Not to scare you, dear marketers, but you are likely already way behind on a key 2015 initiative. Let’s assess. Would you agree consumers are mobile? Do you want to market and sell to consumers? Is your mobile strategy and experience top-notch?
If you answered “Yes, Yes, No,” your challenge ahead is clear and fast-moving. By 2016, eMarketer reports that 25 percent of U.S. retail e-commerce sales will be m-commerce, with the number climbing from there year-over-year.
And, a Forrester report recently noted that, “Mobile-shifted marketers will transform their brands’ customer experiences and drive business outcomes by taking a sophisticated approach that focuses on how to activate mobile experiences. Success stories will be few in number.”
Sounds a bit dismal. Yet, there are some specific actions marketers can take to better deliver on mobile shopping experiences that lead to conversion. Let’s explore six key areas focused on maxing return on email and mobile consumer interactions:
1. Reduce Retail Purchase Friction
When it comes to mobile shopping, the process needs to be quick and contextual. Use early activation and welcome strategies via email to help drive new subscribers to create accounts early on in the relationship. Consumers should be given the choice to create a traditional account or to use social authentication, which helps limit “lost password” scenarios by using an active social account login (with the side benefit of social data payload).
Additionally, offering up mobile wallet and payment options, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and more, prime the checkout process for fast transaction. And, by integrating click-to-buy content into emails, purchase paths are simplified, number of clicks to checkout are reduced, and consumers receive time efficiency value via reduced purchase process flow.
2. Gather Immediately Actionable Data
With mobile consumers on the go, having data to drive the experience in the here and now is key. Aligning actionable attributes on consumer disposition and situation enables marketers to deliver the right message at the right place and time.
Data gathering should begin early in the consumer relationship and continue throughout. Keep data gathering user-friendly – such as a click to a visual content block or navigation link registering as an affinity attribute. Or, use a simple, yet overt, Y/N questions in email to trigger contextual follow-up flows.
Also, encourage engagement with Favorites, Wish Lists, and other such lists to build a valuable data bank for product recommendations and other communications to mobile consumers focused on generating sales. Data drives experience and understanding the consumer “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “how,” and “why” is key, so use progressive profiling strategies to continue to understand the consumer state on an ongoing basis.
3. Optimize Cross-Channel Mobile Experience
As all channels focus on driving site traffic and conversion seamlessly, it’s imperative that the site experience delivers excellence across all stages of the lifecycle – from product discovery and purchase path, to social sharing, reviews, and other types of interactions. Make sure the experience is seamless and deploy user experience testing across email and other channel purchase paths.
Use email to drive mobile application engagement with specific call-to-actions based on subscriber data. And, be sure all channels flow into a site experience that is aligned and consistent. Finally, offer up mobile application deep linking generated at the time of message open based on the device in use.
4. Get Real Time and Place
For mobile shoppers, hyper-relevant opportunities abound and delivering real-time content optimization at the time of message open delivers value, such as:
- Timing Countdown Clocks
- Social Feed Integration
- Weather Integration
- Inventory Availability
- Location Aligned Call-to-actions
Design and test these elements with the end conversion in mind.
5. Automate, Analyze, and Attribute
In order to deliver hyper-contextual mobile shopping experiences, marketers must automate. No question. As marketers invest in improving mobile experiences, data analysis and attribution is mandatory to support the cause and continue leading marketing investments in the right direction.
Build reports that deliver insight on mobile interactions and conversions, and use that data to drive an ongoing test, learn, and optimization process. Also, build attribution models to support ongoing transparency into cause and effect on the mobile transaction path.
And let’s not forget about the power of repetition. As marketers begin to better understand what drives stronger mobile consumer engagement, there is opportunity to build repetition that works.
This may be in the form of data-driven triggers across channels, with integrated message repetition across social, display, email, and other channels. Even the dinosaur of direct mail could be an element to drive mobile shopping and entice consumers to set-up accounts or download mobile applications. Don’t limit testing of channels and touch points that are scalable and repeatable.
While the term “mobile-first” is often tossed around, it’s really about putting the consumer first. Mobile consumers demand contextual and fast-moving mobile experiences and purchase paths. As we kick-off 2015, how do you plan to be ready for the big 2015 shopping seasons with a maxed out mobile strategy?
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