How Will Mobile Shopping Affect Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales?

Halloween is behind us, and it’s just about time to put the turkey and all the trimmings on the table – which means that the biggest shopping season of the year is upon us. Once that turkey is cleared from the table, shoppers are going to start pulling out the circulars that advertise those tempting deep Black Friday discounts, and they’re going to start gearing up for shopping.

Customers  will want to see your offers on their mobile phone… as long as it’s visible and easy to find. Customers aren’t going to spend time searching for your circular. You have to send it and make it easy for them to read it on their phone. The best way to do so is create a mobile-friendly version of your sales flyers and deliver it to them via text message. As soon as your new sales flyer is published, it’s delivered directly to their mobile by (SMS) text. Ask us how.

Not all shoppers are keen on the idea of standing on long lines and being involved in a stampede of shoppers; and thanks to their ever-convenient mobile devices, they don’t have to.

If you’re a retail owner, it’s a sure bet that you want to do all that you can to increase your sales this holiday season, which means you’re going to want to take appeal to those mobile shoppers. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, if you haven’t already done so, you’re going to want to focus a lot of your energy on your mobile marketing.

Adweek recently published an analysis of the mobile shopping trends for 2014 holiday shopping season. Here’s a look at some of the startling statistics that prove you need to focus on your customers mobile shopping experience.

HUGE Mobile Shopping Month

It’s estimated that 27 percent of the total retail sales that are made via mobile devices will be done during the months of November and December.

Black Friday Boost

Black Friday is expected to be an ever-growing mobile shopping day. In fact, it is predicted that in 2014, this will be the biggest mobile shopping day of the year, with an estimated $2.48 billion spent on digital purchases. That’s a 28 percent increase over last year’s digital sales.

Super Cyber Monday

In 2014, digital sales made on Cyber Monday are also going to increase. In fact, it is expected that they will increase by 15 percent over last year, with a $2.48 billion increase.

More Shopping on Thanksgiving

With the convenience of mobile devices, shoppers don’t have to leave their homes to shop – they can start shopping right at their Thanksgiving dinner table. In fact, in 2014, an estimated $1.35 billion will be spent on digital shopping. These are record numbers for Thanksgiving shopping, with a 27 percent increase over last year.

While not all consumers shop from their mobile devices, and there are still those who prefer to hit the stores, with predicted statistics like the ones above, you simply have to make every effort to make your customers mobile shopping experience a positive one if you want to get the most out of this holiday shopping season.

Get Ready for the Biggest Mobile Holiday Shopping Season Ever

Mobile shopping and holiday Text Message Marketing

The holiday season is here, and as all retailers know, so is the busiest shopping time of year.  What you might not know is that mobile shopping is expected to outshine all other methods of shopping. If you don’t want to miss out on this sales opportunity, make sure mobile and text message marketing are part of your arsenal.

Mobile shopping has become one of the most convenient ways to shop. All a consumer has to do is pull out their smartphone or tablet, browse an online store, make their selection, press a button, and voila! – shopping is done. It sure beats battling the crowds and standing in long lines.

Mobile shopping has become the American consumer’s preferred method of shopping in recent years.

  • In 2010, 96% of online retail shopping was done via desktop and only 4% through mobile devices.
  • In 2014, it’s estimated that 51% of all visits to retailers’ websites will be made on a mobile device, which means smartphones and tablets have become the primary tool used for online shopping.

These numbers are expected to continue rising as the ease of mobile shopping increases. Most consumers are far more likely to have a phone or a tablet within reach than a desktop computer. In Latin America and other regions, mobile completely overtakes desktops as many families rely solely on mobile for internet access.

According to Practical Commerce, 33% of online sales made during the 2014 holiday season will be completed via mobile devices.

What does this mean for you?  

You need to make sure you’re reaching your customers on their mobile phones and, when using text, linking to a website that is mobile friendly.

SMS or text message marketing is a great tool for holiday sales

  • Promote Black Friday and other sales with text messages that are quick and convey urgency.
  • If sales aren’t as high as hoped before Christmas, send a quick text for a sales boost targeting last-minute shoppers.
  • 97% of text messages are opened within minutes of receipt. Send a text, right after your email blast to ensure everyone gets the message. You can even link to your e-newsletter online.
  • Create a text-to-win or mobile sweepstakes to draw in new shoppers and tie in to the holidays.

Make sure your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly

If your site isn’t designed to read well on a mobile device, it will be difficult for visitors to use and will make them more likely to click off your site than stay and shop.

Here are some tips to make your site mobile-friendly:

  • Make the layout simple. Remember that mobile screens have limited space, and you have to work with that space. The easier your site is to use, the better the shopping experience will be.
  • Make those buttons (search, purchase, etc) easy for large fingers to use and big enough for small screens.
  • Add a redirect to your site. This will allow your site to detect when a visitor is using a mobile device and will automatically redirect to the mobile version.

With text message marketing and a mobile-friendly website, you can optimize sales this holiday shopping season.

Summary of What the Mobile Marketing Experts Were Saying At the 2014 Mobile Media Summit in NYC

I traveled to New York to attend the 2014 Mobile Media Summit, billed as a “conference, that brings together the top brands, agencies, and advertisers from around the world to move the mobile industry forward,” to get an idea as to where the mobile marketing industry is going. What has been working and what’s the consensus on top strategies? It’s easy to get lost in day-to-day work and it’s important at times to look at what other professionals in the industry are doing or succeeding with. It’s an opportunity to compare my beliefs and experiences with theirs. It also helps generate new ideas for our clients and it’s nice to visit New York and be reminded of how lucky we are that we live in warm Florida.

Below is an outline of what I found most interesting from the information given by experts on the mobile marketing panels:

Mobile Design

  • Mobile banners are not the future of mobile advertising creative.

Apps

  • Apps have the highest engagement in mobile use time.
  • Apple’s app store 100 (100 top apps) are where consumers are spending their time. Anything outside the 100 top apps gets very little customer engagement.

Budgets

  • Brands are still hesitant about investing in mobile because of lack of measurement (ROI).

Strategy

  • Ad agencies are eliminating their mobile silos team and moving to a cross-screen brand approach led by data.
  • Brands talking to Millennials should focus on mobile-first strategies.
  • Mobile is “lean in” media. TV is a “lean back” media. What you tolerate on TV in terms of ads, you wouldn’t tolerate in ads on your phone.
  • Mobile and mobile data provides advertisers with less risk of messing up targeting and content relevance.
  • The right message, at the right time, is the way forward for mobile. This happens with customer analytics and insights.
  • Mobile will continue to grow because that’s where the eyeballs are.
  • There is someone in every major company who gets mobile. Give them the tools to execute mobile tactics.
  • Mobile should be baked into the whole marketing strategy, not on a mobile campaign by campaign basis.

Case Study

  • The Weather Channel and Pantene, via the Weather Channel’s app, recommended the shampoo of the day based on the weather. It was a super success that showed how data and creative mixed well for engagement.
  • The MTV Video Music Awards were created because Nabisco told MTV that if they wanted to make a show they would give MTV the money to do it.

Inside the Marketer’s Brain

  • Marketers are getting on board with mobile more now than ever before.
  • Clients are moving from “test and learn” to full-scale commitment.

Inside the Consumer’s Brain

  • The “mobile idle zone” is the moment when you are using your mobile to pass time, like waiting in line at the bank. This could be a golden moment for adverting.

Mobile Video

  • Content is more important than the size or the length of the video. If the content is good that creates the engagement.

ROI and Measurement

  • “Close the loop” (aka, show ROI) is one of the biggest reasons marketers have been hesitant to increase mobile marketing budgets.
  • Text message marketing (SMS marketing) has been one of the mobile channels that has been able to close the loop (track ROI) well.

Privacy and Data Collection

  • Can customers take back their data? All companies should have clear Privacy Policies and the user should know how their data is being used.
  • Device ID, instead of cookies, may be the future method to track cross-screen campaigns.
  • Data gathering is useful if it yields context.
  • Can we sell our personal profiles to advertisers in exchange for having them target us?

Mobile Websites

  • Brands lacking mobile optimized websites have problems advertising on mobile because they don’t have a place to send their prospects to when they click on the mobile banner ads (no mobile landing page).

Ad Agency Vendors

  • Ad agencies want mobile solutions for free or at least 50% off.

Ad Agencies Business Model

  • Ad agencies have problems with cash flow because they charge by percentage of ad placement and clients add or remove budgets based on how they are doing in the market. A better model would be to charge by project.

Sweepstakes Incentives

  • Customers respond better to small ticket prizes (Ten, $10 gift cards instead of one $100 gift cards). Customers think they have a better chance of winning if the prize is smaller.
  • For promotional engagement, Leaderboard style (shows who’s winning) of promotions work better than Sweepstakes because the element of competition adds engagement.

Text SMS Marketing

  • Text (SMS) is works well for customer communications and tracking marketing ROI.

U.S. Hispanic and Mobile

  • For U.S. Hispanics, the mobile phone is the one stop shop for social and commerce.
  • Social is big with U.S. Hispanics and they are big bargain hunters.
  • U.S. Hispanics use their mobile device more than any other ethnic group in the U.S. They are hyper users of the mobile phone.
  • U.S. Hispanics are a young audience. They have leapfrogged all other devices like the desktop or tablet.
  • The U.S. Hispanic population is growing in number and in household income.
  • U.S. Hispanics are consuming video and social media heavily.
  • 60% of U.S. Hispanics use mobile as their primary tool to access the web.

Ok folks, there you have it. A motley summary of a full day’s worth of listening to mobile marketing experts talk about mobile.

Do you agree with any of the thoughts above? Or do you disagree with some of the points? If so, I’d love to hear what you think about the state of mobile marketing.

SMS Text Mobile Marketing Tips for the Holiday Retail Season

SMS text coupon on thier mobile

For retailers, the most wonderful time of year is just around the corner; the holiday shopping season. Many consumers have already begun shopping for the holidays. This means if you haven’t already started thinking about your text message marketing strategy to increase holiday sales, you really need to start planning.

Invest in Mobile Marketing

When it comes to marketing strategies, mobile marketing is the future.

Consider some of these impressive statistics and there’s no doubt you’ll be ready to plan your mobile marketing strategy:

  • 75% of Americans admit they bring their Smartphones to the bathroom. This clearly indicates that Americans have become seriously attached to their mobile devices, which means you have increased opportunities to reach your customers via mobile marketing – even when nature calls. I know I do.
  • 4 out of 5 consumers use their Smartphones to shop. By offering mobile coupons via text (SMS) message and other incentives, you greatly increase your sales.
  • 18% of local mobile searches result in a purchase. Mobile users that locate your business via their mobile devices will be more inclined to purchase from you than they would if they located you on their desktop or laptop. The reason? Mobile users tend to be in a rush and usually have a specific product in mind when searching for it on their smartphones or tablets, which increases the likelihood of a purchase.

Take Advantage of Mobile Marketing with SMS Text Messages

In order to take advantage of the aforementioned benefits, SMS or text messaging is a must. Through SMS messages, your targeted audience has actually granted you permission to contact them regarding any sales and special offers you are promoting. Since they’re basically asking you to contact them about your offers, you are nearly guaranteed a sale via SMS.

While there are several incentives you can offer your targeted audience via SMS, one that offers a significant conversion rate is a mobile or “text-to-win” sweepstakes. Through this type of program, your customers text a word to a short number, or code, which enters them to win a prize and gives you the permission to send them offers or coupons directly to their phone. It can also offer an immediate discount on a product or service that you have to offer.

If you want to get as many sales as possible this holiday season, there’s no doubt about it: mobile and SMS text message marketing are a must. If you have any questions about SMS text marketing call or contact us at support@momares.com

How To Launch An (SMS) Text Marketing Program for Business

Hone Dept reminds you to send a text message to join in the savings.
Hone Depot reminds you to send a text message to join in the savings.

How do you launch a text marketing program for your business? The short answer in this case is not very short at all. I’m going to summarize the key elements to setting up an (SMS) text marketing program for your business.

First, it’s important to know why you are thinking of mobile text messages as a marketing program. Yes, I know it’s cool, but why else? Are you seeing site traffic and site purchases from mobile visitors? Do you see text as an effective way to communicate or share offers? Are your competitors doing it? Are customers asking for you to send them offers via text? Text (SMS) is a powerful, personal, effective, and a trackable mobile channel.

SMS or text messages are typically read within 3 minutes of receipt versus 48 hours for emails. Just about every phone can accept text messages and studies have showed that customers prefer offers via text message to those via mobile web, apps and email. “Mobile offers are redeemed 10x more frequently than print offers” eMarketer

Back to the question at hand. How To Launch An (SMS) Text Marketing Program for Businesses?

Here are five steps to get you started with text message marketing:

  1. Goals- To increase sales and communicate via text message are the number one reasons we get hired. If these are your goals, please proceed to the next step.
  2. Database- Text message marketing requires a 100% opt-in database of subscribers. Offering customers an incentive and providing an easy way to enter your mobile SMS program is the way to build your database.
  3. Mobile Partner– To ask customers to join your mobile program you will need a short code. It’s a five or six digit number from which one can deliver messages and accept subscribers. A good mobile partner (like us- hint, hint) will provide you with a short code (65047) and the backend text message platform to manage subscribers.
  4. Promote your Program– You can start by inviting Facebook fans, Twitter followers, or in-store patrons to text a keyword to the short code (Text STORENAME to 65047 to enter.)  to begin receiving offers, alerts, or offering an incentive to sign up such a sweepstakes prize.
  5. Optimize – As with any marketing program, it’s important to test and compare to determine the best performing campaigns.

I hope the five steps above can help you get your program organized. If you need any help, please contact us.