Mobile’s role throughout the customer journey is undoubtedly becoming increasingly significant. With global consumers spending an average of four hours per day on their smartphones according to Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends Report, brands and retailers that don’t fully embrace mobile risk getting left behind.
At the consideration stage of the customer journey, when customers are in the initial research phase of their journey, looking for inspiration and narrowing down the range of products they are considering, mobile plays a particularly important role. With shoppers increasingly seeking inspiration on the move - on social media and blogging platforms, as well as through search engines and aggregator sites - it is vital for retailers to optimise their messaging and content for mobile.
Here we take a look at three tips to help you optimise your mobile customer experience at the consideration phase.
1. Embrace the power of mobile search
Mobile search is key at this stage of the journey. Even if a consumer is not yet aware of your brand, search is your best chance to change that and get your relevant products in front of them. In fact, a recent Google study found that 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search.
Check the most relevant search queries for your business on a smartphone. Does your organisation and products show up in the results listings and do you like what you see?
If you haven’t already, consider testing Google Shopping Campaigns. These are search adverts that include richer product information, such as product image, price and merchant name, as well as the option of incorporating additional information such as reviews or a special offer label. Leveraging the Google AdWords API, you can even integrate AdWords data with your inventory system to manage campaigns based on stock levels.
2. Leverage data to boost your marketing ROI
At the consideration stage, your pool of potential buyers is wide. To avoid wasting marketing budget, use mobile search data to focus your marketing spend on those consumers with the highest purchase intent. Our study found that 84% of follow-up actions from mobile searches happen within five hours. So there is an immediate opportunity for ROI for retailers if such mobile search data is followed up on effectively.
As well as leveraging search history, retailers can pull in device data, location data, demographic information and more to deliver targeted messaging through mobile media adverts. For instance, if a shopper has searched for a relevant product term recently, you can serve up specific product promotions when they are near one of your stores, offer discounts when they are close to one of your competitors, or combine all available data sources to deliver highly personalised product recommendations.
3. Optimise your paid mobile social ads
When consumers are looking for inspiration today, social media arguably plays a more important role than your own mobile site or app. Think carefully about how you distribute your content via social channels, and which influencers and partners you work with.
Consider also creating APIs into your product catalogue, with variable pricing, so that product images and other information can be easily distributed onto third-party platforms such as social media or embedded into dynamic ads. Facebook’s Dynamic Ads for Retail, for example, allow retailers to showcase products available in the store location closest to the person seeing the advert. As well as allowing retailers to indicate whether a product is ‘in store’, these adverts can include a call-to-action button allowing the user to get directions to the nearest retail outlet.
Other social media platforms also offer great opportunities for retailers at the consideration stage. For instance, 45% of Instagram users follow a fashion brand, business or influencer for inspiration according to Mobile Marketer, with 1 in 3 users having bought an item they have discovered on the photo-sharing platform. For fashion and luxury retailers, Pinterest is also particularly significant, offering such businesses a reliable indication of shoppers’ intentions. According to Nielsen, 72% of Pinterest users have purchased something they saw on Pinterest in a physical location.
By Annabel Thorburn, director of consulting at eCommera
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