Two of the biggest trends driving this season’s holiday shopping are the increased use of mobile and the growing importance of omnichannel marketing. So it’s worth asking yourself: Is your marketing riding these trends or fighting them? In our recently-released Holiday Playbook, we show how retailers can adapt to these forces and use them to create long-term customer value. Here’s a sneak peek at what we’re seeing:
Late Adopters Finally Buy Via Mobile
Even though conversion rates on mobile are still lower than those on desktop, a record-breaking percentage of sales are being conducted via phones and tablets. Wal-Mart said 70% of its Black Friday traffic came through mobile devices. That doesn’t just mean your site means to be optimized for mobile; shoppers are looking for a near-flawless mobile experience, and they want to be able to browse and buy on mobile just as easily as they can on desktop.
It’s also why mobile apps, coupled with push notifications, should be another important part of your holiday strategy. Data from Carnival.io, Sailthru’s mobile marketing product, customers indicates that mobile app opens increased by as much as 250% during the big shopping days of Thanksgiving weekend. Apps present a huge opportunity to encourage purchases among the most loyal customers, who are also often the most profitable.
Gartner says about 20% of customers have fewer apps than they did a year ago, with about 41% holding steady. But that’s not because shoppers don’t like apps. It’s because the apps fail to deliver or don’t perform as expected. You need an app that’s easy to use, and a messaging strategy that reminds customers to use the app at the most relevant moments.
Remember, many of the newer mobile shoppers are late adopters, and they don’t necessarily have the patience—or experience—to try to intuit what your web designer wants them to do. Your user interface must make it impossible to make a mistake, and your checkout process has to be as streamlined as possible—all in the service of moving that holiday shopper from browser to buyer.
Omnichannel Marketing Saves the Day
While mobile is becoming increasingly crucial to retailers, no marketer can rely on any single channel to reach and persuade anyone. Marketers need to be able to follow the progress of a purchase between channels, and to nudge it along on the way to conversion.
Customers do get bombarded with email during the holiday shopping period, and you can expect open rates to drop. But the data that’s available suggests that overall, email’s reach and effectiveness are actually improving. eDataSource says were about 55% more retailer campaigns this year than last, but 20% of those emails had open rates of 20%, which is up from 13% last year.
Here again, cross-channel outreach is the answer. Email must be supported by social, mobile, web, and where applicable, persuasive in-store experiences; mobile-first marketers need to understand the effects of push notification fatigue; and retail stores can’t afford to see themselves as islands separate from the digital world. The only way to win customers’ attention, engage it, and convert it into profitable sales and long-term value is with a full omnichannel strategy.
Start with the tips in our guide, and your holiday season—and the new year—will be that much brighter.