Are retailers ‘missing the boat’ in driving revenue? November 17, 2010Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
Tags: advertising, cellular phones, marketing, marketing strategies, mobile advertising, mobile commerce, mobile in retail, Mobile Marketing, mobile phones, mobile technology optimization, Strategic Growth Concepts
A recent MediaPost Mobile Insider article by Steve Smith makes the bold statement, “friendly reminder to retailers: Your customers are way, way ahead of you when it comes to using mobile as a resource.”
As someone who regularly works in the Mobile space to help clients develop and implement their mobile strategies, I have to say, he’s quite correct. Study after study indicates that consumers are heavily embracing the use of mobile technology, and are interested in being able to utilize their mobile devices to find convenience and improve the productivity of their lives. As more and more demands are made on their time, consumers are seeking ways to engage with retailers in ways that are convenient for them; chief among those methods of engagement is mobile.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of retailers – large and small – have yet to catch on. Smith cites new research from Brandanywhere’s new Mobile Omnibus Study, which polled 7,000 sites on 10 devices, and found that only 4.8% of U.S. retailers had mobile-specific Web sites. The top-tier retailers are faring slightly better, but not well. Almost 23% of the major retailers, as defined by traffic levels from Alexa, had mobile Web sites. When broken down by verticals, the results across all merchants are even worse. While auto parts retailers (20.78% with mobile Web sites) and auto dealerships (15.66%) were relatively more mobile-ready by comparison, department stores (3.41%), clothing and shoe stores (1.61%) and grocery stores (1.60%) were pathetic.
Smith indicates that according to Dan Flanegan, Managing Partner, Brandanywhere, the big disconnect is with consumers who say they would give preference to retailers that had mobile presence. His company partnered with Luth to poll over 1,000 consumers on whether a brand’s mobile-readiness affected purchasing decisions. “One in two consumers would give preference based on whether the retailer has a mobile site,” he says. “It indexes even higher with higher-value purchases. There is a big opportunity retailers can grab onto.”
Luth and Brandanywhere also asked how consumers prioritize the functions they most need on a retailer’s mobile presence. Interestingly, transactions were not among the most popular features. Foremost, they wanted to know about the special offers and coupons available - tools that could help them shop smarter and more cost-effectively. The second most desired feature was product pricing. Store location came third, followed by product information.
According to Smith, “Brandanywhere developed their Indexer to help agencies and their clients better understand how their digital presence is being seen across devices. The main focus was on the mobile Web, where people are inclined to type in a familiar branded URL and hope for a desirable result.” Smith further explains, “For years the .mobi extension struggled to become the commonplace suffix for all things mobile in the minds of consumers. In many cases the brands ended up creating m.brandname URLs instead. However, the best-case scenario is having a reliable redirect at the branded URL that kicks phones over to a mobile-ready version of the site. But as Brandanywhere’s research shows, this reasonable expectation among mobile users is not being met.”
So, we ask you, ARE retailers missing the boat in driving revenue? Our experience at Strategic Growth Concepts, the Brandanywhere study, and many other studies indicate an absolute YES!
Retailers – large and small – must begin to understand that consumers EXPECT them to be mobile. They EXPECT to communicate with them via mobile, and they EXPECT retailers to make their lives easier by enabling them to obtain information about and from their firms via mobile.
So why aren’t they mobile? My experience in talking to businesses about mobile has led me to several conclusions:
- they assume it’s cost-prohibitive and that if they don’t have a substantial budget to invest in their mobile effort that they won’t be able to enter the mobile space. THEY’RE WRONG!
- they don’t know where to start. WE CAN HELP!
- they assume it’s extremely complicated to get started and that it requires massive amounts of time and effort. AGAIN, THEY’RE WRONG!
- they assume mobile is just a passing fad and it will soon lose the interest of consumers, and that they’ll be able to be glad they didn’t waste their time and money getting involved in it. THEY COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG!
So let’s be clear, consumers have spoken; study after study indicates that mobile will continue to grow substantially – particularly in the next 3 – 5 years – and will become a major driver of our economy. Those that do their homework and start integrating Mobile Technology into their operational and marketing strategies now will find themselves achieving substantial market share increases over their competitors who choose to ignore Mobile.
Which will you be – the retailer who embraces mobile and reaps the benefit? Or the retailer who conducts business as usual – and gets left behind?
The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant for Strategic Growth Concepts, a marketing / management consulting firm focused on start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Areas of specialization include: Mobile Technology Optimization and Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Virtual Events production. Linda is a recognized small business marketing expert with 20+ years of experience in a wide variety of industries.
Linda is available for consultation on Mobile Technology Optimization and Marketing and other topics, and can be contacted at Linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com. The company website can be viewed at www.StrategicGrowthConcepts.com . For more information on Mobile Marketing please visit the Mobile Marketing section of the Strategic Growth Concepts website.
Three mobile web marketing tips for the holiday shopping season August 27, 2010Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing.
Tags: 2010 holiday shopping season, coupon delivery, cross-channel marketing, location data, mobile apps, mobile solutions, mobile web, multi-channel marketing, online-to-offline migration, retail, shopper behavior, shopper convenience, smartphones, SMS
Bryce Marshall, Knotice
The ways shoppers make purchasing decisions in retail stores are undergoing a seismic shift. The shift is not driven by changes retailers are making to in-store promotions, store layout, retail design or packaging, however. It is driven by shoppers who have discovered that their mobile device offers a comprehensive tool set for making informed and confident decisions on what products to buy, which to pass on, or where else to make the purchase.
At the beginning of 2010 Motorola released the results of a fascinating study conducted during the 2009 holiday shopping season. Among the insights was one particularly interesting nugget: Worldwide, 51 percent of shoppers used their mobile device to help make an in-store purchase decision. The adoption rate of mobile devices generally — and smartphones specifically — continues to grow at a torrid pace. It’s common sense that mobile devices will be more vital to shoppers during the 2010 holiday season. In fact, using the mobile tool set to help make purchase decisions is no longer an emerging shopping behavior. It’s established shopping behavior.
Many of the most-trusted marketing tactics cannot adapt to the mandatory mobile contexts of time and place. And those trusty tactics cannot get down to specific increments of minutes and seconds — or meters and footsteps — like mobile interactions can. For consumers, the mobile Web unlocks the power to interact with, find, or demand the content they want at exactly the time and place they want it. The mobile Web fills the gap between layers of static, broadcast or stationary media. It fills the gap between the online and offline experience… and between Web stores and physical stores.
Here are three smart mobile Web tactics retailers can use now, and for the busy 2010 holiday shopping season.
1. Provide the best of online in the store.
This is the clearest and most immediate opportunity for a lot of retailers, manufacturers and packaged goods providers. Consumers want the kind of detailed information found online to help make informed purchase decisions. For example, one large manufacturing company is making the great content from its website available to the in-store shopper via the mobile Web. The goal is easy access to the right amount and type of content. Not providing all of the information available on the product, just the right information to help a customer decide against a competitor’s product or prevent them from walking out of the store because of a lack of information.
The mobile Web, apps and SMS are great ways to get valuable content in the hands of in-store shoppers. Mobile solutions do not eat up valuable in-store shelf space and are more scalable and cost-effective than interactive solutions like kiosks, computers and video displays. Mobile solutions are perfect because the shopper provides the hardware.
2. Provide the tools to search, find, and motivate.
Right now consumers leverage mobile devices to search for information or make purchases while they are on-the-go. They seek convenience when busy or a diversion from boredom. They want smaller and smoother interactions. On-the-go shoppers have simple needs: Find a retailer, know what to buy, know it will be convenient, use a coupon. Apps and the mobile Web fill a potential gap in traditional media scenarios because with mobile search, location data, driving directions and coupon delivery, every shopper has the tools to locate and buy.
3. Embrace cross-channel behavior, don’t fight it.
A traditional failure by hybrid retailers, one that drives customers crazy, is the counter-intuitive division between online and physical retail operations. The organizational limitations of the retailer prevent a brand from embracing consumers’ cross-channel preferences. Right now many consumers use the traditional Web to research products, or create a shopping/wish list, all while intending to buy at a retail store. They use online tools but don’t buy online. Marketers can embrace this online-to-offline migration by creating mobile solutions that combine virtual and physical experiences in a consumer-centric mashup. For instance, allow online browsers to create a mobile cart or shopping list, then forward it to a mobile device via SMS, or access a shopping list via a personalized mobile Web page or app. Shoppers can quickly reference product information, SKUs, pricing and store location information — all of which ensures a seamless and profitable cross-channel retail experience.
On-the-go shoppers are looking for information right now. They are ready to make a purchase decision right now. They simply crave convenience, direction and purchase confidence. Deliver these experiences in every mobile interaction and your shoppers will be grateful now, and this winter when it counts the most.
Bryce Marshall is the director of strategic services for marketing firm Knotice.
Mobile Users Ready for Location-Based Text Marketing July 11, 2010Posted by StrategicGrowth in demographics, local marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing.
Tags: eMarketer, ExactTarget study, feature phones, Foursquare, Gowalla, Harris Interactive, interest in receiving text alerts, location-based marketing, location-based text alerts, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, mobile user statistics, Morgan Stanley, Placecast, smartphones, text alerts
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The assumption that marketers make who are still unfamiliar with Mobile Marketing and its benefits, is that it only works on consumers who have high-end smartphones. In my discussions with small business owners who are considering the use of mobile as a part of their marketing strategy, there is a strong belief that Mobile Marketing can’t be effective because, though growing rapidly, the smartphone consumer segment is still in the minority as compared to feature phones. Therefore, they believe that a majority of consumers will not be able to see their ads.
However, much to the contrary, any number of studies conducted in the last couple of years indicate clearly that Mobile Marketing is a highly effective medium at reaching all consumers, not just smartphone owners. And not only is mobile effective with consumers, it is also in-demand from them. The most effective method of mobile marketing is SMS (text) messaging, due to its ability to cross all mobile operating systems; it has no dependence on being able to access a smartphone.
The study detailed below, conducted by Harris Interactive, clearly indicates that consumers of both smartphones AND feature phones are quite open to receiving SMS messages and that location-based messaging is increasing their effectiveness.
JULY 6, 2010, eMarketer blog
Mobile marketing is not just for smartphones
That means a large swathe of mobile users cannot be reached by more sophisticated mobile marketing efforts like sponsored apps, in-app ads or campaigns on the mobile web. According to location-based advertising network 1020 Placecast, opt-in text alerts are the smart way to target a fuller mobile audience.
A May 2010 survey conducted for Placecast by Harris Interactive found that while most mobile users still have not signed up for any text alerts, there was a small rise in interest since a similar poll in 2009: 28% were at least somewhat interested in the alerts, up 2 percentage points, and 8% were extremely or very interested, up 3 percentage points. For under-35s, interest was significantly higher.
Those who wanted the alerts were most interested in coupons and promotions from grocery stores and restaurants. Respondents who had signed up for text alerts said it made them more likely to visit the company’s website (34%), visit the store (33%) and purchase the product being promoted, either in online (28%) or in the store (27%).
Many agreed that making those text alerts location-based, so that recipients would get the right offer at the right time, could make the channel more useful or interesting.While awareness of location-based text alerts is still building, there is the potential to reach a broader audience than with check-in apps such as foursquare or Gowalla, which are designed with smartphone owners in mind. And despite negative attitudes of many mobile users toward SMS marketing, Placecast reports low opt-out rates among recipients.“The brand faithful view these kinds of alerts as a service, not just marketing or an intrusion,” Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman told eMarketer.
Smartphone Owners Want Mobile Coupons March 12, 2010Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
Tags: advertising, Compete.com, marketing, mobile advertising, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, SMS, Strategic Growth Concepts
A new survey published by Compete.com indicates smartphone owners are very receptive to mobile coupons, especially when it comes to grocery coupons that are easily redeemable via barcodes scanned directly from the device.
The survey, which looked at the time of day most smartphone owners use their devices, as well as what mobile advertising concepts they’re most interested in, found that usage during commutes to work and while watching TV were the highest on the list by far.
To find out their receptiveness, the survey asked smartphone owners how interested they were in receiving various types of mobile advertising. The results were quite interesting, indicating consumers were most interested in receiving grocery coupons (36%), scanable barcodes (29%), offers to save and pursue at leisure (26%), movie theater offers (26%) and ads via SMS when going by a retailer with a promotion / coupon (21%).
The fact that over 1 in 5 smartphone owners would be interested in these top-5 concepts is very promising for the mobile marketing industry, considering that it’s still in the early stages of mainstream adoption. Given the nature of smartphones, adoption via this user-group will signal what works and what doesn’t- with concepts that do see mainstream adoption via smartphones making their way to feature phones eventually.
It’s not surprising that barcodes, coupons and other retail-oriented mobile technologies are the first to catch on with consumers. It’s a concept that provides the most value to users, while not interfering with daily usage like some other concepts.
Should you be interested in learning more about mobile coupons and how they can help grow your business, or mobile marketing in general, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at email@example.com for a FREE initial consultation.