The Top Mobile Engagement Trends for 2017
As we dive into 2017, the successful holiday season highlights consumers’ increasing preference for shopping on their mobile devices.
And while brands typically see a surge in mobile shopping during the holiday season, it doesn’t have to be a once-a-year occurrence. Mobile drove record-breaking sales throughout November and December 2016. From Black Friday’s historic sales to an uptick in consumer confidence in December, consumers’ online shopping amounted to $91.7 billion, with mobile contributing $28.43 billion in holiday revenue. The seasonal surge in mobile-driven revenue is a sure sign consumers are more comfortable than ever making purchases on mobile devices and it’s time for brands to leverage this behavior all year.
Experimental and Experiential
Today, having an app just to have one will not cut it with shoppers. As mobile shopping becomes the norm for a majority of consumers, a great (or bad) in-app experience can be extremely impactful. During the 2016 holiday season, for example, apps served as
As mobile shopping becomes the norm for a majority of consumers, a great (or bad) in-app experience can be extremely impactful. During the 2016 holiday season, for example, apps served as pure enhancement to shoppers on-the-go, offering a quick way to research products, comparison-shop, and check for inventory that drove sales both in-app and in-store.
While most businesses have at least a basic mobile presence today—be it an app or mobile-optimized website—2017 is the year for businesses to expand their offerings, and put mobile-first. Engaging augmented reality experiences, mobile chatbots, geo-targeted messaging and other rich experiences will be what captures and keeps the attention of today’s mobile-first consumers.
Unlike any other channel, smartphones provide opportunities for authentic, immersive mobile experiences, unmatched by a desktop or TV—and we just began to explore their potential in 2016. Apps like Pokemon Go, Snapchat and Uber saw an unprecedented surge in growth because of their unique abilities to change the way their users interact with the world around them. This year, we can expect to see several more brands construct and apply similar experiences to their own mobile offerings.
Walk This Way
Most consumers walk into stores with a smartphone in-hand, so offering an engaging and relevant experience as they enter—or even before they set foot in the store—can turn a quick errand into a valuable and personalized experience. Tools like app-enabled marketing automation via push notifications and SMS messages offer brands the unique ability to reach users 1:1, indoors and out.
As we move forward into the new year, brands that consistently interact with shoppers before, during and after their store visit—or when they’re near competitors—will have a competitive leg up. Location-based marketing automation tactics like geo-fencing and geo-conquesting give brands the opportunity to deter shoppers from a competitor and drive them to their own stores. For example, if a shopper is near a competitor’s store, sending an exclusive discount via SMS to lure them away from competition can increase in-store foot traffic and conversions for your brand. If a frequent shopper walks in, greeting them by name can turn a regular trip into a special one.
This year, brands that implement location technology like GPS, Wi-Fi and physical and virtual beacons will have the upper hand on retailers that rely on a doorbell or other outdated technology to signal shoppers’ arrival in the store. The data these technologies provide will help brands collect contextual user data that makes it possible to pinpoint and engage the right audiences before, during and after they walk into the store.
What Are You Waiting For?
A mobile experience that takes advantage of a quick swipe, tilt, or shake of the phone can create an memorable experience for users by combining virtual and physical realities. These immersive experiences will not only get users to stay in-app longer, but give brands unprecedented amounts of contextual data they can use to convert shoppers and optimize business operations.
With deep insights from consumers’ product preferences, previous transactions and in-store and in-app behavior, brands gain exceptional knowledge unavailable to competitors. For example, if a user has a pair of wireless headphones sitting in his mobile cart, alerting him via push notification with a headphone inventory update as he approaches your nearby brick-and-mortar store can help close the transaction. Or through an app, users can activate a grocery store display that streams exclusive video recipes using products on sale.
The 2016 holiday season gave us a clear indication that mobile shopping will continue to rise in 2017. In-depth and engaging apps require extensive planning and prioritization, and can mean the difference between a successful user experience or sub-par download.
By: Alan Knitowski