For many brands, the holiday season presents itself as a prime opportunity. According to eMarketer, 25 percent of e-commerce sales will happen during the holiday season. Surely, traditional advertising tactics will be employed including television commercials and print ads, and many more will flock to social media and online video. However, the emerging mobile platform should also be incorporated into any holiday promos and/or campaigns.
There are a number of statistics in support of the increasing significance of mobile devices during the buying process including:
- 66 percent of shoppers will use a mobile device to compare prices with another physical store.
- 60 percent will use a mobile device to check the prices of online retailers.
- 50 percent will use a smartphone or tablet to read reviews to help decide between products.
- 40.3 percent plan to "check in" via an app at a retail store to obtain a discount.
Because of smartphones, the point of sale is impacted by much more than it was in the past. Retailers have much less control over the buying process, even once potential customers are in the store. However, mobile devices can be used as a tool rather than a detractor, if leveraged correctly. Using tactics such as couponing and location-based services (which offer some type of reward) along with an effective mobile marketing plan can boost sales both online and at brick and mortar locations.
By targeting consumers through mobile advertising, a number of results can also be achieved. According to research by Google, 82 percent of users notice mobile ads. Not only are they noticing these ads, they're taking action by visiting the website (35 percent), clicking on the ad (42 percent), making a phone call (52 percent), or making a purchase (49 percent).
One emerging ad format that has already proven to be very successful is the value-exchange format, which offers consumers access to premium online content in return for opt-in brand engagement. This form of unobtrusive advertising is among the most engaging and therefore, one of the most effective ways to reach consumers. Value-exchange advertising is particularly successful on the mobile platform because of how personal consumers regard the space.
Although the market is still developing, m-commerce has already been flexing its muscles. Javelin Strategy and Research found that more than $20.7 billion was spent via mobile transactions last year, while Juniper Research anticipates the number of people making purchases with their mobile devices will expand from 398 million this year to 500 million by 2014.
A number of verticals have reaped the rewards of mobile commerce, such as ticketing services. The movie industry, in particular, has seen great results. According to eMarketer, 40 percent of males and 27 percent of females use their smartphones to pick a movie to watch in theatres, while 24 percent of regular moviegoers book tickets from their mobile phones. Furthermore, MLB.com recently reported that 12 percent of recent online game ticket buyers opted to have their e-tickets delivered directly to their iPhones.
With smartphones becoming a key component in the buying process, mobile is now a vital platform that must be effectively tapped to reach consumers. As we get deeper into the holiday season, more opportunities will present themselves to mobile marketers.
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"Santa talking on a cell phone" image via Shutterstock.