Marketing Best Practices

7 Reasons Retail Brands Can’t Ignore Mobile Marketing

By Ashley Taylor Anderson June 16, 2015

I know what you’re thinking. “Okay, I get it, I’ve been hearing about how mobile is important for like 5 years. Can you please shut up about it already?”

Nope. Sorry.

The reason I can’t shut up about it—and the reason other people keep writing articles on this topic—is that marketers aren’t listening. Or if they are, they’re listening very selectively. And this is starting to put brands, particularly retail brands, at a huge disadvantage.

Consumers are spending more time every year using mobile devices for online shopping, but many retailers are still treating mobile as an afterthought when it comes to their website designs, content creation, eCommerce flows, and special offers. While this may have been acceptable back in 2010, it’s no longer acceptable today.

So please, hear me out as I give you 7 reasons why you can’t ignore mobile marketing for your retail brand.

1. Mobile is becoming the primary/only device for some consumers.

Source: Giphy

The Data

Consumers aren’t just spending more time on mobile devices—some are using a smartphone or tablet as their primary internet-connected device. In the U.S., 10% of internet users only access the web on mobile devices, and this percentage is expected to increase over time. In other countries, this percentage is even higher.

Why It Matters

If your brand’s marketing content doesn’t work on smartphones and tablets, you’re missing out on reaching some consumers altogether. As this market segment continues to grow, your online reach will diminish if mobile isn’t a core consideration in your campaign creation process.

2. Mobile traffic is on the rise for retailers.

Source: imgarcade.com

The Data

The Interactive Media in Retail Group reported that in Q2 2014, mobile traffic to U.K. retailers for the first time surpassed 50%. Another recent study showed that 55% of retail Internet minutes are spent on mobile devices.

Why It Matters

If over half of the traffic and time spent on retail websites is coming from mobile, your brand is in big trouble if your website isn’t optimized for mobile viewers. This isn’t just a matter of making sure your website will size down for mobile screens—you’ll likely also want to reconsider how much content you display to smartphone and tablet viewers, and think about whether you need to offer a more streamlined eCommerce flow that makes it quicker and easier to checkout.

3. Mobile eCommerce is growing rapidly.

Source: reactiongifs.us

The Data

While lots of people are already shopping on mobile devices, 63% of people expect to be doing more mobile shopping in the next couple of years. It’s no wonder that analysts predict that mobile devices will account for 30% of global retail e-commerce spending by 2018.

Why It Matters

The vast majority of consumers rely on their phones and tablets to perform research on retail brand websites and apps. The logical next step for retailers is to do everything they can to optimize their mobile eCommerce experience so that those casual web surfers actually convert. Marketing can (and should) be the driving force behind this testing and tweaking process.

4. Mobile content influences offline purchases.

Source: E! Online

The Data

80% of mobile users’ purchasing decisions are influenced by the mobile channel, even though they may not use their devices to complete the final purchase. 84% of U.S. smartphone shoppers also use their phones to assist them in their shopping while in physical stores.

Why It Matters

Even if consumers aren’t making purchases directly from your mobile site or app, they’re looking to mobile to help guide their purchase decisions in store or on desktop. It’s important that your marketing content—whether it’s on your website, in an email, or on social channels—is informative, appealing to your audience, and easy to read on smaller screens.

5. Tablets have the highest online sales conversion rate.

Source: guidebook.com

The Data

Tablets have the highest retail conversion rate of any device type (including desktop) at 8.58%.

Why It Matters

Retail brands are still trying to figure out exactly why tablets have the highest conversion rate of any online channel, but even without that answer, the data speaks for itself. Tablets convert well, and if your marketing content doesn’t play nicely with tablet sizes or interfaces, you’re going to miss out on revenue that could be yours.

6. Consumers are hungry for mobile deals.

Source: Giphy

The Data

96% of all mobile users will search for coupons this year to find the best deal and the greatest value when shopping online.

Why It Matters

96%?! That’s a pretty frickin’ huge percentage of mobile users. You should probably offer some mobile-friendly coupons on your site or via email… just saying.

7. Mobile optimization helps with brand image.

Source: BuzzFeed

The Data

61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience.

Why It Matters

Retail brands sell a lot of merchandise based on image—whether it’s the image of your products, your models, or your storefronts. Today’s savvy consumers want to buy from brands who understand them and their interests. If you have a lame looking mobile website, consumers are going to think your brand is kind of lame, too—even if your products are amazing. Don’t let this happen to you! Provide a fabulous mobile experience so that your brand image is solid across every channel.

The Bottom Line

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard this message about the importance of mobile optimization before. It’s time to stop ignoring it and make sure that your marketing program works just as seamlessly for consumers on smartphones and tablets as it does on desktops and laptops. Your customers (and potential customers) will thank you.

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