5 Tips to Optimize Mobile Sales for the Holidays
Mobile shopping was (and still is) all the rage for back-to-school, and retailers that didn't invest the time and money in putting the word out about their sales via mobile missed out.
Consider that 69 percent of shoppers planned to use their smartphones to do research for back-to-school shopping, and 50 percent planned on purchasing a product with their phone.
With the back-to-school season winding down, how can you enhance your use of mobile to take advantage of its popularity among consumers, particularly with the busy holiday season around the corner? Here are six tips that will bring in mobile customers this holiday season:
1. Get the timing right. To aim your mobile marketing correctly, it’s important to know when shoppers are most likely to take advantage of your offers. Holiday shopping tends to come in waves. There are the early starters who begin making purchases in the summer, but the bulk of consumers do their holiday shopping three weeks to four weeks before Christmas.
Then there’s a lull before the procrastinators start their shopping one week to two weeks before Christmas. And some consumers like to take advantage of clearance sales after the holidays, so don’t forget to keep the sales coming even after the gifts are opened on Christmas morning.
2. Build a holiday SMS campaign. Send your customers holiday promotions via SMS. You can advertise sales, send coupons or showcase merchandise via text messages. Sending exclusive sales that aren’t available through other media channels gives customers the incentive to take advantage of your offers. You should, however, advertise special holiday offers to SMS loyalty members in your other channels as well (e.g., email, Facebook, in-store). Time your messages to reflect when customers are most likely to make use of your offer based on purchase history and general holiday shopping trends.
3. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. If your site doesn’t load fast, then you’re likely to lose customers to a competitor whose site does. Even if customers plan to make a purchase in-store, 74 percent of them check prices on their mobile phones first. And 61 percent search for promotions or discounts. Customers also check for merchandise availability and store location via their phones.
Furthermore, 40 percent of shoppers use their phones in-store to look for coupons and compare prices. Make sure your website translates well onto mobile devices with this free tool from Google. Your homepage should be geared towards holiday shopping on both desktop and mobile.
4. Take advantage of mobile games. Reaching shoppers where they’re most likely to be found is one of the basic concepts of advertising. Sixty-eight percent of parents admit to playing mobile games. That means that running an ad in a mobile game is a great way to tell parents (and kids) about the holiday products you’re selling.
5. Take a cue from successful and innovative mobile back-to-school campaigns.
- Staples launched an education-centered back-to-school campaign called “110 percent ready” where it posted articles and quizzes to help students prepare for the upcoming academic year. Sending tips and facts via SMS or mobile messaging could be a great way to promote your brand and get customers interested in checking out your back-to-school merchandise.
- Victoria’s Secret’s Campus Showdown used social media and mobile engagement to launch a competition to get students engaged with its sale. Using Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and its mobile app PINK, which included a “Crazy Tap Race” competition, Victoria's Secret managed to increase sales and promote its brand among its key demographic with a mobile-integrated campaign.
Whatever product or service you sell, your holiday campaigns can take advantage of mobile marketing. Mobile research and mobile shopping are increasing every year, and retailers that use mobile messaging and SMS promotions increase sales. Understanding the way that mobile integrates with brick-and-mortar shopping is also important to enhance your holiday success.
Alexa Lemzy is a customer support expert and content author at business SMS service TextMagic.
Related story: Mobile's Impact on Back-to-School Shopping
Alexa Lemzy is the customer service manager and blog editor at TextMagic, a text messaging solution for businesses. She is passionate about customer retention, mobile marketing, and automation. Alexa loves to dig deep into those topics and cover the most interesting findings in her articles.