As huge as the online market is, it only represents about 7.4 percent of all commerce. Every other sale is made in person. Does this mean mobile isn’t important to offline retailers? Exactly the opposite.
Mobile marketing is so important to offline retailers that 82 percent of customers are researching products while they are in your store. Google has dubbed the phenomena “Micro-Moments”; the moment of decision where you can either provide the information consumers need to make a buying decision at the exact time they are ready to buy – or not.
Google breaks micro-moments into four categories:
- I want to know – 66 percent of smartphone users research what they see in TV commercials
- I want to go – 82 percent use their smartphones to find local businesses
- I want to do – 91 percent look for ideas and inspiration for projects
- I want to buy – 82 percent research while in a retail store
How Big Brands are Marketing With Mobile
Chances are, you’ve used some form of online-to-offline service. Maybe you’ve ordered something from a retailer online and picked it up in a store, made reservations, ordered takeout, or shopped the inventory of a used-car dealer.
These types of interactions have been in place for years, and until recently, were only available to big-budget retailers. If you’re still thinking mobile marketing is out of reach, it may be time to reconsider.
You’re already familiar with bank, credit card, and airline rewards programs, but did you know that even a small retailer can sign up to sponsor or be part of a rewards program?
Living Social, Microsoft, Facebook, and Virgin have partnered with Empyr to sign up retailers and offer rewards for money spent with participating retailers. Customers sign up for free, and when they use their cards at any participating store or restaurant, they earn points or rewards. For example, the Living Social Restaurants Plus program offers 30 percent cash back when customers use their linked card at participating restaurants. You could join an existing program – or start one of your own.
Mobile Social Media
Retailer Jimmy Jazz has built a 170 location empire with a smashing social media presence. They know their mobile audience exceptionally well, and share exactly what they want to see. Over 82,000 followers on Instagram are entertained by celebrity and sports photos and news, new product offers, and flash sales.
— Jimmy Jazz (@JimmyJazzStores) February 14, 2016
Getting and keeping customer attention with a constant stream of social media targeted to the interests of your audience is a great way to build your brand online and bring them into your store.
Mega-retailer Target offers Cartwheel, an app that combines mobile search with in-store shopping and social media. Customers use the app to find deals on products that range from a loaf of bread to a big screen TV, make a list of up to 10 items, and shop for the items in the store.
The cashier scans a barcode from the customer’s phone at checkout and the discounts are applied. Not enough stuff? No worries, you can make up to six lists per day. The app also has a scanning feature and an interactive map that shows you where to find each item in the store. The more you use the app, the better your offers. Target rewards loyal customers with targeted, higher-value discounts.
Hiring a developer to build an app used to be pricey, but with today’s technology, a mobile app may be well within your reach.
An app doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Krispy Kreme Donuts has a genius app that only does one thing. The Hot Light app send you a message when you’re near a store and the donuts are hot and fresh.
To decide what to offer mobile customers, think about what customers most frequently ask. The answer to product questions and customer recommendations, suggestions for related products, and comparisons between link items are good areas to start. The more information you put out there to influence buying decisions, the more likely customers are to choose your store over your competitor.
Sherry Gray is a freelance content writer from Key West, FL, currently suffering the ‘burbs of Orlando. She’s a science geek, a social media junkie, and a unapologetic fan of all things bacon. Follow her on Twitter @SheriSaid.