Consumers are leveraging their mobile devices more frequently to browse inventory and complete purchases. As a result, retailers are investing more in mobile marketing tools and strategies to better connect with shoppers through their device of choice.
In fact, 56% of retailers plan to spend more this year on developing and implementing mobile strategies, according to research from Artisan, a mobile experience management solution provider.
“The mobile medium is very much in the moment,” noted Omair Haque, E-Commerce Analytics Manager for Staples Canada, during a recent RetailWire webinar. “Mobile is very actionable, time sensitive and very much on-the-go. Retailers must ensure communication [with the consumer] is crisp and clear, and make it easy for the consumer to connect.” They also must keep in mind that the smaller the screen, said Haque, the less time and opportunity there is to grab attention.
Haque shared several best practices during the webinar, titled: “Mobile As The Omni-Channel Linchpin,” to help retailers keep pace with evolving mobile behaviors and preferences.
Using Relevancy To Connect With Consumers
Consumers continue to use mobile devices in retail stores to find the best deals. To efficiently address “switchables” — defined as consumers who are likely to switch between brands based on price or convenience — retailers must focus on consumers’ needs and shopping behaviors, as well as their core values.
Retailers can’t blame customers for switching merely based on price, Haque stated. Instead, organizations should focus more on connecting with consumers based on specific wants and needs. Providing relevant offers and messages can increase engagement, Haque noted. However, “proper segmentation also is key to reaching the right audience and triggering a response.”
Staples Canada uses minimal information and customer analytics to drive relevancy among consumers, Haque noted. Regardless of the amount of information retailers acquire directly from consumers, he said, web site browsing behaviors can provide more than enough insight into help retailers predict consumers’ needs.
Staples Canada currently is piloting mobile devices in select stores, where store associates also are using the devices as assisted selling tools. For example, associates can tap smartphones and tablets to provide customers with additional product information, images and online ratings/reviews.
During the webcast, Jim Davidson, Manager of Marketing Research for Bronto Software, discussed how multichannel retailers can better leverage mobile to connect with consumers. Davidson shared insights on ways retailers can leverage mobile in stores via passive and active channels, such as a mobile web site, QR codes, social media, email acquisition and text message marketing.
“For retailers, just having a mobile site is a passive approach,” Davidson said. The site must provide “active tactics” that offer a “push-pull in the communication or ask for permission to speak to consumers in longer terms. Email acquisition is the [most active] tactic of all — it offers marketers the capability to get permission to connect with those who walk through the store via their inbox.”