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Utilizing Mobile Technology as Marketing Strategy

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Smartphones are transforming the in-store shopping experience. With $25 billion spent on purchases made from phones and tablets, an increase of 81 percent from the year before, you can’t afford to miss out on a piece of the mobile pie.  In this article we’ll discuss the latest consumer shopping trends and teach you how to capitalize on those trends to grow your business.

Understand how today’s customers are shopping and how they get their information.

As North America’s internet population continues to grow, more and more purchasing decisions are being made online. According to a recent study by Google, shoppers are digging up more information, from more sources as they move along the path to purchase from undecided to decided. The study reveals that among the 5,000 consumers surveyed, 50% turned to search engines to research products, and 38% went online to compare prices.

The Internet is accessible nearly every place we go. Because of this, on-demand services are quickly replacing traditional platforms. Whether at home, work, or in the car, consumers are engaging with content on their own schedules. Traditional advertising is showing diminishing returns as DVR’s allow shoppers to skip commercials, online radio allows for ad-free streaming, and the Internet is allowing for easier price comparisons for the consumer.

Misconceptions about mobile marketing

Tablets are the same as mobile

Picture1Many business owners believe that tablets are the same as mobile. But smartphones aren’t tablets, and vice versa. So what is the easiest place to realize that all devices are not created equal? Conversion rates. The majority of retailers report a smartphone conversion rate of 1%, while reporting a 2.6% conversion rate for tablets. Furthermore, the average ticket for purchases made on tablets is $125, 18% higher than the $106 smartphone average ticket. If you are not optimizing your website for both the tablet and smartphone experience, you will face a challenge as smartphones and tablets will increase mobile web traffic by 26 times during the next four years.

Why do the conversion rates differ? The kind of content being consumed by tablet and smartphone users are very different. Consumers largely use tablets for what is known as, “lazy internet.” – consuming news and content, as well as browsing. Smartphones are used primarily for communication, the use of apps, and consuming “bite size” pieces of content.

Another important factor is where consumers are using each device. Tablets are portable, but smartphones are pocket-able. This results in tablets often being used in the living room or around the house, while smartphones are used on the go.

Only the iPhone/iPad is important

Picture2A common misconception is that the iPhone and iPad rule the smartphone and tablet markets. The truth is Google’s Android platform saw a 0.8% increase from January 2014 to April 2014, up to 52.5% market share. Apple dropped by 0.2% to 41.4%, while Microsoft saw a slight increase of 0.1% to 3.3%.

IDC expects Apple’s share to drop from 14.8% in 2014, to 13.7% in 2018. iOS volumes are expected to hit 184.1 million in 2014, growing to 247.4 million in 2018. Growth of 20% this year will slowly drop to year-over-year growth of 6.1% in 2018, more in line with overall market growth.

You need a mobile website makeover to participate

There are many ways to participate in the mobile device trend without a radical marketing change.

  • Many brick-and-mortar businesses still don’ t allow their customers to shop online. Enabling users to buy online allows you to tap into a new audience.
  • Rather than creating an entire new website, consider creating mobile optimized landing pages instead.
  • Utilize social media platforms to highlight products on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Create engaging videos highlighting your products and allow users to download them to their mobile devices.
  • Use email marketing to send regular emails to opted-in participants
  • Use text message marketing to provide incentive to your shoppers
  • Use Google Adwords to target specific devices
  • Make your website mobile friendly by adding a text phone number and address. This allows your shoppers to call you, or get directions with the push of a button.

My customers aren’t using mobile

Many business owners believe that their consumers are not using mobile devices to shop. However, recent data shows that 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop, and 40% of shoppers consult three or more channels before making a purchase. Mobile internet users are projected to outpace desktop internet users as early as 2015 with a projected 2 billion users on internet connected mobile devices.

Looking at the U.S. population, more than half of all Americans own a smartphone and admit to spending an average of two hours per day on their devices. With 8% of a person’s day spent looking at a mobile screen, there is a huge opportunity for mobile marketers to find customers who are looking for local services, as well as m-commerce customers who want to make a purchase online through their smartphone or other mobile device.

How can you reach mobile/tablet users?

Now that you understand the importance of reaching and engaging  mobile users, here is how you can do it.

  • Create a mobile friendly website.
  • Be active in introducing all of your products using social media.
  • Give incentives to users who opt-in to your email marketing programs.
  • Use paid ads through Google, Twitter, Bing and Facebook.
  • Utilize remarketing campaigns in order to maximize each click.
  • Create romanticized and in-depth product descriptions as to entice users to value the product.
  • Highlight products using videos and leverage that video on all other channels.
  • Create a custom application to better connect with customers.

Still unsure?

As the disparity between desktop and mobile users continues to grow, having a successful mobile marketing strategy in place is important to the long term success of your business. If you’re unsure where to start, FireDrum can deliver a marketing strategy that works. No matter the size or complexity of your organization, we can develop a custom solution for you. In fact, years of experience working with businesses of all sizes has made us the premier choice for organizations who need an internet marketing solution that perfectly aligns to their marketing and communication goals.

Have questions or interested in developing a mobile marketing strategy for your business?