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Is Your Brand’s Mobile Presence Powerful Enough To Promote In-Store Sales?

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The results of a major new research project into the link between mobile-based shopping and in-store purchases was published earlier this month by the Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council and M/A/R/C Research. Their findings are nothing short of phenomenal, showcasing just how strongly an integrated mobile web presence can influence in store sales. The report makes its own business case for any business, large or small, to go mobile. If you haven’t yet bowed to the trend to launch a digital website or direct ad dollars towards mobile advertising, you could be missing out on a multitude of sales at your physical location.

Why Invest Money in Mobile?

Mobile use is prolific and now, Google has uncovered a link between mobile use and spending patterns. Their study shows that there is a definite relationship between mobile use driving purchasing, reason enough for any business without a mobile presence to begin contemplating mobile advertising and mobile websites.

The numbers themselves make for powerful reading, with 79% of all smartphone users defined as smartphone shoppers. A further 84% of those shoppers will use their phone in store to help with purchasing decisions, typically for around 15 minutes at a time. Crucially, Google’s research shows that those using their smartphones to shop will spend more – around 50% more on items such as health and beauty products and 40% when buying appliances. There was also a difference between how much more shoppers who use their smartphone frequently will spend compared with those who use their smartphone only moderately; frequent shoppers spent 25-50% more on average, meaning a credible, engaging and mobile presence will literally pay dividends.

Understanding How Phones Are Used in Store

With so many shoppers glued to their phones in store, understanding what exactly it is they use them for while shopping to inform purchase decisions can help consolidate a mobile marketing strategy. The Google research showed that:

  • 53% of shoppers use the smartphones in store to conduct a price comparison search before buying
  • 39% will turn to their smartphones to find offers and promotions
  • 36% will use a smartphone while in store to find other locations
  • 35% will look up opening and closing times

How Can This Be Translated Into Mobile Marketing?

Shoppers rely on their smartphones at crucial stages in the purchase cycle. This means that brands must develop a consolidated mobile strategy and not be afraid to get involved in the mobile space. The first and most obvious solution is to develop a mobile website. A second option is to consider app development – even the simplest of apps can be incredibly useful and serve the consumer who turns to their smartphone for basic information such as other store locations, offers and opening hours.

Price comparison searches can be satisfied with either an app or a mobile advertising campaign. QR codes could also serve smartphone shoppers well and can be programmed to include offers or promotions.

However well-developed your current mobile presence is, Google’s research shows that there are a multitude of opportunities to engage with shoppers and drive more sales. Consumer reliance on smartphone searches is a bonus for brands, who can tap into this trust factor to better position their offerings.

Image: Mobile Presence via Shutterstock

About the Author

Rebecca is the managing director of search engine optimization agency Dakota Digital a full-service agency offering SEO, online PR, web copywriting, media relationship management, and social media strategy. Rebecca works directly with each client to increase online visibility, brand profile, and search engine rankings. She has headed a number of international campaigns for large brands.

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