Understanding Mobile’s Role in Shopping

Smart phones serve as on-demand information sources, a constant connection to like-minded communities and relations through social media, and, increasingly they are serving as virtual stores and wallets. Mobile marketing strategies are instrumental to small businesses and include product research, digital advertising, social media, and, of course, the ease of purchasing directly from any location.

In 2016, approximately 80% of Americans reported shopping online among whom 51% shopped from mobile devices and 15% purchased through social media links. These numbers are all increasing. Ninety-two percent of young adults (18-29) own a smart phone indicating that nearly all potential consumers will have a smartphone in the near future.

Here are some of the ways mobile marketing increases sales:

Product or Services Research

Even in a store or businesses location, consumers have their phones with them and are putting them to use. Nine in ten shoppers claim that it is valuable to have their phones with them when they are considering a purchase. Shoppers use their phones to look up product information, compare prices, and read reviews. This is a mobile marketer’s opportunity to make sure their product or service shows up in mobile searches and gives clear, accessible information when viewed on a mobile platform.

Mobile Advertising (Retargeting and Geotargeting)

Over half of all spending on digital marketing in the U.S. is on mobile marketing. Geotargeting and retargeting are two methods that make mobile advertising so successful. Geotargeting uses shoppers’ location and history: accumulated data showing where they shop, eat, and personal characteristics that can indicate whether they may be attracted to the marketer’s product. If someone shops for or is looking for something similar to what the marketer is advertising, at a similar price range, a mobile ad or coupon can geotarget that consumer. Only 2% of web traffic results in sales on the first visit, however by using bile ads, potential consumers get ad reminders of the site drawing them back and increasing conversion. Mobile advertising is the least expensive form of digital advertising and with the average person spending 82 minutes per day using their phone for activities other than talking, it’s a good place to catch consumers’ attention.

Social Media

More and more people have at least one social media account on their mobile device, so they can check for updates and read their feed wherever they go. Social Media Examiner reports that 97% of marketers use social media. There are many ways to use social media, including establishing accounts for greater web syndication, linking blogs to your webpage to increase traffic and SEO, using ads and “shop now” features that are now available on many platforms, and spreading feedback and reviews from customers and followers. Social media helps generate trust and loyalty from customers through engagement and brand identity.

Mobile Point of Sale

In the last decade e-commerce has competed with in-store purchasing and sent some brick and mortar stores out of business. While most of these purchases are made on desktop computers, mobile commerce (m-commerce) is on the rise. And that makes sense because Americans spend more time on their mobile devices now than on a desktop and for 12% of Americans, their smartphones are their only source of internet. Business Insider predicts that m-commerce will account for nearly half of all e-commerce by 2020.

Mobile marketing is convenient for businesses and mobile shopping is convenient for shoppers. The future of marketing includes social media, mobile advertising, mobile shopping options, and mobile-adapted web layouts.