Mobile is quickly becoming consumers’ favored method for shopping. Google got my attention when their recent guide, “A Marketer’s Guide to Holiday Supershoppers” dropped into my email inbox, and it got me thinking even more about today’s mobile-powered consumer.
Google says it best in this guide: “Mobile is their door-to-the-store,” meaning that although consumers are willing to buy on mobile, mobile is primarily the gateway to get the consumer into the store to make the purchase.
A business can prepare for mobile shoppers in many ways, but have you considered how the mobile shopping phenomenon creates so many different challenges?
Challenges for brands when it comes to mobile shoppers:
- Shoppers Have Seemingly Unlimited Purchasing Options – With mobile, it’s easy for shoppers to find whatever they are looking for, from whatever source has it. Many of us have searched Google for a business to purchase from, and then along the way found another business with a better deal. According to Think with Google, this is the experience for 76% of mobile shoppers.
- Mobile Shoppers Have Lower Brand Loyalty – With the ability to instantly check pricing, availability, and other options for similar products and services, mobile shoppers can find a better price or try a different brand if a website makes their purchase easier. According to Google, last year more than 50% of holiday shoppers reported being open to purchasing from new retailers.
- Mobile Shoppers Are Looking for More Information – Research is key for the mobile shopper. They want to gather as much information as possible before making a buying decision and this includes soaking up video. Google points out that mobile watch time for product review videos has grown 60% year over year.
- Mobile Shoppers Are Looking for Ideas About What To Buy – When determining what they want to buy, 64% of mobile shoppers will get ideas by searching before they ever head out to shop. And I love this stat: mobile searches related to “best gift” grew at twice the rate of searches for cheap or inexpensive gifts – Google calls it at 70% year over year versus around 35%.
- If They Are Searching, They Will Come – When mobile shoppers search for a product, service, or a specific business near them, statistics reveal that 76% will visit that business within 24 hours of searching.
Brands need not fear the new mobile shopper mindset, but they do need to understand it. In order to prepare and meet these challenges they must know what the consumer is doing and thinking prior to making a buying decision. The time that a mobile shopper uses to make a buying decision has been referred to as a micro-moment, and it is imperative that the consumer is captured in these micro-moments.
Now that we’ve examined the challenges presented by the mobile shopper, let’s explore best practices and strategies for first attracting and then keeping them engaged throughout the buying process.
How Brands Can Attract and Keep Mobile Shoppers
- One of the most important ways to attract and keep the mobile shopper is via a mobile-friendly website. This includes:
- Optimizing the website content – The content must get the attention of search engines and consumers, and “natural keyword usage” is key.
- Website organization or navigation – Is it confusing or difficult? The site must be easy to navigate or the user won’t stay. Ensure the user can find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
- Google is your friend – Don’t simply create a website and hope it works. Use the tools available through Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools or so). They can supply valuable information about the website, the traffic it generates and much more.
- Create content and blog posts that will attract buyers, such as “Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Spouse” or perhaps “How To Purchase a Car or House.” Content is one of the things that will get consumers to the website.
- For consumers to find the business, the NAP (name, address, phone) must be correct and consistent across the web. Make sure that you search and find every listing of the business on the internet, and then ensure those business listings are correct and consistent.
- Social media is a great way to build relationships. And for businesses, what better way to build brand loyalty? While it is sometimes called social selling, the object is not to sell at all but to build rapport, trust, and a relationship between the brand and its audience. Also, as social media followers are won, the brand’s fan base is being built.
- Make sure the path to purchase is short & easy. From reading about the item to clicking add to cart, make sure that payment is a snap. This might include an option to purchase as a guest, but should also include the option to create an account to make future purchases even faster. The easier it is for a consumer to purchase from your client’s website, the more likely they will be to click and pay.
- When selling a hot item product, include the most important facts about the product plus links for mobile shoppers that want to know more before clicking buy.
- Make your returns policy easy to find. Purchasing online has become incredibly popular, yet making a purchase without seeing it in person still presents fear and trepidation for some consumers. Help these potential buyers feel more at ease by making the return policy prominent on the site and easy to read.
- Strive to incorporate everything a website can do to make life easier for the consumer. Consider options such as gift wrap and perhaps allowing the customer to choose when the item will be delivered to the gift recipient. Don’t just reserve this effort for the holidays but use this idea to get mobile shoppers coming back to the website year-round for birthdays, anniversaries and “just because,” as well as other seasonal gift giving.
- Try ad retargeting. Many mobile shoppers tend to research a bit before they are ready to buy. In this case they won’t purchase anything from a website on their first visit, but conduct more of a recon mission. However, ad retargeting can ensure that those searchers make it back to your website when they are ready to buy. For instance, let’s say that a shopper is searching Amazon for a pair of boots. Once tired of looking at boots, the shopper decides to see what’s happening on Facebook and suddenly, there are a lot of ads on Facebook about boots! Coincidence? Absolutely not — this ad retargeting will keep the business’s products in front of the consumer.
Bernadette Coleman is CEO of Advice Local.