What you need to know before your Mobile journey begins

Chris Johnson

Content Director for PerformanceIN, the company behind this very online publication and also a se

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What you need to know before your Mobile journey begins

As part of A4u’s recent media partnership for Internet Retailing Expo 2012, we spent the day in one of their conference tracks, specifically the one surrounding the buzz words of 2012; the Mobile and Social Commerce Conference.

While the message within Performance Marketing has, and will be for the foreseeable future, ensuring that advertisers who are considering a mobile website / mobile commerce strategy must include mobile affiliate tracking, for a more general ecommerce market the message is different; ‘Get your customer experience right’.

From viewing the many agenda sessions throughout the course of the day it was clear and evident that regardless of new mobile innovations, application builders, the impending integration of NFC to a mass market, and the size, shape and operating system of internet enabled devices, if you’re not getting the customer experience right you will likely experience a number of ‘conversion killers’ within Mobile.

Why do people shop on mobiles?

According to Lee Duddell from What Users Do and David Hawdale from hawdaleassociates, the biggest question you need to consider when looking at the behaviour of mobile users is simply ‘why?’ – why they are shopping on a mobile device. Answer? ‘Because they can’ – from their UX research on mobile shoppers they can conclude that the mobile channel produces an unusual customer journey and therefore new opportunities are made.

A couple of examples were mentioned, one about shoppers forgetting a couple of items during their in-store weekly shop and would therefore turn to a mobile store such as Ocado to order them for delivery – because they can.

Also, studies in Japan showed that shoppers on a lunch break would go into stores and try clothes on, to then scan the barcode and order online rather than going to a till. Why? A) to save time queuing and B) to save having to carry items back to work. Because they can.

What do customers actually want from Mobile retail?

Scott Dodgson, Director at SKOPOS, a strategic research company, surveyed a number of mobile shoppers in 5 waves over the course of a year to produce an ‘m-retail’ report that tracked usage and user mobile behaviour.

The #1 outcome from the report was that shoppers want a good customer experience, defined as a fast, efficient service for those who are ultimately on the go.

Couple that with Alex Meisl’s insight that showed an average first purchase on the web being 1 month, compared to 1 hour on a mobile, customer experience needs to complement the quick purchases being made by mobile shoppers.

The Good, the Bad and the Coming Soon

A number of figures from the results of research, shopper behaviour analysis and good old fashioned opinion were released throughout the day in the mobile and social commerce conference at internet retailing expo 2012. Here’s a few of the highlights:

  • The average number of phone applications on a web enabled phone is 20, which goes up to 24 for web shoppers.
  • Those who have used m-commerce sits at generally 30% and under of respondents.
  • The most searched and visited site for mobile shoppers is television listings, music, news, social networking, and the top spot is weather.
  • The gender demographics have changed and now show neutral demographics for male and female.
  • QR codes, even subject to a recent surge in use continue to disappoint with 30% of mobile shoppers not understanding how to use it and many feel it’s overused.
  • Many believed that mobiles and tablets are less secure than desktop computers with 1 % and 10% of mobile shoppers worrying about making payments via their mobile phones and tablets.
  • NFC – while it has been promoted heavily as the catalyst for mobile commerce growth, many believe we are still two to three years from mass market implementation.
  • Apps - according to Deloitte, 80% of branded apps get less than 1,000 downloads.

Opportunities for Advertisers

As the m-retail market grows and you put in place a mobile strategy (with mobile affiliate tracking in place!) – think about the opportunities having this could mean for you. Amazon came about because advertisers didn’t embrace online quick enough whereas Amazon did, and this has helped to turn it into the powerhouse it is today.

The time spent online, when compared to adspend (see below – US graph) shows just how much of an opportunity there is for advertisers to benefit from the lacking brand association with online mobile stores. The research from SKOPOS showed that 46% of mobile shoppers knew about eBay’s mobile store and 44% knew about Amazon’s, however there was a huge gap before any other brands were recognised, I believe the figure was around 10% and below.

Is it worth the resource and the investment? I’m inclined to say ‘yes, most definitely’