Given the increase in popularity of mobile devices, it’s no surprise that smartphone and tablet internet traffic is expected to eclipse desktop web visits in the coming months.  We’ve seen mobile email open rates already overtake desktop: according to Litmus, mobile email open rates are now 43 percent vs. desktop at 32 percent.

At edo we’ve seen the impact firsthand with leading brands running programs with us, the ability to drive customers’ in-store is directly correlated with smartphone usage as redemption rates have surged 30 percent with those consumers receiving weekly, personalized emails.

How to Break Through

Is your marketing plan putting the omni-channel mobile consumer first? Effectively marketing to the connected consumer requires a strategy that should address five key challenges that are fundamentally disrupting the consumer shopping experience:

1.  Get back to Basics: Mobile is transforming the path to purchase

Mobile devices have become an integrated habit, dramatically changing the ways we interact with the world, transforming the traditional path to purchase:

  •  80 percent of consumers check their devices within the first 15 minutes after waking up
  • Increasingly, mobile consumers are looking to embrace their phones for digital payments
    • 79 percent use their devices to aid in shopping activities
    • 70 percent use their devices in the store

In response to this trend, many retailers have taken the approach of interrupting consumers from every angle – infiltrating Facebook updates, pushing constant Twitter feed updates – all driving consumers to different points of engagement: ecommerce sites, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, etc.  Understanding these different motivation drivers and resulting omni-channel paths to purchase is critical for effectively providing messaging and experiences that are:

  • Relevant
  • Contextual
  • Engaging

2.  Personalization at the right moment earns brand loyalty

Ask yourself, ‘why would anyone care to listen?’  A recent online survey by Harris Interactive, found that increasingly consumers are making purchase decisions more on how effective brands are in tailoring a desired shopping experiences at the time of need. Consumers are not only expecting tailored experience as part of their shopping experience, but gravitate towards retailers with more customizable options and the ability to interact on their terms.

Let’s take Groupon as an example. Blasting out cellulite-reduction and storage unit rental offers to your entire member base isn’t the most personal approach, and the conversion rates show it. Instead:

  • Try and distribute your offers in a way that shows you know your customers, returning to the one-on-one engagement of the brick-and-mortar days.
  • Although you might not “see” them, you can tailor your interactions based on profile data or spending behavior

3.  Mobile search is driving more purchase conversions

From Path to Shopkick to Foursquare, social engagement start-ups have lured brands with the promise of mobile consumer engagement, but the verdict is still out on their ability to drive loyalty, brand connection or revenue.

Google still is king when it comes to local and mobile.  The use of mobile search by consumers during the path to purchase is directly related to the context and location of the search, and these searches result in higher conversions overall.  According to a new study by Google and Nielsen, nearly a quarter of paid search clicks now stem from mobile devices.

4. Mobile is driving more mobile restaurant orders

Seamless, the growing online and mobile food ordering service is seeing mobile play a big role in the company’s ongoing efforts, weekend mobile orders, the company has also seen mobile orders increase from 10 percent to 40 percent

“For Seamless, mobile isn’t just a marketing channel, it’s the company’s bread and butter,” said Ryan Scott, vice president of marketing at Seamless.  “Because of this, Seamless’ mobile-first approach translates to a customer-first philosophy.  This focus means we specially tailor application design, development, features and marketing with the end-user always in mind.”

5. Simple Wins Out

Anything that adds work on the consumer side – from scanning QR codes, to filling out mobile sweepstakes forms to printing coupons – sounds good on paper, but today’s mobile consumer quickly tires of novelty, especially when it requires a lot of effort.

  • If you are looking for innovative ways to engage shoppers, focus on making it easy rather than “fun.”
  • Services like what edo is driving, tapping into existing consumer behaviors, keeping it simple for consumers and merchants will win with mobile consumers.

The implications of these transformations for marketers are clear: marketers who are not able to fully understand the motivations, behaviors and varying omni-channel paths to purchase of the mobile empowered consumer and provide…

  • Relevant
  • Contextual
  • Engaging experiences

…that will quickly find customers moving on to competitors who do.

What marketing tactics have you tried to reach mobile consumers?

Jeff Fagel, Former VP Marketing

Jeff Fagel was formerly edo Vice President, Marketing and Brand Development.

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