It seems almost too obvious, but many marketing professionals don’t realize that consumers use mobile devices and desktop computers differently, and that affects the way that companies should present themselves on each platform. Why worry about mobile devices? Well, for starters, mobile device use for e-commerce is growing rapidly, and smartphone and tablet purchases will represent 30 percent of the e-retail market ($707 billion) by 2018. With that much at stake, it’s surprising that only 25 percent of consumer brands have a mobile strategy.
Hunting for Products
There’s another interesting aspect to mobile strategy. While online purchases are growing, e-commerce is still less than 10 percent of all retail spending. Most of the other 90 percent of those retail purchases are conducted within 10 to 15 miles of the consumer’s home. So, how do online and mobile strategies play a part in store-based business? Mobile and web searches are being used to find brick-and-mortar locations to make purchases–and mobile devices are becoming more crucial to those last steps leading to a purchase.
Desktop users are more research-oriented. They are browsing for information, looking for answers to general questions. Mobile users, however, are action-oriented. They’re trying to find store locations, directions, prices, and other purchase information like availability. Page design is crucial: If mobile users reach a page that’s not optimized for smaller screens, they’re gone in seconds. Features like simple navigation, easy readability, quick load times, buttons, sliders, and click-to-call links are critical elements for mobile design.
Search engine optimization also needs to shift for mobile use. Paid campaigns receive more prominent placement on the search engine results for smaller mobile screens, so businesses may get better returns on paid advertising. Mobile tags should incorporate facts leading to a purchase and local calls to action whenever possible.
Give Consumers What They’re Looking For
Content is equally important. Remember, mobile users are typically much lower on the “purchase funnel” than desktop users, meaning that they’re much closer to the “purchase” action than their desktop counterparts. Prices, product specifications like measurements, and comparative ratings are all important to mobile users. Some big-box retailers like Lowe’s are taking location information a step further: Maps showing what aisle a product is on, giving busy or tired shoppers a way to avoid wandering store aisles or searching for an employee. Other stores like Target allow shoppers to scan barcodes with their phones to check inventory availability. Coupons and loyalty card information can be pushed to customer devices to spur the purchase decision.
Bring Your Customers to You
The mobile world is growing rapidly, and online marketing needs to adapt to this new environment. In essence, an effective mobile strategy links mobile search behavior to in-store purchases. Focus on answering the questions your consumers are asking their phones or tablets: Where can I buy this product, how do I get there, how can I find the product, what deals or discounts are available? If you need help with your mobile strategy, give On Target Web Solutions a call at (407) 830-4550. We can help you optimize your online presence for a more mobile business.