Six useful mobile marketing case studies

Econsultancy is one of the more valuable blogs out there who help show you how your business can incorporate mobile marketing into your business development strategy. Below are 6 great case studies.

Case studies are always hugely popular on the Econsultancy blog because they act as a valuable source of inspiration for marketers.

In this post I’ll roundup six interesting mobile case studies, some of which perhaps lean more towards being about multichannel marketing.

These have mostly been borrowed from the Econsultancy Case Studies Database, which is packed full of useful examples from a range of brand and industries.

Mobile search marketing

US firm Legal Brand Marketing managed to increase click-through rates by 89%, while halving its cost per lead, after switching to a mobile-only lead generation strategy.

The company delivers qualified leads to law firms and DUI attorneys, but found that the search landscape had changed, particularly following Google’s shift towards giving localised results more weight.

In response, LBM developed a new marketing strategy that could deliver a low enough cost per lead, while still returning a profit.

A core secondary objective was to devise an approach which would reach potential leads on the platform they use most. Additionally, LBM was keen to obtain more insight into the success of its phone service.

LBM looked to Webtrends to provide the research, data and strategic insight needed for the development of its new marketing strategy.

After comparing the cost per conversion on desktop and mobile, LBM discovered that targeting people on a mobile platform was 35% more cost effective than its current desktop marketing strategy.

In response LBM created a new strategy including a mobile optimized landing page, a mobile-friendly form and a second opportunity for the visitor to click and call the company’s 24-hour phone service.

Additionally, it placed phone extensions in LBM’s ads and used Google call forwarding to track call time and length.

Results

LBM’s new mobile marketing strategy resulted in an 89% increase in click-through rates and cut the cost per lead by more than 50%.

KLM

Airline KLM had two objectives for its first mobile-only campaign:

  • It wanted to convince customers that mobile booking is simple, fast and reliable. To do this, KLM needed to change attitudes and build trust in booking flight tickets via its mobile site or the KLM app.
  • It needed the initiative to be a test bed for new mobile marketing techniques such as its mobile passbook, location-based notification and the retargeting of visitors across mobile.

During a campaign period of three weeks, KLM offered an incentive of free lounge access to anyone who used its mobile booking engine.

Customers received their lounge access in the form of a mobile coupon within their passbook for Apple users and in their Google wallet for Android users.

These apps then sent a location-based push notification when the customer was in the vicinity of the lounge, so they were reminded to use the coupon.

KLM created a responsive campaign page, which displayed a ticker for how many vouchers had been claimed.

Results

As a result of the campaign, which initially targeted the UK, Netherlands and Germany, KLM saw a 17% increase in visits to its mobile site, which generated 34% more bookings and 38% more mobile revenue.

In terms of traffic drivers for the campaign, its communication channels could be broken down as follows:

  • 46.6% mobile banners.
  • 35.4% social media.
  • 13.1% search engine advertising (SEA).
  • 2.3% newsletters.
  • 2.8% other.

Topshop mobile personalisation

After redesigning its mobile site, which involved a significant change to the navigational structure, Topshop ran a series of tests to optimise the user journey.

Topshop changed its homepage and, using real-time feedback from Qubit’s Visitor Opinion tool, highlighted a number of areas for improvement.

The retailer wanted a way of testing whether several small changes to its product page would have any positive effects and wanted to test these changes before allocating extensive IT resource to it.

A navigational pointer was shown to new mobile users on their first visit, showing for five seconds as they entered the site.

The pointer highlighted where the new menu was, helping visitors navigate to other pages.

Using this data alongside the qualitative feedback, Topshop designed four different search variations, testing both changes in copy and the addition of a border to the search box. The test was split evenly across all users.

Optimisation of the search tool is important as quantitative data found that people using Topshop search typically convert 10 times higher than those who don’t.

The retailer also tested changes to the size selector, the ‘details’ and ‘delivery’ tabs, the ‘added to bag’ confirmation pop-up, and buttons such as the ‘size guide’, the ‘add to bag’, and the ‘check stores’.

Results

The new mobile layer resulted in a 4% increase in products added to baskets, while the search bar generated a 5.8% increase in conversions.

The product page changes generated between 9%-11% increase in conversions.

Asda

British supermarket chain Asda is the UK’s second largest chain by market share, and has more than 500 UK stores.

The retailer’s objective was to meet the growing use of mobile by building an app that made shopping quicker and more convenient for its customers.

More specifically, it wanted to achieve:

  • 10% of grocery online shopping orders through the app.
  • Industry leading usability and functionality.
  • Increased convenience for Asda mums (busiest and most savvy shoppers).

These aligned with Asda’s long-term objective of creating ‘stores without walls’.

Customer feedback showed that customers wanted an app that was simple and easy to use, so the resulting design included a recipe finder, barcode scanner, and a store locator.

The approach was to let customer experience drive the technology, rather than vice versa, and new features have included live petrol prices and merchandised banners.

Results

The app exceeded its objectives:

  • Mobile now accounts for 18% of all grocery home shopping sales – 90% of this from the app.
  • Asda app shoppers are twice as likely to become loyal, repeat customers.
  • Shopping frequency for mobile is 1.8 times higher than desktop.
  • More than 2m downloads.
  • The Asda app won a ‘2013 Mumsnet Best award’, getting a 5-star reviewer rating.
  • The app was Google’s ‘staff pick’ over the Christmas period.

Argos

As part of a wider programme to reinvent Argos as a digital leader, the retailer wanted to deliver a truly multichannel experience, encompassing a website, mobile-optimised site, iPhone app, iPad app, and Android phone and tablet apps.

Across the various channels, the aims were:

  • Mobile proposition – to offer convenience and immediacy to new customers, providing competitive advantage in attracting customers on the move.
  • Stores – refurbishment programme would be designed for the multichannel customer.
  • iPad app – reposition Argos from a catalogue-led business to a digitally-led business.

A three-year investment programme founded on customer research and clear corporate objectives was embedded business-wide.

The multichannel journey capabilities mean that customers can now have 14 combinations of order and fulfilment to suit their needs; they can easily start their journey in one place and pick it up in another.

The new iPad magazine showcases the retailer’s range and inspires new customers.

Results

ROI expectations have been exceeded, achieving ongoing returns:

  • Multichannel sales penetration increased to over 50% of total sales, with Argos.co.uk receiving 440m visitors per year.
  • The internet accounted for 42% of total company sales and ‘Check and Reserve’ was Argos’ fastest growing channel.
  • The iPhone app has been downloaded over 2.5m times, the Android app over 625,000 times and the iPad app over 450,000 times.
  • The iPad app has already exceeded sales targets, achieving more than double the target set at launch and contributing to the 12% of total company sales now accounted for through mobile channels.
  • Search channels continue to grow with SEO achieving non-brand growth of 32%.
  • PPC has grown revenue over 60%.
  • Email visits have grown by 49%.
  • Performance marketing campaigns have supported visit growth of 15%.

Very.co.uk

We’ve written a lot about Very.co.uk recently, including a review of its new iPhone app.

In this case study the retailer worked with Somo to create an integrated, multichannel campaign that aimed to boost sales in the run up to Christmas 2014.

The campaign used:

  • Twitter synced TV advertising.
  • Geo and time-located SMS.
  • Shazam TV/music recognition.
  • Mobile video.

The campaign led to a 45% increase in mobile sales year-on-year and ROI of more than 15:1.

Original article found here

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7-Eleven stirs up beverage purchases with new in-app loyalty platform

Here Mobile Commerce Daily show you how 7-Eleven incorporate a new in-app loyalty program.

7-Eleven is driving purchases of its beverages while simultaneously rewarding customers for their loyalty by rolling out the 7Rewards platform within its mobile application, proving that food and beverage marketers must have a specific loyalty strategy to retain existing consumers.

7-11 420

The 7Rewards program will enable guests to receive a free beverage for each six cups they purchase, a move that will reward frequent coffee purchasers and likely entice new consumers to become regular customers. The platform will also help drive downloads of the brand’s mobile app, as consumers must be registered users to participate in 7Rewards.

“We know our customers are always looking for choices, and 7Rewards offers more beverage variety than any other rewards program,” said Laura Gordon, vice president of brand innovation and marketing at 7-Eleven, Dallas, TX. “We are hopeful that the convenience and speed at which you can earn a free cup will be exciting for our customers and also attract new guests to our stores.

“We are already seeing positive conversation about this program on social media, and excitement is growing among our customers. People are very happy about the ‘buy 6 get 7′ program, especially Slurpee fans.”

Updated rewards

7-Eleven designed to the program to update its previous system of offering guests rewards cards, with “punches” each time a beverage was purchased. Now, cashiers will simply scan a barcode in the app for a “punch” to appear.

It will be visible to users a star within the 7-Eleven app, six of which are needed to trigger a notification saying “You earned a free cup.” The process will restart after the customer redeems his or her free beverage.

7-Eleven revamped its app in anticipation of the launch of 7Rewards, moving users’ scannable barcades and virtual punch cards to the app home screen for a streamlined, user-friendly interface.

The updated 7-Eleven app easily displays rewards collected

The 7Rewards program enables customers to mix-and-match their drinks. Users can purchase a coffee, Slurpee and Big Gulp all in the same week and have each purchase count.

Customers can also buy six drinks at the same time and receive all six stars. Refills, as well as any size beverage, also count for 7Rewards.

The free beverage may be any size.

“Our customers tell us that 7-Eleven is recognized as a beverage destination, and we have a variety of products (7-Eleven coffee,  Slurpee, Big Gulp and Chillers drinks) that have appeal for any occasion,” Ms. Gordon said. “We designed 7Rewards to provide that convenience.

“Any cup counts to earn your 6 punches and an cup (product/size) can be redeemed for the 7th.  Your way is a signal that any size works as well,” she said.

“We recognize that consumers want different drinks at different times of the day and year, and our platform combined with the convenience of a mobile app serves those needs.”

Social component


7-Eleven is ensuring that it highlights the social component of the loyalty program by placing links to Twitter and Facebook on the home screen of the mobile app. This way, consumers will be able to tell their friends about the rewards they have accumulated.

The brand is also encouraging fans to follow the conversation on Twitter via the #7Rewards hashtag.

Users that would like to participate in 7Rewards may join by downloading the 7-Eleven app from Google Play or the iTunes App Store. They may also text “REWARDS” to 711711, which will send them a link for easy download.

7-11 other 420
Consumers can redeem their free drink for the largest size, if desired

As 7-Eleven sees more than 60 percent of its guests buy a beverage with each in-store purchase, 7Rewards is a viable, specific platform that is likely to resonate positively with many of its customers. The brand’s strategy of focusing heavily on its beverages is also a strong tactic.

Its mobile app allows users to leverage the Slurpee Finder to locate their favorite flavors at a nearby bricks-and-mortar location.

While Starbucks may remain the leader of the mobile sector of food and beverage marketers, 7-Eleven’s free drink strategy may help it retain a stronghold in the space. The brand has also been experimenting with beacon technology in Singapore to track runners as they pass by a 7-Eleven location and offer rewards to drive in-store visits (see story).

“Being convenient today means having intuitive and easily accessible mobile platforms and experiences for our customers,” Ms. Gordon said. “The 7-Eleven customer is on the go and mobile by nature, and we are developing products, services and platforms to enable easier interaction and engagement with our brand in-store and online.”

Final Take

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5 Mobile Marketing Mistakes – and How to Fix Them [Infographic]

According to a report from Mobile Media Consumption, consumers today spend nearly 60% of their time on the Internet on their mobile devices, as compared to their desktop or laptop computer, tablet and other devices. These findings support what we as modern marketers already know: Mobile marketing is more important today than ever before.

Unfortunately, many marketers approach mobile marketing as an afterthought, and make costly mistakes that not only add up to lost clicks — but lost customers.

To help, here are the top five most egregious mobile marketing mistakes — and how they can be fixed.

Mistake #1: Not investing in an app or a mobile-optimized site.

Yes, you need a mobile site designed for mobile! Consumers today don’t have patience for poorly functioning mobile sites.

Fortunately, these upgrades pay off: Mobile-optimized redesign results in a nearly 15% increase in unique clicks for mobile users, according to Litmus and MailChimp “The Science of Email Clicks: The Impact of Responsive Design & Inbox Testing.” Not to mention, once customers are on your mobile site, they’re much less likely to look for greener pastures. According to comScore, 46% of shoppers say they are less likely to shop around for other options when they’re using a company’s mobile app.

Mistake #2: Not optimizing for tablet, too.

Don’t forget — there’s more than one kind of mobile device out there. In fact, Gartner projects ultramobiles, which include tablets, hybrids and clamshells, will take over as the main driver of growth in the devices market beyond 2014, with a growth rate of 54 percent. Make sure your mobile site looks as good on tablets of all sizes as it does on the traditional smart phone screen.

Mistake #3: Creating a CTA button that doesn’t grab a user’s attention.

Mobile users who find your business online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop. In fact, 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. But to make this magic happen, users need a clear, easy to find and easy to use call to action button.

Mobile users are on the go, often in a hurry and highly mission oriented. When they grab a smartphone to search, they have a specific intention — whether it’s food, a service appointment or a coupon.

Make it incredibly easy to meet their needs: Create a call to action button that won’t be ignored. Change the color to an attention-grabbing hue, or add some minor animation.

You should also take this opportunity to customize your CTO button. The most popular buttons are “Register” and “Submit,” but the text can also communicate your value proposition. Add specific language that motivates visitors to take action, like “Join the community” or “Click here to save 20%.”

Finally, put some thought to placement. Position your signup form at the top of your landing page, alongside some other engaging content. This strategy will deliver maximum views to your form without requiring page visitors to scroll all the way down to the bottom.

Mistake #4: Not investing in social autofill.

Many consumers struggle to remember the slew of logins and passwords required to function in 2015. Social autofill and has a lot of potential to improve the consumer experience. Not only does it reduce your customers’ time on site —it’s a sanity saver, too. According to consumer research firm Janrain, 64% of users who frequently leave sites due to forgotten login information say social login is an option companies should offer.

Mistake #5: Putting too much content on your mobile site.

According to SuperMonitoring, 57% of users say they will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. And the quantity of content on your mobile site — and how you display that content — is a big part of the design equation. The amount of space available for website content on a mobile device is often significantly smaller than the space available on a desktop browser. The screens are smaller, it’s harder to scroll, and impossible on many devices to scroll horizontally. With this in mind, make sure your most important content displays in the top few pixels of the page, and reduce your viewers’ need to scroll whenever possible.

The good news is – we can all learn from these mistakes. Fixing even one of these mobile marketing missteps can better position your campaign for more clicks, and more conversions in the future.
201501-Formstack-MobileInfographic_800

Original article found here

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7 Predictions on Mobile Marketing Trends in 2015 You Need To Know

Jeff Bullas blog always has great insights into the mobile marketing world, and here is no different. Read below to see what are his top 7 predictions for this years mobile marketing trends.

7 Predictions on Mobile Marketing Trends in 2015 You Need To Know

The notion that the current year is ‘the year of mobile’ is becoming very real.

Predictions on how we will interact with our mobile devices and how they will interact with us, are often overplayed or take many more years to come to fruition than first thought due to unforeseen market forces, technology constraints or poor user adoption.

But it’s time to start asking, will 2015 be the year of mobile?

The notion that the current year is ‘the year of mobile’ is becoming very real.

Predictions on how we will interact with our mobile devices and how they will interact with us, are often overplayed or take many more years to come to fruition than at first thought due to unforeseen market forces, technology constraints or poor user adoption.

It’s time to start asking, will 2015 be the year of mobile?

A recent report by eMarketer predicted mobile usage worldwide to reach 25% in 2014. Looking forward, OVUM predicts that another 1 billion people will connect to the web by mobile devices by the end of 2015. Whatever landmarks are reached and bridges crossed in the intervening period, you can make no mistake that progress on several fronts is speeding up.

Here is a infographic from wearesocial.com that provides some perspective on the scale of mobile in a social and mobile web world.

mobile marketing trends

Let’s look forward to the year ahead in mobile and explore the new opportunities and challenges that are opening up for consumers, developers and marketers. Here are 7 mobile marketing trends you need to know about.

1. Mobile security rises up the agenda

With some very high profile hacks this year (Sony’s email leak and the Snapchat hack spring instantly to mind) security is going to be at the forefront in the minds of consumers and developers alike. Expect passwords to continue to be replaced – or at least used in conjunction with – other forms of security like biometric identification and a push towards tightening up security around cloud based services. With the growth of Internet of Things connected devices set to rocket as well, 2015 could be the most critical year yet for addressing the issue of mobile security.

2. 4.9 billion connected devices by the end of 2015

With Tech Crunch predicting a phenomenal 4.7 billion ‘things’ connected to the internet by the end of 2015, expect to see the term ‘Internet of Things’ surface more and more in the popular press as well as the tech press, as we enter this brave new world of interconnected devices and massive data. This is a world that goes far beyond thermostats that turn themselves on before you get home. Expect cars, white goods, a whole host of new wearables and even children’s toys, to start changing the way we live and connect, as well as opening up huge new opportunities for ever more targeted marketing as third parties begin to collect more and more data about our daily habits. On the heels of these new devices you can expect the debate around security to start hotting up as well.

3. Wearables to take-off

We’ve long been promised a world of wearable tech but as of yet it’s failed to materialise. From the faltering Google Glass to devices like the Apple watch, it’s become easy to write wearable tech off as a fad. But as mobile technology and infrastructure improves, so to do the opportunities these devices present begin to diversify. Ever more detailed health and fitness stats will help us to constantly monitor our own heart rates, blood pressure, skin temperature and breathing rate, or perhaps more importantly those of elderly or infirm loved ones who are living on their own. There are also numerous of B2B applications here with Google Glass potentially seeing a renaissance in business applications.

4. Mobile payments could begin to gain traction

Driven in large part by millennials who are spending more than any other demographic using their smartphones, expect to see a sharp boost in mobile payment from digital wallet services. Apple Play may well succeed where Google Wallet failed, due in part to the fact that so many of its customers already have their credit card details stored on their iTunes accounts and the consensus it has gained from the big three payment companies (Visa, American Express and Mastercard).

5. Proximity technology and smartphones as ‘bridges’ to omni-channel marketing

The use of proximity technologies, like beacons and near field technologies, could see mobile marketing campaigns become more intimate and personalised than ever before. As marketers become able to “follow” consumers around the world and understand more about their purchasing habits, so they can target advertising at them in more effective ways. Through the combination of sophisticated joined-up datasets and imaginative non-linear content marketing campaigns across multiple devices, marketers can understand and interact with their key audiences in real time and in a way never seen before.

6. Mobile marketing and advertising spend increases

In 2014 mobile e-commerce overtook traditional desktop e-commerce, accounting for 22% of online sales. This trend will continue unabated in 2015 and as a result you can expect to see increased investment in mobile web spend in 2015. The UK is expected to be the first country in the world where advertising spend on digital tops 50% and 29% of this will be on mobile. Display advertising is set to take up 20% of this budget, with 37% of that being on mobile. Finally, on the subject of advertising, expect to see a continuing rise in programmatic ad buying on mobile. In a study conducted by IAB with MTM, 37% of mobile digital display spend was spent programmatically in 2013, with forecasts of a rise to 60% in 2014. The IAB predicts that programmatic ad buying could rise to between 60 and 75% by 2017, so expect to see a continued surge in 2015, as more and more advertising is purchased using ever more sophisticated software instead of humans.

7. Non mobile optimised sites will be at a disadvantage

Many businesses slow to adapt to mobile will feel more pressure to adapt in 2015, as Google announces a new mobile friendly label in its search results pages on mobile devices.  Perhaps more tellingly, it also announced that this would soon become a ranking factor. Unresponsive or mobile unfriendly websites could therefore start to lose out to their mobile friendly rivals in the near future, forcing more and more companies to invest in mobile website optimisation.

Original article found here

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Banks to allow account access using fingerprint tech

Here BBC report on how two banks will be allowing fingerprint identification to access their accounts at the bank.

TouchID

Two banks are allowing their customers to access accounts on their smartphones using fingerprint recognition technology, in a UK industry first.

RBS and NatWest customers must activate the feature with their security information, but would only need to use Apple’s Touch ID thereafter.

The banks said that, after three failed login attempts, customers would have to re-enter their passcodes.

But a security expert expressed concern that Touch ID is not secure enough.

The banks, both part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, said that the feature would be available on the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. Customers would have to enable the feature using their existing login details.

Some of the in-app features used to pay money that required additional verification would continue to do so and limits were set on new payments, the banks said.

RBSRBS, along with NatWest, is allowing customers to access their accounts using the fingerprint recognition technology on iPhones

They said that around 880,000 of their customers currently use the apps on those handsets.

The feature, which uses fingerprint recognition to grant access to iPhones, was criticised soon after it was introduced with the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2013.

A group of hackers managed to get around it only a day after the launch by making a fake finger from a photograph of a fingerprint left on a glass surface.

‘Easy to spoof’

While Apple insisted that TouchID was secure, it said it was not a total replacement for traditional security measures and was meant to make unlocking the phone more convenient. In a similar vein, the banks have now said they wanted to make it “even easier and more convenient for customers”.

Ben Schlabs, of SRLabs, a German hacking think tank, told the BBC: “The security implications are the same, it is just as dangerous… I think it has been shown that it is pretty easy to spoof it and the risks aren’t fully understood.”

He said that using TouchID alone to gain access to a banking app introduced dangers that were not present when using passwords or Pins.

“Just the fact that you are carrying the key around with you and leave copies of it exposed everywhere you go makes it a very different risk to something that is inside your brain. The risks are poorly understood.”

However, he said that most people would have little need to worry, adding: “There have not been any reports that I know of with the iPhone sensor of actual crimes being enabled by it”.

‘Revolution’

According to a British Banking Association report, banking apps have been downloaded more than 12.4 million times in Britain.

The Way We Bank Now study, which was released last June, showed that people were making “around 5.7 million transactions each day using smartphones and other internet-enabled technology”.

According to the banks, nearly 50% of their combined customer base of 15 million people used online banking and that around three million accessed their accounts via an app each week.

Stuart Haire, managing director, RBS and NatWest Direct Bank, said: “There has been a revolution in banking, as more and more of our customers are using digital technology to bank with us.

“Adding TouchID to our mobile banking app makes it even easier and more convenient for customers to manage their finances on the move and directly responds to their requests.”

Original article found here

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Mobile Shopping: 49% Research Products, Compare Prices

MediaPost allows people to stay up to date with what is going on in the world of mcommerce.

Here they tell us that smartphones continue to have a strong influence when consumers are making a decision instore. See below for more.

Consumers continue to use their smartphones to shop, even if they don’t make the final purchase on their mobile device.

In retail, mobile may be responsible for only a relatively small piece of overall sales, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a critical factor in setting the stage for purchases.

While a purchase may be made in a physical store, a mobile device is becoming a critical shopping agent for research, checking inventory, comparing prices, finding a store and communicating with that store, according to a recent study.

More than a third (36%) of shoppers goes to a physical store at least weekly while only 11% shop that way via mobile phone, based on a global study by PwC.

However, the study also found that almost half (47%) have made a purchase via phone compared to 30% two years ago.

One conclusion in the study is that phones are more an instrument for getting to the point of buying a product rather than being used for the actual purchase. Here’s how people use their phones, as it relates to retail:

  • 49% — Research products
  • 49% — Compare prices with competitors
  • 31% – Locate store
  • 25% — Use a coupon
  • 18% — Check funding available before purchase
  • 16% — Access loyalty/rewards program
  • 13% — Scan QR code
  • 12% — Pay at cashier
  • 12% — Receive a location-based offer
  • 11% — Check in via social media
  • 4% — Tweet the retailer about product or offer

While most shoppers don’t buy form their phones, they impact what gets bought and where.

Consistent with other studies, PwC found the biggest obstacle for 66% of consumers to be confidence about personal credit information being secure.

Another consideration is mobile behavior by demographic.

The study found that consumers 18-to-24 years old shop by phone more frequently than any other group, in every category of daily, weekly and monthly. In that group, 39% have never shopped via smartphone compared to more than half (56%) in other age groups.

Original article found here

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Eight out of 10 retailers to increase mobile budgets in 2015

With mobile on the rise it only makes sense for companies to be putting more money into their budgets. See here for Mobile Commerce Daily’s take on how retailers will use mobile to their advantage in 2015.

Eight out of 10 retailers in a recent survey said they plan to increase their mobile budgets by at least 20 percent in 2015, according to the 2015 State of Retailing Online report from Shop.org and Forrester Research.

Online retailers are seeing a boost in mobile sales, as the report also finds that mobile, as a percentage of online sales, increased 50 percent in 2014. Simultaneously, as mobile becomes a growing priority for marketers, budgets allocated to the channel are increasing.

woman and man hands with smartphone and tablet pc

“Consumers are flocking to retailers’ mobile sites at a faster pace and with more interaction than ever before, so naturally they expect retailers to offer fast, well-designed mobile services that meet their needs,” said Vicki Cantrell, senior vice president at NRF and executive director at Shop.org, New York. “With that in mind and with several years of mobile commerce now under the industry’s belt, retailers feel confident in their mobile investments.

“For retailers, when it comes to mobile strategies, small but continuous incremental changes really do go a long way to keep their savvy customers happy,” she said.

Mobile on the rise

According to the report, mobile remains as a top priority for retailers, and 58 percent of surveyed retailers placed it at the top of their list, which is up from 53 percent last year.

The survey also found that smartphone sales as a percentage of online sales grew from eight percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2014, an increase of 50 percent. Tablets’ share of the space also grew from 13 percent of online sales in 2013 to 16 percent in 2014.

Many of the surveyed retailers that listed mobile as the top priority also stated their digital marketing budgets remain modest, knowing consumers are coming to their mobile sites, whether they are ready for them or not.

Of those retailers surveyed, 32 percent reported spending less than $100,000 on their smartphone development efforts in 2014. Sixty-eight percent reported spending less than $1 million on smartphone developments last year.

Regarding tablets, only four percent said they have invested between $100,000 and $250,000 last year. However, eight in 10 surveyed plan to increase their mobile budgets by at least 20 percent this year.

The State Of Retailing Online research series, which aims to provide ebusiness and channel strategy professionals with annual industry benchmarks of marketing and business investment and activities, surveyed 71 companies in November and December 2014. Industries surveyed included apparel, footwear, general merchandise, home furnishings, and personal care.

Apps versus mobile Web

Once again, there is additional evidence that supports mobile Web over mobile apps, according to the report.

High costs to develop and manage company-specific apps, compared to optimizing mobile Web sites, have changed how some companies are prioritizing their mobile marketing budgets, the report says.

More than half (56 percent) of retailers surveyed said apps are not a key component of their mobile marketing strategy, and an even greater percentage agreed apps are not critical to their employee strategy either.

Still, omichannel presence is still a priority.

Retailers surveyed cited omnichannel efforts as their second priority behind mobile. The survey found 45 percent hope to improve or invest in programs, including buy online-pick up in store, ship-from-store and inventory visibility, which are up significantly from 26 percent who listed omninchannel efforts as a priority last year.

Additionally, nearly four in 10 (38 percent) surveyed said marketing optimization is their third priority for 2015, which includes initiatives around customer retention and acquisition.

“Apps are simply too expensive to build and maintain for most retailers, begging the question: what’s after apps?, said Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, New York. “We’ll see retailers focus spending on redesigning the core site, which benefits the site experience beyond mobile, and embracing responsive design, an approach that retailers favor over apps, with nearly half already applying it to their mobile site.”

Final Take

Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

Original article found here

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How accurate were last years predictions for mobile in tech 2014?

Every year there are predictions thrown around to see what new technologies will come about and revolutionize the way we do things. Below is a list from EzTexting showing which ones came true and which ones fell short.

At the end of each year, tech journalists look into their crystal balls and attempt to predict trends and changes in the coming year. How often are they correct, though? We took a look at some of the most popular prophecies at the end of 2013, and just how accurate these predictions turned out to be.

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First, some of the winners:

Prediction: “E-Commerce Will Thrive”

First of all, we know that e-commerce is thriving (with or without Amazon), so clearly this prediction was spot on. We’ve seen many emerging markets begin to adopt e-commerce, and we’ve witnessed Alibaba’s growth as the world’s Mecca of e-commerce. We’re still waiting for our drone deliveries, but no one can doubt that e-commerce will continue to grow in 2015.

Prediction: “Social Media Interactions During World Cup Will Break Records”

Not only did people around the world tweet, post, and message each other during FIFA’s World Cup games, we got to see the most widespread interactivity in the history of social media. The peak interaction first occurred during the final match between Germany and Brazil, and often featured the popular meme “Germany just scored a Brazilian goals.” They broke it again when the number of tweets broke 35.6 million, and 350 million people participated in World Cup conversation on Facebook. The prescient bloggers knew it would break records, and rightfully so.

Prediction: “Mobile Web Use Will Decline Significantly”

Many predictors foresaw that mobile web use would shrink – some even claimed that it would die. Well, it’s not dead yet: you can still search the web using the clunker-of-a-browser on your smartphone. Reports show that we have much more affinity for apps, however. Time spent using apps increased to 86%, while mobile web use dropped to about 14%. Perhaps we haven’t seen the end of the mobile web yet, but the seers of tech were right to assume that mobile consumers would use the web a great deal less.

And now for the losers:

Prediction: “IM to Replace SMS as the Messaging Platform of Choice”

This prediction has proven to be pretty far off. Despite a decline in SMS use in 2012, we saw a surge in the use of SMS for business and personal reasons in 2014. The simplicity and low-cost nature of SMS text messages appear to have made the platform desirable for businesses, which means SMS messaging isn’t going anywhere. (Let’s not forget that SMS generates much more revenue than IM, as well.) Not to mention Facebook’s new privacy policy regarding their messaging app, which definitely turned off users in 2014. So the sibyls of tech can’t be right all the time. SMS messaging lives on!

Prediction: “Smartphones Cheaper than a Carton of Cigarettes”

Web prophecies predicted that a smartphone manufacturer in China, Xiaomi, would make a global move in 2014. They also claimed that the ubiquity of the phones in China would reduce the price to less than a carton of cigarettes. Well, neither prediction occurred. That said, we may see Xiaomi’s presence in other countries, like Brazil and India, in 2015. And the price of Xiaomi phone certainly has dropped – you can now buy a phone in China for less than 25 US dollars (but it’s not yet less than a carton of smokes).

Prediction: “Google Glass Will Be Everywhere”

Wearable tech has been all the buzz in 2014, for sure. But when the Nostradamus’ of the web claimed that Google Glass would be seen all around this year, they made a critical error. The world is not ready to embrace wearable tech, especially recording devices that sit right in the middle of your face. Tech bloggers predicted upwards of 800,000 Google Glass units sold in 2014, but they’re barely reaching 250,000. We’ll see what’s to come for wearable tech but, at this point, it’s just not happening in any significant fashion.

So just as in any year, several predictions were right and just as many were wrong. What’s in store for 2015? Only time will tell, but – judging from last year’s predictions – we’re bound to see the pendulum of mobile tech swing toward further globalization.

Original article found here

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Mobile lessons learned from 2014 holiday shopping season

Mobile Commerce Daily goes through 2014 with a fine toothed comb to determine what were the ultimate lessons we should take away and utilize in retail.

A significant mobile win during the holiday 2014 shopping season was the number of retailers who regularly updated content for on-the-go shoppers while failures included a lack of cross-device consistency and inefficient click-and-collect experiences.

Overall, mobile sales and traffic spiked during the holidays similar to the past few years, pointing to the need for retailers to not wait until the last minute to put a mobile strategy in place for the holidays.

The Walmart app

“Mobile traffic spikes and sales spikes during the holiday season were beyond analyst predictions,” said Jeremy Jacobs, associate director of strategy at Resource/Ammirati. “Traffic and sales spikes traditionally carry over into the rest of the year with Q1 – Q3 volumes keeping the pace they generated during the holiday season.

“These spikes provide tangible and real revenue for companies that position themselves for success with smart strategies and investments in the early part of 2014,” he said. “Too often, retailers wait until later in the year to build mobile and then rush to get something in-market that lacks the punch and nuance of a well-orchestrated mobile strategy.”

Extra steps
It was clear from the number of retailers who made at least some effort to have a mobile presence that the retail sector took to heart results from the 2013 holiday shopping season about the importance of mobile for shopping during the holidays.  Mobile is so crucial during this time of year because consumers are time-crunched and pulling out their phones to sneak in some gift-buying and party-planning when they are free for a few minutes or to support their in-store shopping.

Evidence of the increased focus on mobile included more opportunities to search out of stocks and place orders online via a mobile phone while in a bricks-and-mortar store.

Many retailers also took the extra step during the recent holiday shopping period to give their mobile sites and apps a holiday feel with gift guides, seasonal deals and featured products.

Target_Kids_Holiday_Gifting_082014 Target’s Wish List app

For the upcoming holiday season, expect many retailers to follow the example set by the more advanced mobile retailers to alter content throughout the season.

The Home Depot updated its holiday gift pages to include items still available for shipping in time for Christmas and eventually updated content to include what was available in-store for local pickup once shipping deadlines had passed, per Resource/Ammirati.

PetSmart had a calendar to provide a full list of holiday-related activities and key shipping dates to help customers plan their trips.

“Advanced retailers altered content throughout the season to provide a more relevant and timely experience,” Mr. Jacobs said. “Little steps like this go a long way in building confidence in customers.

“Waiting until checkout to provide customer shipping assurances is too late, especially on mobile Web and apps where clicks and steps matter,” he said.

Consistent experiences
Another important lesson from the 2014 holiday shopping period is the need for consistency across devices, with many retailers continuing to emphasize desktop experiences over mobile.

This meant that experiences that were available to shoppers while they were at home on their desktop or laptop were unavailable on the devices they carried with them while they were out shopping.

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“Consistency in execution was not as good as it could have been,” Mr. Jacobs said. “Many retailers from mass to specialty prioritized desktop holiday updates over an all-encompassing approach across desktop, mobile Web, mobile app, and search on both desktop and mobile.

“One simple example is holiday gift guides,” he said. “Unfortunately, the emphasis was on desktop, so mobile views either didn’t exist or were not optimized.”

The right balance
Another lesson learned is the need to find the right balance between consumer demand for well-rounded mobile experiences and mobile sites and apps that are quick to load.

Mobile sites during the holidays were more data-heavy than in previous years thanks to retailers’ investments in bringing a wide array of products, features and functionality to on-the-go shoppers.

However, as mobile traffic spiked during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, retailers such as Best Buy, Neiman Marcus, Gamestop, J. Crew and others experienced outages and slowdowns. Having a mobile site that performs slowly or not all can be a big loss during the holidays, with shoppers likely to simply jump to another brand’s site and possibly not return.

“More shoppers are spending time on phones so retailers need to make sure that content is optimized for the phone — pages download fast, links are easily clickable,” said Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA.

Click and collect
One big fail during the 2014 holiday season that retailers will need to improve upon this year is the click-and-collect experience. This points to the need for retailers to invest in integrating their operations so they can provide the omnichannel experiences that shoppers are looking for.

“Organizational structures did not lend well to reducing wait times for prepaid/pre-ordered merchandise pick up,” said Sheryl Kingstone, Toronto-based research director for Yankee Group. “Next year, the process must go smoother.

“There were also many companies that were still not ready for the digital divide, where consumers demanded better mobile experiences,” she said. “Infrastructure must evolve to be more agile and real-time.

“The backend foundation that handle core processes such as order management, inventory and dynamic pricing needs to be addressed to enable consumer demand for click and collect, one hour delivery and cross-sell.”

Retailers also failed to fully embrace the opportunity to leverage location.

“There are not enough stores that offer location-based services during the shopping experience in real time,” Ms. Kingstone said. “There were mobile circulars and some mobile offers, but what about sales associates using mobile POS or tablets that are connected to enable a customer to request service based on location. “

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

Original article found here

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10 Incredible Mobile Marketing Stats 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC]

The average media consumption for one person is 7 hours of which 1.8 hours is spent on a mobile. This is just one of the more prominent stats from Text Marketer that shows that 2015 will be another big year for mobile.

A brand new year is upon us, and it is already gearing up to be a great and fascinating one for technology, in particular the smartphone.

The big technology giants are persistently trying to think of innovative ways to use the power of the nifty little hand held device to make our lives that little bit easier, whether through work or play. So if you’re a keen gadget fan and have always wanted a Back-To-The-Future-style hover-board, then this might be the year you’ve been waiting for.

Businesses have now woken up to the power of mobile marketing, not only through how lucrative it can be but also how relevant and convenient it is for their customers.

From appointment reminders being sent out by text to saving logistics companies and online retailers millions with the convenience of delivery details delivered straight to mobiles, retailers, traders and marketers love affair with mobile can only continue to grow.

Not to mention the additional benefit of savings that can be offered through SMS coupons and vouchers which can further increase sales and brand awareness!

2015 is going to be great year for the mobile but an even bigger one for mobile marketing, the stats below illustrate this and we only expect to see these numbers increase throughout the year.

Join the 2015 mobile marketing movement today with Text Marketer.

Original article found here

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