A chasm is developing between retailers and cash conscious consumers, as Americans turn to smartphones for coupons and product information to find many leading retailers have yet to integrate mobile into their shopping experience.
A report from global interactive marketing provider ExactTarget (NYSE:ET) found more than half of America’s fastest growing retailers have yet to fully connect online and offline shopping experience, leaving shoppers unsatisfied with their shopping experience.
“As we prepare for this holiday season, marketers must consider how consumers use their mobile phones while shopping,” said Jeff Rohrs, ExactTarget’s vice president of marketing research and education. “Shoppers are turning to their phones for coupons, promotions and discounts, and marketers have a never-before-seen opportunity to transform these interactions into ongoing conversations that drive sales and repeat purchases.”
The use of mobile is on the rise, according to independent research firm Forrester Research. Twice as many consumers compared to last year are researching products for purchase using their mobile device, according to a Feb. 2012 Forrester Research, Inc. report entitled, “Mobile Marketing: Three Principles For Success. The report also found more U.S. mobile phone owners are downloading applications and receiving SMS/text alerts compared to last year.To help marketers bridge the mobile chasm ahead of the holiday shopping season, ExactTarget launched its Retail Touchpoints Exposed research, providing practical tips and technical advice to integrate mobility into existing marketing efforts across email, social media and the web. Key tips include:
- Be bold and strategic: Use calls-to-action signage that conveys how to engage via email, SMS and social media
- Get creative: Test in-store SMS calls-to-action that encourage customers to try new products, shop clearance items
- Educate and incentivize sales associates: Incentivize sales associates on permission-based email acquisition and how to encourage customers to engage via social media, review sites and SMS
- Optimize both print and email receipts: Offer digital copies of receipts via email, promoting channels for feedback and social engagement on the digital receipt
- Know your channel: Audiences vary on different channels- don’t blast them with content that isn’t channel appropriate
- Embrace cross-channel promotion: Give customers the ability to connect through multiple channels by promoting other channels using social networks
- Avoid incomplete purchases: Implement a cart abandonment program for shoppers who fail to complete their transaction
- Mobilize cross-channel campaigns: As mobile grows in importance, so will the importance of having campaigns that resonate when viewed on mobile devices