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Just when we thought we were beginning to understand the online retail experience, it is evolving again. Mobile devices are driving the “new” retail experience. Online, interactive shopping is available to consumers wherever they are.
The numbers are compelling. Mobile internet traffic grew over 125% in 2013, and may exceed use on traditional computers as early as this year. Manufacturers shipped more mobile devices than traditional PCs in 2011 – and Forbes predicts smartphones and tablets will represent 87% of all connected device sales in 2017. Next-gen shoppers literally hold the internet in the palm of their hands. Retailers and marketers need to adapt to this new medium. Here are some ways how.
Be fast. Mobile consumers expect a full web experience, but one suited to their screen. Studies show that each additional second of page load time results in 7% of the audience clicking elsewhere. Retailers must enable mobile shoppers to find a store, check a price, manage their shopping list or find product reviews as easily as on a traditional computer, if not faster. If you have an app, congratulations, you’re ahead of the curve. But how quick and easy to use is it?
Be brief. Tailoring content for the mobile experience is just as important. Desktop users look for in-depth information, but mobile users want quick facts and answers. Video is an important part of the mobile internet experience (accounting for more than half of all mobile data), but marketers need a targeted approach. Repurposing a 30-second TV ad through YouTube is a fine strategy when targeting desktop users, but short 5-to-10 second videos (such as on Vine) are much better suited for mobile. Facebook will allow marketers to include these short videos in mobile ads later this year. Have you thought about how your products should be presented for a mobile audience?
Provide value. One of the expectations from mobile marketing is high value content. Couponing apps such as RetailMeNot provide push notifications of deals when shoppers approach large retail areas. “Mall-type” merchants have leveraged the technology successfully. What can you do with your brands in food or drug stores?
Connect in-store. Finally, what about the experience in the store? Retailer apps can leverage similar technology to push featured deals when customers walk into their store, or even down a specific aisle. How will retailers interact with shoppers when they are making decisions about what to buy – right now, right here? Will you let national brands control what happens or will you put your brands in the starring role?
Mobile is no longer “next” – it’s “now.” Interacting with consumers in real time is an unprecedented opportunity for store brands. The sooner you go mobile, the less likely your brands will remain stuck in place.