The Mobile Commerce Tipping Point
Mobile revenue is at a record high. Though positive sentiment toward mobile commerce has been building for several years, we may finally be approaching the tipping point — i.e., the moment when the marketplace accepts mobile as a primary purchasing channel.
Mobile has become so successful at driving revenue that big-name retailers like Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney and Macy’s are making significant investments into the channel — and are reaping the benefits. J.C. Penney reported a 25 percent increase in mobile traffic and a 60 percent increase in mobile conversions after the company revamped its cross-channel offerings in last year's fourth quarter.
Wal-Mart is seeing similar success. The retailer reported that 50 percent of its online sales during the 2015 holiday season came from mobile.
As a result of this trend, I believe the biggest concern facing marketers today is no longer whether to invest in mobile, but rather how much.
The number of email clicks originating from mobile devices is now roughly the same as those originating from laptops and traditional desktop units. Mobile has finally earned a seat at the grown-ups table, and marketers cannot afford to ignore it.
The Proof is in the Data
For the first time ever, mobile shopping is considered the norm alongside traditional online shopping from a desktop computer. And the proof is in the data.
In fact, mobile and desktop clicks, opens and average order value (AOV) rates continue to increase each year. Mobile and desktop engagement rates are now almost even, providing further evidence that mobile engagement is reaching a tipping point.
Mobile commerce engagement has caught up with (or surpassed) desktop across all metrics:
- Clicks: While desktops accounted for nearly two-thirds of all clicks in 2013, the number of clicks originating from mobile devices is now roughly the same as those originating from laptops and traditional desktop units
- Click-to-Opens: The click-to-open (CTO) rate for desktops has continually declined, falling from 21.6 percent in 2013 to 15.3 percent in 2015. Over the same time period, the mobile CTO rate has risen from 10.3 percent to 13.0 percent, closing the gap between the two.
- Average Order Value: Mobile currently delivers more than 30 percent of all email-driven orders and more than 25 percent of all email-driven revenue. AOV for mobile is now $105, which isn’t too far behind the $132 AOV for desktop. In fact, AOV for mobile grew by 15 percent year-over-year, compared to a 13 percent increase for desktop.
Mobile Cannot Be Ignored
As mobile use (and consequently, mobile marketing) reaches critical mass, there are three specific components brands should prioritize when developing their mobile strategy:
1. Responsive design: As mobile becomes a dominant channel for commerce, responsive design proves to be crucial for order completion. Consumers won't click through an email that's difficult to read or navigate. Your email layouts must adapt to screen size, ensuring that the most important information is scaled to fit all screen sizes and flows naturally regardless of device.
2. One-click buying: Given the on-the-go nature of mobile devices, consumers more than ever want a quick and painless shopping experience. One-click buying is one of the most effective ways to meet this consumer need. With the click of a single button, mobile shoppers can bypass clumsy form fields and instantly finalize their purchases.
3. Personalization: As consumers’ attention spans grow shorter, personalization is more important than ever in prompting interaction. This means incorporating customer names, birthdays and locations into marketing content is an absolute must. By maintaining a more engaged audience, marketers will have a better chance of reaching their mobile subscribers and, more importantly, converting them.
Developing a mobile strategy is no longer optional for marketers; it’s a requirement. While budgets and priorities will vary from company to company, all brands should be executing a handful of crucial mobile tactics in order to remain relevant as we reach the mobile tipping point.
Ivy Shtereva is the director of marketing at Yesmail, a provider of email and digital marketing services.
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