Friday, October 21, 2011

Smart Phones Change Shopping Behavior


Marketing and commerce are changing because of growing adoption of smart phones and the ways people actually use smart phones when shopping.

About 63 percent of smart phone users have visited a retailer’s website from their mobile device, up from 53 percent in 2010, and 41 percent have done so while in the retail store, according to a study by Hipcricket. That has clear content implications.

While mobile retail sites have historically served as “brochures,” lightweight versions of retailers’ full websites that provide limited information such as store locations, directions and hours, today’s mobile-specific retail sites are now providing more significant benefits to consumers as they move along their path-to-purchase.

Fully 50 percent have checked a competitor’s mobile website while in another store.
The survey found that smart phone owners are visiting mobile retail sites to:

Research prices (46 percent);
Search for coupons and offers (36 percent);
Research products (28 percent); and
Purchase products (13 percent)

Some nine percent report that any of their favorite brands market to them using the mobile phone. At the same time, consumers continue to indicate a willingness to join mobile customer relationship management or loyalty programs for their favorite brands. Some 33 percent would be interested in joining such a program, but only 12 percent currently participate in one.
Mobile sites now a factor in retail shopping

Some 79 percent of U.S. smart phone owners relying on their phones to help with shopping, according to Google.

About 70 percent use their phones while shopping in-store and 74 percent of smartphone shoppers made a purchase as a result of using their smartphone.

Some 67 percent said they research on their smartphone and then buy in the store. Fully 95 percent of smart phone users have looked for local information, and as you might expect, such searches often are an immediate precursor to purchasing.  After looking for local information, 77 percent contacted a business, and 44 percent made a purchase. Reaching Today’s Mobile Shoppers

All of that suggests mobile websites will change. First, mobile websites will likely emphasize new types of content, especially local content related to products in stores close to where a users is "right now." Since comparison shopping also is more frequent, retailers will have to adjust by making sure content addresses product variety, "other products like this" and other issues aside from price and availability.

In many cases, such content will aim not only to engage prospects but move them along the sales funnel.

In August 2011, HiveFire surveyed nearly 400 marketing professionals about business-to- business  marketing, with a particular emphasis on content marketing. The top two objectives of content marketing programs are to engage customers and prospects (82 percent) and drive sales (55 percent), respondents indicated.

The survey also found that content marketing has an essential role in B2B strategies but half (50 percent) of content marketers dedicate less than 30 percent of their budgets to it. You might take that as an indication content marketing is affordable, that marketers are devoting a significant amount of resources to content marketing or that there is room for content marketing to become more important.

One caveat is that firms have different ways of accounting for items in a marketing budget. In some cases, personnel might also be “in the budget,” where in other cases only campaign or event costs are tabulated. In a budget containing trade show and conference expenses, advertising and promotion activities, 30 percent is not a “low” number, many would say.

Content marketing is changing the way B2B marketers work. In fact, it is now the most-used marketing strategy, Hivefire says. Report here.

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