The mobile consumer
More people than ever are living their lives on multiple screens. Smartphone ownership continues to expand as more affordable devices and data plans hit the market. From 2011 to 2013, smartphone adoption in the US grew from 36% to 61% (Source). And tablet owners, typically associated with a high disposable income, represent an increasingly mainstream demographic as manufacturers introduce a range of more economically priced models.
As a result, consumers can now use smartphones, tablets and computers to interact with businesses 24/7, from anywhere – at home, at work or on the bus. Powered especially by the rise in smartphone adoption, this constant connectivity has created many more opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers.
Companies have taken notice and begun embracing this always-on behaviour, building businesses that lead with mobile and disrupt entire industries.
Serving the mobile consumer
In addition to these mobile-first upstarts, all brands need to think deeply about what it means to serve mobile customers. The temptation to adapt a desktop strategy to fit mobile can be strong, but should be avoided.
The local mobile consumer
Your future customers are literally just round the corner, and mobile can get them in through your door. In fact, four in five consumers use search engines to find products, services or experiences nearby. They conduct local searches wherever they happen to be. 84% use search engines on their computer or tablet and even more (88%) do so on their smartphone (Source).
Retailers are waking up to the power of capturing mobile demand. A 2013 Digby analysis indicated that 70% of top retailers now offer mobile apps. Further research indicates that 78% of fast food chains, 75% of casual dining brands, 77% of big box retailers, 59% of independent shops and 58% of supermarkets have mobile apps (Source).
By understanding the mobile consumer and the challenges and opportunities that the new mobile landscape gives to advertisers, you can better prepare your company’s mobile strategy.
Ways You Can Reach Your Customer With Mobile Advertising
Promote an app
Apps offer unique ways to engage with your best customers, including connecting through social and gaming. Apps can aid the offline experience, driving e-commerce and loyalty.
Apps have been a successful channel for various verticals:
Some companies rely primarily (or only) on their app as their customer engagement channel. King has built a huge business (as have Supercell, Machine Zone, and many others) by creating unique games. Many social apps (e.g., Line), rideshare (e.g., Uber), and travel (e.g., HotelTonight, AirBnB) have also seen tremendous success by offering a tailored mobile experience leveraging unique app capabilities such as sign-in/authentication and phone features like camera or GPS.
We have seen several brands successfully leverage their app to develop deep and meaningful relationships with their customers. For example, Starbucks drives in-store loyalty by awarding “stars”, facilitating mobile payments, giving personalized offers and messaging. Other interesting examples include Walgreens which facilitates pharmaceutical refills by taking pictures, Walmart that uses a ‘Savings Catcher’ for price comparison, and Target which uses the “Cartwheel” app for personalized offers.
The largest challenges for promoting your app is driving discovery and installation, driving engagement, and driving conversion of your most valuable customers. Below we’ll discuss these challenges in more detail and review the best solutions for overcoming them.
The smartphone empowers consumers to connect in real-time with a person who can help them solve a problem, answer a question, or accomplish a task in the moment, no matter where they are. They could be on the side of the highway after a fender bender, moving into a new house without a landline set up, or sitting on the couch watching the big game – and they’re turning to the phone because it’s the most efficient way to accomplish their task immediately, or they need reassurance of talking to another person to continue along the path to purchase.
As you plan how to drive calls, keep these things in mind:
- Even though telephones have been around for ages, mobile has changed how consumers use them and changed their expectations
- Consumers want a choice in how they reach your business — sometimes it’s easier to call
- Consumers are calling more frequently than ever
- Don’t miss out on the demand for calls; calls generate sales and real results for your business
Consumers still use their smartphones as phones. This may seem surprising since it’s easy to assume that these devices are only used for browsing Facebook, playing Candy Crush, and texting your friends. But in reality, smartphones have changed the ability to make calls in the same way it’s changed a person’s access to the internet. Now, they can call anytime, anywhere. And in some countries, like the US, mobile phones have eliminated the concept of long-distance charges essentially making the phone calls free for users.
Having a phone that also connects to the internet has completely changed people’s ability to find and call businesses. If you think back to the pre-smartphone era, you had to either have a phonebook, have the phone number already programmed into your contacts, or see a billboard/tv ad/print ad in order to know how to call a particular business.
Now, you have the phone number for any business available to you anytime.
There are lots of situations where a call is easier (for the caller) but they basically boil down to these 3 cases:
- The callers situation (on the go like a woman walking her dog or driving. She doesn’t have both hands available or eyes available to look at a screen)
- What they’re calling about (something complicated like insurance, scheduling an appointment, a car with many option packages and features)
- Personal preference (there are lots of people who simply prefer human-to-human interaction)
70% of mobile searchers have called a business directly from search results
61% of customers think it’s important that businesses give them a phone number to call
33% of customers would be less likely to use and refer brands that don’t provide a phone number
The proliferation of smartphones has made calling a business easier, either at home or on the go. This is driving a massive increase in the number of phone calls business receive.
All those calls represent a valuable opportunity, don’t hang up on them.
Drive Online Leads or Sales
Be relevant to engage with new consumer contexts.
Relevance matters, even more so in mobile. Some customers want to call. Others need something nearby. Many are home in the evening, and away during the day. Presenting the right ad experience can change your ROI dramatically.
It’s essential to present the right ad experience to your customers. This means focusing your messaging so it meets true mobile-first needs. Mobile users don’t have time to plod through your full digital experience while on their smartphone. They are often focused on one or two things.
Secondly, you can finetune your relevance to mobile consumers by using ad formats that make sense especially for them.
Finally, you can use context-powered bidding to deliver your ads to customers in ways that are more targeted and meaningful. This entails a better understanding of what combination of contexts are most valuable to you, the specific circumstances in which your customers are most likely to seek you out, whether it’s certain times of day, locations, or even proximity to places.
Drive Store Sales
Mobile has changed the digital experience, especially local retail. The traditional local retail experience is fundamentally changing. Foot traffic is down 15% overall since 2010.
We don’t think local stores are dying. Far from it! And here’s why: Foot traffic is no longer the 800-pound gorilla in local retail. Today there’s a new factor driving visits to local stores: Finger traffic. Today’s consumer shops “anytime and everywhere” on smart phones and tablets and laptops. She spends 6 hours per day on digital. That’s nearly 5 times more time than people spent in 2010. So every ‘micro moment’ — at home, in your store, while standing in line for a latte — is now part of her shopping journey. And that means the line between online and offline shopping is disappearing. Fast.
Foot Traffic is Down, but Basket Sizes are Up:
- Holiday foot traffic in the form of store visits is down 55% in just three years: from 38 billion in 2010 to 17 billion in 2013.
- But that’s not the whole story: same store sales increased by 13%, and the value of each store visit doubled during those same years.
To put it another way, people may be visiting local stores less, but when they do visit they’re more ready to buy — and they’re buying more. Visits are more purposeful. And that’s leading to a real change in local retail.
In order to make sure you’re driving store sales, you must understand that people are beginning their in-store purchase journeys online:
- 96% of users looked for a local store nearby
- 66% visited a store
- 26% made a purchase in the store
- 3 in 4 people who find local information in search results helpful are more likely to visit stores.
Your customers take action based on what they find online– and sometimes that means visiting a store. In fact, online and offline experiences are blurring in stores:
- 82%of smartphone shoppers use search engines when browsing product info in-store
- 1 in 3 shoppers use their smart phones to find info instead of asking store employees
Four keys to successfully drive store sales
- Target consumers at the right locations
- Drive them to your business with the right ad
- Measure the offline impact of your online spend
- Optimize for omnichannel performance
To find out how you can benefit from mobile advertising please contact Unbound Digital Marketing