In today’s mobile dependent society, over 77% of Americans own smartphones. From booking a weekend getaway to planning dinner with your parents to buying flowers for a friend, we’re a culture dependent on having access to the information we need to make informed purchases at our fingertips. It should be easy to see how mobile engagement is highly correlated with purchase intent.
So, if mobile searches are highly indicative of purchase intent, why are 80 percent of mobile shoppers leaving items in abandoned shopping carts?
Are mobile keyboards too small? Perhaps customers want to browse online but go in store to get a better look at a product before purchasing. Regardless of the reason, mobile phones are the glue that holds an Omni-channel strategy together and if businesses are going to meet the need of today’s savvy consumer it’s time to get up to speed on mobile marketing. Here’s what retailers can do to ensure mobile is successfully integrated into their marketing strategy:
Don’t treat mobile like a distinct channel: The power of mobile is that it touches other channels and can be used as a connector, especially between online and offline. Yet many retailers maintain separate data systems across e-commerce, mobile, email and point-of-sale. Invest in a platform that will utilize and integrate customer data from all of your sales channels to provide a robust picture of your customer. Mobile is a great way to drive sales to other channels, but success is hard to measure with data stranded on different islands.
Integrate loyalty: Integrating mobile into your loyalty programs is a great way to capture mobile phone numbers as a strong first party identifier and a great way to drive customer engagement. Mobile messaging can be used to notify members about expiring points, new rewards or special offers in real time. Responses, redemptions, clicks and other engagement metrics can be tracked and used to better customize loyalty programs.
Communicate the way your customers want: Finding the right cadence for mobile communications is critical, and requires some work. Leveraging data to personalize content will increase its value as a driver to other sales channels as well as a vehicle for retention. Some customers would love to receive shipping notifications via mobile message, but they might not blink an eye at a coupon. Others will engage with gamified content like mobile scratch and wins or sweepstakes. Tracking behaviors and using them to inform future communication is key.
Optimize your site for mobile if you haven’t already: By 2021, mobile will influence $1.4 Trillion in offline sales as shoppers are looking to their phones before making in-store purchases. But mobile shoppers can be incredibly fickle. The average U.S. mobile site loads in about nineteen seconds. But nearly 53 percent of users leave a mobile optimized site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Not to mention that Google has been punishing sites that aren’t optimized for mobile by ranking them lower in search results. If your site still isn’t mobile optimized, your customers may not even be able to find you on mobile web, so make this a priority this year.
Integrating mobile into your overall strategy, using it to capture data where possible, and thinking about what your customers want and how they can gain value from you on mobile will help brands find the right fit for mobile.
Want to see how far a mobile strategy can take your business?
This piece originally appeared on Loyalty360.