Now into the second month of 2011, the buzz of the mobile is louder than ever. And mobile marketing and communications technology provider 2ergo has provided its top ten mobile marketing trend predictions that retailers need to be aware of to succeed this year and beyond.
1. MOBILE SITES BECOME THE NEW WEBSITES.
Gartner predicts that in three years, more people will access the internet through their mobile phones. A mobile website is well-suited for mobile shopping, is typically less expensive to develop, and can reach more end users with one site than multiple applications. Gartner estimates that over 85 per cent of handsets shipped globally in 2011 will include a mobile browser. With mobile web traffic having grown 500 per cent in the last two years, according to Google CFO Patrick Pichette, having a mobile site is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.
2. SHOPPERS FAVOuR TECHNOLOGY OVER HUMAN INTERACTION
As mobile internet speeds catch up to consumer demand, it will be faster to scan a barcode or check a mobile website for product information than to ask a store assistant. Beyond actually purchasing goods through mobile, studies show that the most popular in-store mobile activities include competitive price shopping, checking inventory, shopping list/basket management, and getting directions to local retailers.
3. MOBILE COMMERCE COMES OF AGE.
Maintaining advertising budgets and physical stores is expensive. Some companies are realising that launching a mobile website offers a higher return on investment than opening a new brick-and-mortar store. Consumers are spending more than fives hours a week on the mobile web and companies like Amazon and eBay are generating over $1 billion in sales through its mobile channel. This is because mSites and application-based retail stores are now driving purchases of physical goods and items with much higher price points.
4. MOBILE COUPONS BECOME MORE RELEVANT AND LESS SEEN AS ADVERTISING.
We expect to see retailers enhancing their customer databases with opted in mobile phone numbers and associating offers and coupons based more on the user’s individual profile and less on general marketing SMS blasts. The future of mobile marketing is all about one-to-one communication. The beauty of the mobile channel is that marketing often looks less like marketing because it is more personally relevant and therefore quite valuable.
5. SMS GOES BEYOND MARKETING.
Traditionally used as a marketing tool, SMS will be expanding into new areas and used increasingly in a CRM capacity. This is already evident with companies and organisations using SMS to remind customers in advance of appointments and banks advising customers when they reach their overdraft limits.
6. RETAILERS CAPITALIZE ON MOBILE AT EVERY STAGE OF THE CUSTOMER LIFECYCLE.
The mobile channel can be used to acquire new customers, service existing customers, drive repeat business and strengthen customer loyalty. Mobile marketing should be tightly integrated to your existing marketing strategy and campaigns. Some ideas include layering keyword-to-shortcode callouts in your print and TV ads, giving consumers the option to be contacted via email or text message on your web opt-in form, and putting “sniffer” code on your website to automatically redirect mobile users to the mobile version of your site.
7. SMARTPHONE APPS ENABLE ENHANCED LOCATION AWARENESS.
Last year, Garter predicted that by the end of 2011, over 75 per cent of devices shipped in mature markets will include a GPS, and others will use Wi-Fi and cell ID systems to identify location. The widespread use of these location-aware handsets will enable retailers to reap the benefits of tracking and targeting customers based on their locations. More retailers will turn to platform-specific smartphone apps to deliver enhanced experiences and push marketing communications such as coupons based on the customer’s current location and personal preferences
8. QR CODES BRING OFFLINE MARKETING MOBILE.
The QR code is a two-dimensional barcode, readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with cameras and smartphones, that connects the physical world with digital content. The code can be encoded with a mobile URL, text or any other data or action. We predict that retailers will begin to launch memorable and innovative QR promotions that will help them engage with consumers and bridge their offline advertising and communication investments to the mobile medium. The idea is that scanning a barcode is much faster and “cooler” than typing a Web address on a tiny smartphone keyboard or touch screen.
9. SMALL RETAILERS ARE ABLE TO DO MOBILE.
The concern over mobile marketing regulations and guidelines may have deterred small businesses in the past who usually have little to no resources to hire consultants or agencies. But as mobile marketing tools are coming to market they are becoming more accessible. These products are being designed and priced to fit every budget. Features and programs such as location recognition services, m-commerce and SMS-based couponing will now allow small retailers to compete head-to-head with their larger competitors.
10. MOST EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGNS ARE MULTI-CHANNEL
Retailers must engage consumers with consistent, rich experiences across all channels to maintain and grow revenue. The integration between multiple sources of buyer information will make it easier for marketers to understand key insights into customer behaviour. These points include web and mobile analytics, customer relationship management, social networks tracking, and e-commerce platforms. As a result, e-marketers and traditional marketing managers will be required to include mobile marketing as part of their overall marketing programs.
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