Mobiles are a firmly established necessity for the majority of consumers and although its popularity as a marketing channel has significantly grown in recent years, many brands are still not utilising it as part of broader campaigns.
The success of mobile is in part down to the increasing capabilities of phones and the variety of uses for it - it seems that consumers these days are literally holding the world in their hands, using their phones to make purchases, do their online banking, interact with people via social media, get directions, check their emails – the opportunities are endless.
When related to retailing, although some 40% still prefer to make purchases in person an increasing number are using their mobiles and tablets to research and compare prices, some even before they go shopping.
This means that marketers must ensure they connect with the consumer via mobile and although a strategy can be complex, retailers in particular need to commit in order to reach this increasing audience by creating innovative ways to link up online and offline shopping experiences. Creating user-friendly apps, online catalogues and online tools are all ways to enhance the consumer’s shopping experience and stay one step ahead of competitors.
Similarly, at least half of mobile surfers in 50 countries around the world use smartphones and yet although marketers are fully aware of mobile and actually tend to get quite excited about it, there are still brands out there which haven’t even optimised their websites for mobile yet.
BuzzCitys’ latest report found that consumer confidence in mobile shopping is at an all-time high with 29% considering shopping with their mobiles and 55% planning to purchase on their phones, highlighting further ideal monetisation opportunities for marketers - yet countries such as the UK and those in Europe are far down the scale when it comes to mobile shopping. Pakistan (66%) tops the charts with Spain in the bottom two (28%).
The reason behind why brands are not utilising mobile to full advantage is not yet clear, especially given how successful integrated mobile campaigns are becoming and the impact that they are having on businesses’ bottom lines. John Lewis for example has seen triple digit growth for shopping via its mobile and tablet apps, both for traffic and revenue.
With m-commerce on the up and consumer confidence at an all-time high, consumers are now purchasing all kinds of products via their mobiles, again reinforcing the appetite for mobile commerce - while mobile purchases used to be predominantly used for digital products like videos or games, consumers are now using their mobiles to buy physical products like clothes and electronics.
This could be down to the fact that 74% of consumers use mobile as a convenient way to make last-minute purchases, linked to the increasing prevalence of mobile vouchers and QR codes to drive people to connect mobile with the offline world. Even if it’s not, it provides even more evidence of the opportunities available to brands looking to use mobile as a revenue channel.
With bricks-and-mortar retailers continuing to struggle, now really is the time for brands and marketers to embrace mobile wholeheartedly in order to really maximise on it.
By Dr KF Lai, chief executive, BuzzCity