If you want to shift your online sales into a higher gear, it’s time to go mobile. Online retailers who adopt a mobile-centric strategy and reach out to consumers using their smartphones, tablets and laptops are thriving. A December study from comScore found that mobile commerce accounted for 27 percent of the $3.118 billion total digital spending on Cyber Monday 2015, with $838 million spent via smartphones and tablets.
Overall, mobile commerce will have accounted for nearly 30 percent of all U.S. ecommerce sales in 2015, and the biggest mobile commerce companies will see sales jump by 67.7 percent, compared with 2014, according to the Internet Retailer 2016 Mobile 500.
A well-planed mobile advertising program can help your store connect with consumers on the go, making it super-easy for them to order your products and services. Here are some tips for launching a successful mobile campaign that can keep your sales growing in 2016:
- Analyze your target customer’s lifestyle. Will consumers be more likely to shop and buy on a mobile device when they are running errands with their kids? Taking a break from work? Waiting for a doctor’s appointment? Hanging out with their friends after school? While knowing your customer’s lifestyle and shopping habits is always important in retailing, that knowledge is crucial when formulating your mobile ad campaign.
- Develop your messages and offers based on customer habits and preferences. If you sell products with high appeal to an on-the-go consumer, promote them in your ad campaign. That step alone can increase conversion rates from smartphones and tablets.
- Connect during prime time. If you know when your customers are using their smartphones to shop, be sure to send out your alerts and offers during that “prime time.” That’s when your ads will have the greatest visibility to your target audience.
- Take an omnichannel approach. Many mobile shoppers are nearly ready to buy, but want to do a little more research. Others may be excited by your mobile offer, but want to explore your site to fill their shopping carts. Since many consumers will see your ads on different screens, you should be sure to provide them with a consistent experience. Make it easy for them to navigate your site, regardless of their devices.
- Target by location. Google, Facebook and other online services offer mobile, social and website advertising programs that can target users by location. This feature is particularly helpful for online retailers serving a local market or that have a regional customer base. For instance, a sporting goods store could advertise different “home team” shirts or jackets in different cities.
- Include a remarketing component. This powerful tool, available from Google and other advertising companies, can put your mobile offer back in front of a consumer who has shown interest in your products or services. That gives you multiple chances to bring that shopper back to your site and make a new sale.
- Make it simple to search. Give your customers a clear and consistent search feature across all mobile devices and platforms. Make it easy for them to find a certain product or explore an entire category, even if they’re on a lunch break or waiting to see the doctor.
Finally, be prepared to increase the size of your mobile advertising budget in 2016, even if you have to shift funds from other programs. With an estimated 30 percent of online sales coming from smartphones, tablets and laptops, a powerful mobile ad campaign can deliver an excellent return on your investment in the coming year.