The state of the current economic climate has seen the way that customers shop significantly change. Savvy shoppers know discounts are available by purchasing online and the rise of sites offering advice on where to find the best coupons has fuelled this growth within the online space. These shoppers are changing their purchasing habits and searches are geared towards finding discounts. Consumers are increasingly bypassing more traditional retail launch points and heading straight for the best possible deal.
This has led to a shift in the publisher landscape over the past few years within the performance channel, where incentivized traffic seems to be dominating. Incentivized sites empower retailers to utilize their marketing spend in smarter ways and pass along genuine deals and discounts to their customers.
It’s no new phenomenon that consumers are using mobile devices more frequently to view content, shop online and, search for the best offers and cheapest prices, often in a geo-targeted way. Therefore incentivized sites are able to provide a range of offers for consumers who have ‘checked in’ to a store. Check-ins are used as a mechanism to drive footfall to a store while other actions, such as barcode scanning and in-store coupon redemption, allow users to further engage with the brand.
Once in stores, consumers are able to use mobile technology to price match. They can scan the barcode of the products to find out where it is cheapest and then complete the purchase offline. Even if an advertiser has been successful in driving footfall to its store through a mobile device, they may be losing out to competitors if they are not price competitive.
Many of the leading m-commerce apps are associated with discounts and price comparison, and it’s a trend that’s being led by consumer behavior. Indeed this behavior has been seen online, so it’s only natural that it will be reflected in mobile as well.
Then there’s the concept of augmented reality, a newer technology that introduces exciting opportunities for advertisers. With a number of apps readily available to overlay a street view with information, retailers can provide consumers with an interactive view of shopping centers.
Consumers can use their smartphone to gain information as they walk down the street, and retailers are able to display their latest products or promotions in an attempt to drive traffic into stores. When in store, they then have the ability to up sell and cross sell to them.
This is one way in which publishers are able to close the loop between online and offline. This also helps with geographically targeting consumers based on their location and favorite stores.
Advertisers who have traditionally used print coupons are now turning to mobile to drive sales. The costs of running an offer in a magazine can be extremely high and it is questionable how many consumers actually tear out the offer and remember to bring it with them when shopping. Mobile provides this opportunity as consumers almost always have their phone on them while they are out and about and provides the opportunity for location based targeting.
With mobile traffic increasing each month, it is essential that advertisers are doing all they can to convert this traffic. In order to do this they need to understand the consumer’s motivation for visiting through a mobile site in the first place. Was it to actually make a purchase or was it to find the location of the nearest store? It could even be to find a contact number to find out more information or to convert over the phone. In each instance it is important to provide the consumer with the necessary tools to interact with the brand. The focus should be on converting the customer in the way they wish to transact – be this instore or directly through a mobile site.
Mobile commerce is continuing to accelerate, and the most savvy advertisers and publishers are primed to capitalize on this growth trend.