Retail shops have already begun thinking about implementing mobile marketing in time for holiday shopping. When the back-to-school sales fade and the tourist season draws to a close, the autumn offers a slower-paced shopping environment; it is a good time for retail businesses to adjust their marketing strategies to reflect changing consumer habits in time for the holiday shopping season.
Almost every American shopper owns a mobile phone, and about a quarter of those phones are smartphones. The back-to-school shopping season this year offers clear testimony to the pervasiveness of mobile usage while shopping. Consumers report using their mobile devices to find items, prices, and downloadable coupons. The use of SMS marketing is becoming more widespread as well, with consumers opting in to text campaigns in order to receive coupons via text directly to their phone.
Stores that are ready to begin planning their holiday marketing can look to the recent mobile marketing trends as a starting point.
Use the Physical to Promote the Virtual
The Friday following Thanksgiving, a huge day for retail, offers the best time all year for stores to advertise, on site, their mobile campaigns. With so many shoppers in the store, using signage to invite customers to text keywords for immediate discounts can really pay off. Once consumers have texted the keyword, they have opted in to your campaign and can be marketed to again, not only for the holidays, but for future deals and alerts, too.
Make Cyber Monday Mobile Monday
Businesses with websites adapted for mobile will be at a huge advantage over non-mobile competitors. Not only do consumers use their mobile phones for obtaining coupons and discounts, but more consumers will shop directly from their phones this year than ever before, thanks to the growing ubiquity of smartphones. A store that has a site customized specifically for mobile—with easy-to-find items and prices and a simple-click checkout—can offer the busiest, most time-crunched consumers a hassle-free way to get the best deals without the long lines.
A successful mobile website, however, cannot be a mere size-reduced version of a desktop site because it will not be navigable enough to lure the mobile shopper; the site must take into account the consumer habits associated with mobile shopping, the tactile nature of mobile navigation, and the fact that almost all mobile users are engaged in other activities while they surf their devices. The most useful mobile sites are simple in design and clear in content so that they can be accessed by people on any kind of device.
Making the most of Cyber Monday includes allowing shoppers to make purchases from the store’s mobile site. Businesses that have an email marketing campaign in place can email subscribers in advance to let them know about the launch of a mobile site and/or its Cyber Monday shopping deals. A store can also use its website, store signage, email, and even the bottom of the receipt to advertise a holiday SMS campaign that will allow people to opt in from their mobile phones and receive coupons via text message.
Learning about mobile trends, consumer habits, and changing technology will help retail businesses make the most of the holiday shopping season, even in a slow economy. Staying a little ahead of the curve can make all the difference between a thriving season and a sluggish one, as consumers rely heavily on their mobile devices for all the time- and money-saving deals they can find.