As the impact of mobile on the retail industry is becoming more evident, almost 90% of major retailers and brands are now offering at least some form of mobile experience. But many are making costly mistakes that impact everything from brand perception, customer loyalty and their bottom line.
Here are the five most common mobile mistakes that retailers are making in 2014:
1) Not investing in both a mobile website and a mobile app
A mobile app will provide conversion rates five to six times that of your mobile site. Apps – when well-executed – provide value above and beyond a brand’s mobile website, including enhanced features such as a mobile payment option and stored account information. As more retailers shift their concentration from gamification and flashy design to features supporting functionality and convenience, app usage in retail continues to skyrocket. In fact, a recent Flurry study reported that consumers spend six times as much time in retailers’ apps now compared to just one year ago.
2) Not gaining consumer consent
Consumer consent is a basic rule of marketing for any customer-minded retailer. Explicit opt-in and opt-out are crucial for successful tracking of any kind, whether in-store, online or mobile. In a recent consumer study by OpinionLab, two-thirds of respondents expressed the belief that opt-in is the way for retailers to operate a tracking program. Just 12% of respondents believe that shoppers should be tracked automatically.
The practice of adding consumers to a marketing list without explicitly notifying them often backfires, as customers are 44% likely to view this as invasive. This weakens trust and brand loyalty, thus decreasing the likelihood that the customer will complete a purchase or return to your brand.
3) Failing to offer check-in discounts and coupons
Consumers use their smartphones as shopping companions and personalized search tools when they're inside your store. They're often checking competitors' prices while they're looking at your shelves. This is called "showrooming"—where consumers window-shop at your store but go elsewhere or online to actually buy something if they find it cheaper. You can prevent showrooming by offering discount prices if the user checks-in at your store location to activate the offer.
Bonus: Coupons are the most popular method for tracking mobile ROI and the leading motivation for consumer action. A recent Responsys study reports that two-thirds of mobile users who subscribe to marketing messages from brands are likely to take action when they see a pricing-based offer.
4) Assuming consumers will return to your app because of your brand’s reputation
One of the biggest problems in the mobile app ecosystem is retention. For most apps, 90% of the people who download your app are gone within 6 months. An investment in a mobile app for your business requires an understanding of why people would return to use your app on a regular basis. Is your app’s utility more novelty-driven than recurring in nature? Have you assumed that you’d be placed on someone’s home screen after just one use? If so, you’re likely to fall into the large bucket of apps that struggle to retain customers for longer than a few days.
And not only will you lose return on your mobile investment, you may actually drive your previously loyal customers straight into the arms of your biggest competitors. 40% of mobile consumers turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile web experience, according to Compuware.
5) Not measuring success properly
For years, marketers have been struggling to effectively measure their campaigns and, many times, companies simply run initiatives without tracking their results. Companies should be investing a significant amount of money, talent and effort into mobile programs. But those that don’t include tracking are missing a big opportunity to better connect with consumers by determining their shopping preferences and behaviors.
A good mobile tracking program will include traditional e-commerce and website metrics like tracking visits, commerce, goals and conversions, as well as location-based reporting. Location and proximity are essential to creating and measuring valuable campaigns.