The holiday season is approaching quickly, so now is the perfect time to get your mobile marketing strategy in place.
E-commerce holiday spending topped $100 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation, and seasonal online spending will continue to grow at double-digit rates, studies indicate.
That means more potential profits are on the table for companies that align their marketing strategies with evolving consumer preferences. And mobile is playing a larger role than ever in consumers' behavior, accounting for about half of all visits to retail sites, according to an IBM survey.
A mobile marketing strategy is no longer just "nice to have." In today's competitive global marketplace, it's a "must have."
So how do you make sure you maximize mobile sales for the upcoming holiday season? These tips can help.
1. Think mobile
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans have smartphones, and for a growing number, their mobile device is the primary entry point to the Web. That's why it's crucial to optimize marketing promotions, such as email campaigns, for mobile devices.
It's also a good idea to check how the emails look across a variety of smartphones and tablets. An email that renders beautifully on an iPad might not display as well on an Android smartphone, and vice-versa.
2. Maximize mobile page speed and target browsing behavior
Users expect lightning-fast load times, and their patience is shorter now than in past years. If you don't deliver, customers will move on to another site that loads more quickly.
Another way to serve mobile customers better is to set up email campaign triggers based on browsing behavior, enabling you to get the right message to the right person at the right time, which can increase conversion rates tenfold.
3. Use personalization to engage your audience more effectively
Today's consumers expect personalization, so make sure you include local store information in email campaigns that are designed to attract recipients to brick-and-mortar locations.
The best strategy for reaching mobile customers is to use GPS information to locate the store nearest to them. For emails that are opened on a desktop, use the IP address and past purchase data to identify the customer's local store.
4. Remove the friction from the buying process
Especially with mobile devices , you need to quickly engage customers and make it easy for them to buy from you. The bad news is that you have only a few seconds to capture the customer's attention. But the good news is that if you optimize the visual presentation by placing calls to action strategically, you can exponentially improve your chance of making a sale.
Make sure your email is scannable, so that customers can easily get the additional information they need to make a purchasing decision—and your purpose in contacting the customer is crystal clear.
5. Evaluate 2014 results and apply lessons learned
Planning is a core part of a successful mobile marketing strategy, but nothing can take the place of real-world experience. Take a look at how your company performed during last year's holiday season, and apply lessons learned to this year's marketing strategy.
Look at what worked in 2014, identifying buyer behavior and response rates to specific promotions for insights that can drive sales in the upcoming holiday season. Also evaluate campaigns that weren't as effective as you'd hoped last year, and pinpoint the source of the shortfalls.
6. Target showroomers and webroomers with an omnichannel approach
Showroomers are customers who come into stores to check out products and then buy the item online from another retailer. Webroomers do product research online and then make an in-store purchase from another vendor.
By using omnichannel techniques such as beacons to broadcast mobile content in the store, being transparent about price, offering free shipping online and offline, and targeting each group via in-store specials and online promotions, you can pick up sales from both showroomers and webroomers.
7. Launch your holiday campaign soon
Some people wrap up their holiday shopping before the trick-or-treat items are off store shelves, whereas others complete their holiday buying in a flurry of activity at the last minute. You don't want to leave any potential revenue on the table, so serve both groups by launching your mobile marketing strategy for the holidays as early as you can.
A longer campaign timeframe can enable inclusion of many different types of promotions, including wish lists, sneak peeks, and consumer-generated content to drive sales. The quicker you get started, the sooner you can start ringing in holiday sales.
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The holidays are a make-or-break time for many retailers, and now that mobile devices have become such an integral part of the shopping experience it's critical to get your mobile marketing strategy right. The most important element is a mobile-optimized site: A site that loads and navigates seamlessly on a smartphone is a must.
It's also crucial to recognize that shopper behavior has changed dramatically thanks to mobile capabilities. The line between the physical and digital worlds intersect more frequently now, and marketers who can connect them seamlessly will be in a better position to capitalize on holiday demand. By keeping that principle in mind and following these seven tips, you'll be well on your way to record-breaking holiday revenues.
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