Friday, February 13, 2015

Retail marketers: Be on Mobile or be Left Out

For all the retail marketers, it is the mobile marketing era, in store and online shopping is no longer the only choices for customers to shop. You can now shop anytime and anywhere you want and won’t be limited into locations and devices. With my previous marketing experiences and as a student at Northwestern University studying Integrated Marketing Communications, I found some articles that talked about the mobile marketing trend is worth sharing.

The article from Marketing Land- How Marketers Can Keep Pace As Mobile Rises And Matures, by Soo Ji Oh showed the amount of mobile shopping in 2014 holiday shopping season (November to December) accounted for 45% of all online traffic. This is 25% more than the same time period in 2013. Even for online and chain retailer like Amazon and Wal-Mart said they have more than half of their customers use mobile devices to shop over holidays. Retailers are focusing more on mobile strategies now. They also enhance the payment platform and free shipping on mobile app in order to compete with larger scale e-commerce brands.

Another article is from Who What Wear- Why This New Credit Card Will Completely Change How You Shop, by Meaghan Blalock. According to the article, a quarter of all online sales transacted on Black Friday happened on a mobile device in 2010 and the number is still growing. Mobile shopping is definitely a growing trend and now the app developers want to create something that can combines mobile shopping and social network. This article talked about a new app called CardBlanc that can serve as a debit card for you to shop and also use as a social media tools to share your shopping experience with your friends.

Based on the two articles and with my experience and study in marketing trend, I have three recommendations for the marketers in retail industry to enhance their mobile marketing strategy.
  • Build a Mobile App- It’s so easy to shop at your phone. Creating a mobile app for your customers to shop can not only engage your customers more but also have the access to their data and track their purchase behavior and learn more about your target customers’ profile.
  • Be Mobile Friendly - You don’t have to create a mobile app in order to follow the trend. You can also keep in track by designing a more mobile user friendly website. The mobile user friendly website can make mobile user to read all the content easier in a different size of devices. This can increase their desire to brose or shop at your website through their smart phones even you don’t have a mobile app.
  • Enhance in-store mobile interaction- Even more people use mobile to shop, they still like to stop at the store to see the actual products. This is a great opportunity to engage with them through your mobile app. A simple QR code or a promotion banner can be a good way to lead the customers back to the app.

Mobile marketing is definitely a trend and many retailers have already built their mobile app. But how to add value to the app and how to engage with the customers are more important than just have the app but customers are not willing to use it. Adding value by interact with the customers, special promotion or discount through mobile app or let them share purchase experience among friends using the app is some good ways to engage with your customers.

Cheryl Lin is currently pursuing her master degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. She has four years of solid working experience in marketing and especially interest in fashion and entertainment industry.
Contact Cheryl through twitter @cheryllin2015 or LinkedIn

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