Mobile search marketing spend to increase significantly
Mobile searches accounted for approximately 9 per cent of search activity in 2011. This is projected to increase to 20 per cent in 2012, according to an A4U mCommerce report, making it a perfect time for retailers to increase their mobile search spend.
Mobile sites will become faster and easier to use
With over half of users, according to the Gomez mobile web user experience survey, stating that they expect sites to download as quickly on their mobile device as their home computer, and 60 per cent stating that poor performance will make them less likely to return to the site, retailers will be ensuring that their mobile sites deliver the experience quickly, easily and efficiently. A well designed site, which operates as quickly as possible, could make all the difference.
SMS will continue to rule
Just over 50 per cent of the UK still owns a phone that is not a smartphone, according to Kantar World Panel Com Tech, so SMS is key to capturing all audiences. Marketers need to remember that apps and mobile sites still fail to reach a large proportion of phone owners, while SMS open rates are around 90 per cent, and convert at a rate that is 400 per cent higher than email marketing, as shown by independent research.
Apps and mobile sites go to war
2012 will see Google and Apple go up against each other in the battle of the app versus the mobile site. Google will favour mobile sites as it dominates search, while Apple will back the billion dollar app industry. The truth for retailers is that neither is better – it’s all about the timing. Users look to apps for smooth navigation, interaction and user experience, whereas mobile sites are favoured for their immediacy. The best strategy is to go down both routes to capture as many consumers as possible.
The future of mCommerce
Retailers will release that a mobile commerce strategy needs to be smarter than simply taking orders via a mobile device. Smartphone owners are now relying on their devices to help them shop, even when in store; to read reviews; compare prices at other retailers; watch demo videos; or search for discounts and coupons. Use your mobile marketing strategy to reach out to these consumers, and allow them to redeem vouchers via their phone. You’ll be surprised to see how many new customers you attract, and how many existing customers you redeem.
Make your data work for you
Think about data capture on mobile devices. Touch screens allow for lots of mistakes and data entry takes time. Keep the data capture to a minimum – email and phone number are enough to generate impressive results.
Push the boundaries of Push messaging
The full marketing potential of Push messaging hasn’t yet been realised, and next year will see some interesting developments with push. We’ll see retailers using it to remind users of forgotten items in a shopping basket, or a long-lost wishlist. We’ll also see a shift from plain text Push messages to image-led appointment or contact cards.
Retailers will realise that if you build it, they will not always come
There are many examples of retailers that have taken the time to develop fully-optimised mobile sites and apps across all operating systems, but neglected to promote them. Think how long, and how much marketing, it took took to build up the traffic to your desktop site. Use this as a base for mobile. Use SMS campaigns to send the mobile site address to subscribers, embed QR codes in direct and in-store marketing materials, buy mobile keyword campaigns. In short, do all the things that you’re currently doing, but include the mobile site and app.
Size is becoming more important when it comes to security
Ask any consumer about their biggest fear regarding mCommerce, and it will be security. 32 per cent of smartphone users say that security is the main reason why they haven’t made a direct purchase via their phone. When comparing this to the 17 per cent of Tablet users who have security concerns, it starts to become clear that size is important, and that the difference is more around the risks of losing the physical device, rather than the wireless broadcasting of secure information. Products and companies that develop technologies requiring a PIN to be entered into the phone or secure safes that store files and data in the cloud, rather than on the device, will start to change the perception that a phone is less secure than a Tablet.
The first Mobile Olympics
No set of predictions would be complete without a mention of the Olympics in July. Officials estimate an extra 4m visitors to London during the two weeks of the Olympics. In addition to enjoying great sporting moments, they will all be looking for places to stay, eat, shop and visit, and most will carry a mobile device with them. Just think of the opportunity you could be passing up by not having a mobile presence.
John Barratt is product lead at 2ergo