Nishma Shah

Executive Brief for Retailers: Top Ten Mobile Marketing Predictions for 2011

With the New Year in full swing, so too is, the debate about what will be hot and not. I have put together a list of what I predict will be the most significant developments in mobile marketing for 2011 and beyond, all with far reaching implications for retailers and consumers alike.

Executive Brief for Retailers: Top Ten Mobile Marketing Predictions for 2011

        

 

1.           THE MOBILE SITE WILL BECOME THE NEW WEBSITE

Gartner predicts that in three years, more people will access the internet through their mobile phones than through their PCs.  More than 50% of consumers are unlikely to return to your site if they have a poor mobile experience, and 40% would go to a competitor's site instead.[1]

 

Most retailers are going to be better off focusing on a mobile website first instead of a Smartphone application. A mobile website is well-suited for mobile shopping, is typically less expensive to develop, and can reach more end users with one site than multiple applications. Gartner estimates that over 85% of handsets shipped globally in 2011 will include a mobile browser.

 

With mobile web traffic having grown 500% in the last two years[2], having a mobile site is now a necessity.

 

2.           SHOPPERS WILL INCREASINGLY FAVOUR TECHNOLOGY OVER HUMAN INTERACTION

As mobile internet speeds catch up to consumer demand, it will be faster to scan a barcode or check a mobile website for product information than it will be to ask a shop owner . Beyond actually purchasing goods through mobile, studies show that the most popular in-store mobile activities include competitive price shopping, checking inventory, shopping list/basket management, and getting directions to local retailers.

 

3.           MOBILE COMMERCE WILL COME OF AGE

Consumers are spending more than 5 hours a week on the mobile web and companies like Amazon and eBay are generating over $1 billion in sales through its mobile channel.

 

Reaching customers through traditional channels only is becoming increasingly difficult. Launching a mobile website offers a much higher return on investment than opening a new bricks-and-mortar store with overheads, staff costs and inventory.

4.           MOBILE COUPONS TO BECOME MORE RELEVANT

A quarter of shoppers believe that receiving specials and promotions such as coupons would be an important use for their mobile phone when shopping.[3]

The future of mobile marketing is all about one-to-one communication and as retailers embrace this more personalised approach, mobile coupons will be viewed less as advertising material and more as a value add to their shopping experience.

 

5.           SMS WILL GO BEYOND MARKETING

The use of SMS as a mobile marketing tactic will proliferate further into customer service and customer lifecycle management as well. This is already evident with companies and organisations using SMS to remind customers in advance of appointments and banks advising customers when they reach their overdraft limits.  Clients have also used text messaging to gather instant feedback through SMS surveys, as well as offering self-help menu trees that direct users to the information they need through a few simple SMS Q&A's..

 

SMS  is often seen as being much less intrusive and more convenient than a phone call.

 

6.           RETAILERS TO CAPITALISE ON MOBILE AT EVERY STAGE OF THE CUSTOMER LIFECYCLE

Mobile can be strategically used to acquire new customers, service existing customers, drive repeat business and strengthen customer loyalty. 

 

Of course, retail marketers should not think of mobile marketing in a silo. It should be integrated with existing marketing strategies and campaigns.

 

7.           SMARTPHONE APPS WILL ENABLE ENHANCED LOCATION AWARENESS

By the end of 2011, over 75% of devices shipped in mature markets will include a GPS, and others will use Wi-Fi and cell ID systems to identify location.[4] The widespread use of these location-aware handsets will enable retailers to reap the benefits of tracking and targeting customers based on their locations.

 

More retailers will turn to platform-specific Smartphone apps to deliver enhanced experiences and push marketing communications such as coupons and offers that are based on the customer's current location and personal preferences. 

 

8.           QR CODES TO MAKE OFFLINE MARKETING MOBILE

Expect QR (Quick Response) Codes to play a big role in the future of retail, due to the inherent ability to serve up rich content to people on the go. The QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode (readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with cameras and Smartphones) connecting the physical world with digital content. The code can be encoded with a mobile URL, text or any other data or action.

 

QR Codes will increasingly be placed in traditional print advertising, billboards, paper cups,

T-shirts, receipts, signs, etc. With the snap of their camera-equipped phone, consumers will connect from an offline medium to a mobile or digital medium such as a mobile site, image or video clip. They can also be encoded to send a coupon or an SMS to your phone.

 

9.           SMALL RETAILERS WILL BE ABLE TO DO MOBILE

Cost-effective "software as a service" mobile marketing tools are coming to market and will bring mobile within reach for the small retailer. Features and programs such as location recognition services, m-commerce and SMS-based couponing will allow small retailers to compete head-to-head with their larger competitors for consumers' loyalty and wallet.

 

10.      MOST EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGNS WILL BE MULTI-CHANNEL

The word is getting out that multi-channel shoppers tend to purchase more.[5] Retailers must engage consumers with consistent, rich experiences across all channels to maintain and grow revenue.

 

For marketers to most effectively discover the key insights into customer behavior they will need to take into account various elements including web and mobile analytics, customer relationship management, social networks tracking, and e-commerce platforms.

So as I get ready to step away from my crystal ball and you look towards the year ahead, if you are to embrace the opportunities that mobile can bring to your overall marketing mix, it is set to be a good year. Here ends the predictions.


 

 


[1] Study of consumers' mobile web experiences by Equation Research on behalf of Gomez, Inc. (Oct 2009)

[2] Adobe Scene 7 Mobile Commerce Survey (Aug 2010)

[3] Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google (July 2010)

[4] Sterling Commerce and Demandware (Aug 2010)

[5] Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Placecast (July 2010)

[6] Gartner (April 2010)

[7] Adobe Scene 7 Mobile Commerce Survey (Aug 2010)

 


COMMENTS

Posted by Emma Rose Smith, 24 January 2011

I agree with your comment: "The use of SMS as a mobile marketing tactic will proliferate into customer service and customer lifecycle management as well. Traditionally used as a marketing tool, we will see SMS expanding into new areas and used increasingly in a CRM capacity."

I write at the moment for a mobile marketing company, TXT2GET, and when I mention this to people, a lot of them get confused. I've heard it more than once: "Mobile marketing? Well, I've never texted into one of those ads. Does it actually work?"

Then I reminded my father (who cannot even attach files to an email) that he uses mobile marketing every day at work. His Chiropractic office sends out SMS reminders to clients who have an appointment coming up.

SMS marketing as a one-off works well, as you know, but I think what will be more popular, and for longer, is SMS subscriptions. It becomes not about being sold to, but about being in a loop that lets the customer decide for themselves what is worthy of their attention.

Great article, I really enjoyed it Nishma.

Posted by Gen M, 29 January 2011

Thanks for this article.

It mentions small retailers are able to do mobile and 'software as a service' tools and self-service portals, but what are they? (remember we can't afford to hire consultants or agencies to help us). Even creating a mobile website is hard work. I have heard of mobify.me, which claims to be easy - but it's completely confusing to use.

Any examples of these tools and ways to get a mobile version of a website up would be appreciated (and practical).

Posted by Nishma Shah, 31 January 2011

Hi Gen M,

Thanks for your comments.

I am happy to discuss this with you in further details and we have quite a few examples that we can show case. Our self-service products range from Mobile Site Builder to Interactive Messaging to Mobile Coupons.

Could you kindly please get in touch with me so I can assist you further - nishma.shah@2ergo.com

Thanks!


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Nishma Shah 2ergo Australia Pty Ltd Nishma Shah
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NISHMA SHAH Products and Mobile Marketing Manager, 2ergo Australia I believe that even under the toughest pressure, if you have a positive attitude, enthusiasm and a proactive nature, you can succeed Read Nishma's full bio

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    2ergo is a leading global provider of end-to-end mobile solutions with a focus on mobile marketing, mobile customer relationship management, and mobile entertainment and media.  More info & Contact Details



     

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