eCommerce and Retail are up for a dramatic industry shift, especially in their digital marketing strategies--and that shift will inevitably be toward mobile.
If 2015 was the Year of Mobile, 2016 will be the Year to Optimize Your Mobile Strategy. By Q4 this year, retailers realized they needed to expand their efforts on the mobile front. In 2016, they will expand and develop comprehensive mobile strategies to take these efforts to a new level.
Below, I've outlined three key digital marketing trends for retail and eCommerce--all of which focus on mobile.
You've probably been hearing about micro-moments a lot lately. And with good reason! Micro-moments happen any time a consumer grabs her or his phone throughout the day to pass the time or look something up.
Americans spend an average of 4.7 hours on their smartphone each day and 41 percent of them check their phones multiple times an hour. They use their phones to check social media and email, to look up restaurants in their vicinity, and to look up product reviews and price comparisons while out shopping.
Retail brands will work to get in front of consumers in these micro-moments. They key to owning micro-moments is to assess intent (what does the consumer want to get out of this moment), and not rely solely on demographic-based targeting. Then, brands can send the appropriate push notification or alert. According to new research from Google, using only demographics to reach consumers means you could miss out on more than 70 percent of potential mobile shoppers.
Expect retail and eCommerce companies to start taking advantage of micro-moments.
Beacon technology has surged ahead this year, and you can expect it to become mainstream next year. At the beginning of 2015, BI Intelligence predicted that beacons would drive $44 million in retail sales by 2016.
Beacons allow brands to detect where a customer is at any given moment, and then send them push notifications with promotions or other useful information. They will help provide the shift to mobile commerce by providing immediate relevancy and value to customers. A clothing store could send a coupon to a customer near their shop or while the individual is near a competitor business.
Personalization is key to successful marketing--73 percent of consumers prefer to do business with brands that personalize their shopping experiences and 86 percent say personalization plays a role in their buying decisions.
Many brands do this with email and remarketing, but the use of personalization will expand in 2016. For retail and eCommerce, this means implementing on-site personalization. This could be in the form of a personal shopping assistant on a site, a "find your style" guide, a site navigator, or recommendations based on previous activity and preferences. All of these ways to personalize a shopper's experience will be mobile-optimized.
The Retail and eCommerce Industry will face the most disruption this year, all as a result of the shift to mobile commerce. The most successful brands will develop omni-channel strategies that take advantage of these emerging mobile marketing trends.