2016 is the year to optimise your mobile strategy

eCommerce and Retail are up for a dramatic industry shift – especially in the digital marketing strategies – and that shift will inevitably be toward mobile. A report back in December from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index revealed that online retail sales in November recorded a 40% increase YoY, their highest ever monthly figures since the Index launched 15 years ago. For the month of October the Index recorded its lowest ever annual growth, however throughout the Black Friday period shoppers compensated for the spending that was withheld in the previous month.

The growth of mobile retail was responsible for driving the record-breaking figures in online sales. 32% of all mobile commerce sales were purchases made via a smartphone – a record high for these devices. Sales made on a smartphone device grew by 97% year-on-year while purchases made on a tablet reached a record low of just 12%* year-on-year, showing an apparent shift in mobile spending habits.

The significant shift to smartphones shows that those with a mobile-first strategy across the customer journey are at a distinct advantage. Today, mobile is already one of the fastest growing media channels in history, and throughout 2016, marketers will need to prioritise it if they want to reach consumers on their own terms. By Q4 of 2015, retailers realised they needed to expand their efforts on the mobile front.  This year, they will expand and develop comprehensive mobile strategies to surge these efforts to a new level.

Here’s three key digital marketing trends to look out for in 2016 for retail and eCommerce – all of which focus on mobile.

Micro-moments

This year you can expect retail and eCommerce companies to start taking advantage of micro-moments. There’s a strong chance that you have been hearing about these a lot lately. Micro-moments happen any time a consumer grabs his or her phone throughout the day to kill time, check social media and email, to look up nearby restaurants, and to search for product reviews and price comparisons whilst out shopping.

Retail brands will work to present themselves in front of consumers in these micro-moments. The key to securing micro-moments is to evaluate intent (what does the consumer want to get out of this), and not rely solely on demographic-based targeting. Brands are then able to send the appropriate push notification or alert. According to new research from Google, if you limit yourself to solely using demographics to reach consumers you could miss out on more than 70 percent of potential mobile shoppers.

Location Based Marketing

Throughout 2015 Beacon technology surged ahead, and you can expect it to become even more mainstream in 2016. Beacons allow brands to detect the location of a customer at any given point and can then directly send them push notifications for promotions or any other useful information that may lead the consumer to their site. They will contribute to the shift to mobile commerce by providing on the go relevant information that is of value to customers. For example a clothing store would be able to send a promotion notification through the customer’s mobile device as they were passing a competitor store on the highstreet.

Personalisation

Personalisation is key to securing the attention of the customer. Recent research shows that 73% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that personalise their shopping experience, and 86% say that the personalisation on a site plays a part in their buying decisions.

Many brands choose to do this through email marketing however the use of personalisation is set to grow throughout 2016. For retail and eCommerce this means implementing on site personalisation.  This could be an on site personal shopping assistant, a site navigator, a ‘find your style’ guide or even product recommendations based on previous activity. All of these personalisation tools will be optimised for mobile.

The Retail and eCommerce Industry will undoubtedly face the most disruption throughout 2016, as a direct result of the shift to mobile commerce. Forward thinking brands will develop omni-channel strategies that take advantage of these emerging mobile marketing trends.

For more information on our mobile services, including mobile app development and responsive design, get in touch with one of the team today on 01642 633604.

* Statistics gathered from IMRG.org

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