brands do now to ensure a solid customer experience?

Len: An effective mobile customer experience is largely about designing for mobile from the ground up and using customer data to consistently deliver relevant offers that matter to those customers and keep them coming back for more. Key to good mobile design and strategy is distilling the essence of what customers and prospects want from you on the go; you have to ensure that your apps and site offer immediacy as a core feature and require minimal user input to deliver content and offers. Mobile should not be viewed as a series of tactical moves - make it part of a coordinated multichannel strategy that has the customer at its center, and understands that one size does not necessary fit all. Critical to that strategy is the use of messaging that is engaging, and sophisticated.

During the holiday season, brands will employ a full spectrum of mobile messaging; think push notifications, in-app alerts and SMS to capture mobile users' attention. But to cut through that digital clutter, marketers need to tailor their content messaging strategies - key to achieving relevance is the employment of analytics techniques such as A/B split testing and retargeting. Brands can link individual message copy to users' behaviors, determining which messages drive desired outcomes and avoid list fatigue through un-engaging and excessive messaging.

Kristina: How important is a solid mobile strategy for brands - will their performance during the upcoming holidays impact overall 2014 sales?

Len: Whether it's product research, completing a purchase or showrooming, a massive number of consumers will be interacting with brands through their mobile devices this holiday season. Mobile devices accounted for nearly a quarter of total site visits during the shopping season in 2012, up from 14% the year before. If you look at the channel overall, Americans spend nearly three hours a day glued to their smartphones and that 39% prefer text messages over radio or TV advertising.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: m:commerce, mobile experience, mobile marketing, mobile strategy, OtherLevels

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