Mobile is becoming a core part of consumers’ shopping behaviour with a recent study by Nielsen revealing that 47 percent of Smartphone internet users have used mobile internet at some stage to find out more about a product or service before making a purchase decision. As part of this, the top five “pre-shopping” activities carried out on a Smartphone were found to include; comparing product prices before visiting the store and whilst in-store, checking store locations, taking photos of products and reading product recommendations and reviews (Nielsen 2011).
With more than half of Australians expected to be using a Smartphone by the end of this year (Google/Ipsos 2011) it is clear that retailers and business owners generally, cannot afford to overlook the importance of mobile in their customer engagement programs.
Consumers increasingly expect companies and brands to deliver mobile-enabled services that meet their needs regardless of whether they are connecting via a Smartphone, tablet or generic mobile phone handset. Having said that though, business owners and marketers tasked with developing a major mobile strategy for their company or brand may feel overwhelmed at the perceived amount of planning, infrastructure and co-ordination, combined with the fact that competitors may be stealing a march on mobile prospects.
In actual fact, executing an effective mobile strategy can be done quickly, generating results within a matter of days. Possible routes can include:
- Mobile advertising, which has a far greater reach than online advertising, can be used to drive customers to a company’s mobile site or in store. It is also quick to launch and can be measured immediately. As with online advertising, mobile advertising campaigns can be targeted by age, gender, country and location. Additional benefits of mobile advertising include targeting by mobile device, mobile platform and connection.
- SMS campaigns can be used to send high-impact, targeted marketing messages to consumers. They are quick to set up and launch, enabling businesses and brands to send instant and tailored offers and communications, receive leads and organise events. SMS campaigns can also enable companies to build their mobile databases by encouraging customers to text in to receive special offers and discounts. This helps businesses to communicate with these leads to convert to a sale and encourage further interaction and engagement.
- QR (quick response) codes can provide an instant and invaluable link between offline and online media when used on direct mail pieces, magazine advertisements, business cards and product labels. Such an instant link to a company or brand’s website from offline sources is possible via the mobile channel, where mobile phones are with consumers 24/7, representing a powerful tool for initiating customer response and engagement.
In my next Blog post, I will outline some tips that I think will help you to develop a fully considered mobile strategy designed to secure sales in the short-term, while building loyalty and customer engagement over the long-term.