John Barratt, product lead for 2ergo, predicts what lies ahead within the mobile marketing arena for retailers in 2012:
1. Mobile search marketing spend to increase significantly in 2012. Mobile searches accounted for approximately 9% of search activity in 2011. This is projected to increase to 20% in 2012 (source: A4U m-commerce report), making it a perfect time for retailers to increase their mobile search spend.
2. m-Sites will become faster and easier to use. With over half of users stating that they expect sites to download as quickly on their mobile device as their home computer and 60% stating that poor performance will make them less likely to return to the site (source: Gomez mobile web user experience survey), 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.
3. SMS will continue to rule. Just over 50% of the UK still own a non-smart phone (source: Kantar World Panel Com Tech) so SMS is key to capture all audiences. Marketers need to remember that apps and m-sites still fail to reach a large proportion of phone owners while SMS open rates are around 90% and covert at a rate that is 400% higher than email marketing (source: Econsultancy).
4. Apps and m-Sites go to war. 2012 will see Google and Apple go up against each other in the battle of the app vs the m-Site. Google will favour m-Sites as they dominate 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 m-Sites are used for their immediacy. The best strategy is to go down both routes to capture as many consumers as possible.
5. The future of m-Commerce. Retailers will release that a mobile commerce strategy needs to be smarter that simply taking order 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, 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 existing customers you redeem.
6. 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.
7. Push the boundaries of Push messaging. The full marketing potential of Push messaging hasn’t 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 wish list. We’ll also see a shift from plain text Push messages to image led appointment or contact cards.
8. 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 it took to build up the traffic to your desktop site and how much marketing it took. 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, purchase mobile keyword campaigns, do all the things that you’re currently doing but include the mobile site and app.
9. Size is becoming more important when it comes to security. Ask any users about their biggest fear regarding m-Commerce and it will be security. 32% of smartphone users cite that security is the main reason why they haven’t made a direct purchase via their phone. When comparing this to the 17% of tablet users who have security concerns then 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 which develop technologies requiring a pin number to be entered into the phone or secure safes that store files and data in the cloud not on the device will start to change the perception that a phone is less secure than a tablet.
10. London 2012: the first Mobile Olympics. No set of predictions would be complete without a mention of the Olympics in July. Officials estimate an extra four million 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.
|Earlier this year we spoke to Colin McCaffery, Product and Technology Director at 2ergo, about mobile app development. You can listen to the full interview on our website, via iTunes or by downloading the MP3 file.