Mobile is driving the consumer shopping experience. Whilst foot traffic in physical stores is down, sales through online channels are growing. Global e-commerce sales have seen a 4.5% y-o-y growth.
As a result, more than 9,300 retail stores across the US – including some of the usual suspects in shopping malls – closed their doors in 2019.
With the mobile shopping market expected to reach $26,074 in 2020, it makes good sense for businesses to ramp up your mobile marketing efforts. What’s more, e-commerce is on track to outpace in-store sales by as much as six times.
Last year, the Commerce Department reported there were more online sales that general merchandise sales.
Dedicating time to perfect your mobile marketing strategies, together with investing in mobile-friendly tools such as bulk SMS, MMS and geo-targeting software, should be a priority for 2020.
Smartphones are an accessible commodity. It is estimated that 81% of consumers in the US own an all-singing all-dancing cellphone. Coupled with the rise of e-commerce, mobile shopping will naturally become the norm.
As mobile technology improves, consumers are more prepared to use their smartphones to make purchases. However, the biggest issue is with the lack of security. Because apps are so easy to hack, cellphones are a vulnerable digital wallet.
For the time being, PC and laptops are the preferred hardware to make online payments with. However, mobile still plays a significant role in the customer journey.
It is already known that around 95% of consumers use their cell phone to research products. The latest report from Pew Research reveals 51% of US customers have used their smartphones to make a purchase by following a link from social networks.
Imagine how many other customers would make a purchase if they followed a trusted link sent directly to their cell phone via SMS. Customers that give retailers their cellphone already trust your brand.
SMS marketing enables you to send messages to consumers directly without them being distracted by other ads. What’s more, SMS open rates are as a high as 98%.
When you’re developing an SMS marketing strategy, don’t forget the customer journey typically expands omnichannel experiences. Although it is typical for cellphones to be the tool of choice in the research phase, you need to consider where they complete the all-important purchase.
Google advises there are specific micro-moments in the customer journey;
Google defines micro-moments as intersections between intent, context and how soon a consumer wants to make a purchase. Consequently, businesses need to be there to provide motivation, deliver useful information and be quick enough to deliver the best deals ahead of your competitors.
Understanding your customers is key to online shopping so make sure you are keeping a detailed analysis of your customers. You can find more information about collecting and analyzing consumer data here.
Whilst analytical software provides some useful insights, the data still only reveals a small chapter of your customers. SMS is a tool you can use to engage in a two-way conversation whereby you can make a shift from anticipating to acting.
You can even resolve security fears through SMS. Let’s say, for example, you convert browsers into buyers via SMS but they prefer to make the purchase on a desktop computer. The promotional text you send to prompt a purchase could include a code they need to enter to activate the discount.
SMS marketing is not only a strategy to employ for sending out promotional texts. You can use texting for a wide variety of reasons including nurturing leads, building customer loyalty and automated responses.
The versatility that bulk SMS offers means you can use texting for every step of the customer journey. Providing you keep the suggested micro-moments in mind, SMS can be a real asset to your mobile marketing efforts.
What’s more, with Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) you can really get creative with your campaigns. MMS allows you to include links back to your website together with visual content such as videos, images and GIFs.
The bottom line is that mobile is fuelling the shopping landscape and retailers need a way to capitalise on mobile technologies. SMS may be old school, but it’s an effective method of reaching your customers and engaging with them in ways that enhance the customer experience.