Influencing everything from socializing to job-hunting to watching reruns of popular TV shows, mobile internet access has transformed the way people look for information, what they expect to find, and the actions they take when they find it. Far from being just a convenience, mobile is now an integral part of the average person’s lifestyle – Digiday, in fact, found that 75% of Americans even bring their phones to the bathroom. Keeping up with this multi-faceted audience means understanding just how mobile access has radically changed the face of consumer browsing, and how marketers need to adapt.
Location-based marketing. As mobile technology rapidly improves, it’s becoming easier for consumers to find businesses while on the go. Google, for instance, reveals that over 40% of mobile web searches are performed by traveling consumers researching local vendors. Those consumers can also opt to receive alerts when they’re getting physically close to businesses having sales or promotions. What’s more, anticipatory computing on mobile devices now uses factors like consumers’ actual locations to identify information they’ll find interesting and relevant – before they even ask for it. To make the best impact among local traffic, smart businesses need to keep themselves readily visible in all the places mobile users might search for them – including search engine directories, map services, online review sites, and even coupon pages like Groupon.
Purchasing trends. Never mind crowded parking lots and lines at the checkout; more people than ever are now opting for the efficiency and convenience of purchasing online. Consumers are also more likely to make those purchases based on reviews, promotions, and information they see on social media. About 80% of social media users say that their buying decisions are influenced by posts from friends or companies (CMS Wire). Even more importantly, increased mobile connectivity keeps users in the market no matter where they are – just a click away from buying, in other words, at any given time. That means constant engagement has become key for marketers trying to break into mobile traffic.
New user expectations. According to C-Net, more than half of consumers in the U.S. now own smartphones. With such a huge trend toward mobile computing, responsive websites are no longer a sophisticated luxury for businesses – they’re a necessity. Plus, according to Google and Nielsen, 73% of mobile searches lead to additional action and conversion, and 55% of those purchases occur within one hour of the initial mobile search. So, the smoother the experience your customers have on your site, and the more quickly and easily they can find what they need, the more likely they’ll make their purchase from you, rather than a competitor. That means low-barrier functionality is a plus, along with mobile-friendly payment processes. Never redirect mobile search results to your site’s home page instead of the content or product page they requested—there’s no quicker route to a dissatisfied customer (and a lost sale).
With two-thirds of U.S. businesses already on the bandwagon, mobile marketing has gone from a smart marketing trend to an essential strategy.