This is the third in a four-part series helping retailers plan their 2016 mobile strategy. Read the preceding posts,"Mobile was Huge for Holiday 2015... Now What?" and "If They Cannot Search for You, They Will Find Another."
Yes, people on mobile devices browse a lot. Why is this a bad thing? Cross-device shopping is the new normal for a majority of consumers. Google found that mobile is an important tool through the purchase cycle with 41% using mobile devices at the start of their research process, 61% in the middle and 19% at the end. In certain categories such as apparel, over 65% of research starts on the mobile device.
Thinking about mobile as only a conversion device misses the big picture of how the consumer is using this device to assist in their overall purchase plan. Measuring conversion rates on visits (which mobile generates a lot of) vs. visitors (unique users) is a flawed and outdated metric. It’s akin to measuring the quality of a LinkedIn post based on how many words it contains. Hint: More isn’t better; sometimes it’s just more. Instead, focus on how they act on the mobile device – specifically on apps.
And mobile app users are even more valuable in nearly every retail metric. When they buy on device they have a higher AOV; their per visitor conversion rate rivals or exceeds desktop and in stores they continue to shine. Retail app users visit brick and mortar stores more often; and according to Walmart they spend 40% more per visit. These are in fact your most valuable shoppers. Now a contrarian would ask, "Is this causation or correlation?" But to a retailer it shouldn't matter. Getting power shoppers to self-identify and then being able to increase their annual spend should be the goal.
Mobile Action Items for 2016
Identify and track the right shopper KPIs. As importantly, make sure your organization is on board with these metrics BEFORE launch. This includes engagement metrics (minutes per month) and commerce metrics both on the device and in your stores. Identify goals such as loyalty signups or cross-organizational metrics such as increased brand purchases annually per shopper. Also, unify your customer profile so that your organization can get a more accurate picture of cross-device shopping habits including in-store. This includes incentivizing registration so that your users can have seamless cross-device experiences and the retailer acquires the valuable business metrics. Make it easier for customers to shop cross-channel by exposing in-store inventory, allowing in-store pick-up and making it easy for them to pay regardless of the platform.
Contact us to learn more about planning your mobile strategy this year.
Read the preceding posts in this four-part series,"Mobile was Huge for Holiday 2015... Now What?" and "If They Cannot Search for You, They Will Find Another."
About the Author
Maya Mikhailov is the CMO and Co-Founder of GPShopper, as well as a professor at New York University (NYU) specializing in mobile marketing and strategy. In recognition of her leadership in the space, Mobile Marketer recently named Maya one of the “Mobile Women to Watch” and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) labeled her their “Guru of Mobile” two years in a row. Maya has been featured on Fox News and Women 2.0 as a “Female Founder to Watch in Mobile.”