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5 Tips To Keep Up With Mobile Consumers

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At the rate mobile device usage has rapidly increased worldwide, it’s clear that mobile is more than just a device – it’s a lifestyle. And India is not exempted from this trend. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) India was the fastest growing smartphone market in Asia Pacific with a market share growth of 27 per cent in Q3 2014. It is unsurprising then that the average annual spending on online purchases per individual in India has been predicted to rise to 67 per cent in 2015.

Online spending today has proliferated not just across devices, but also multiple platforms, going beyond mobile web to mobile apps. Recognising that they have to keep up with consumers, many retailers and advertisers have acknowledged the importance of going mobile. Interestingly, the ‘Digital Advertising in India' report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International has projected online advertising market in India to reach Rs 3,575 crore by March 2015, growing 30 per cent over last year.

Keen to jump on the mobile advertising bandwagon? Here are five simple tips for getting started:

Create A Personalised Experience
Consumers who feel like they are being treated as individuals tend to be more satisfied with their brand experience and are more inclined to remain loyal. When consumers see ads for products that are relevant to them, delivered at the right time on the right platform, they are more likely to buy the products and be retained as loyal customers.

For retailers, targeting their online ads at the right consumers ensures that their online advertising budgets are optimised. Creating a personalised experience for mobile audiences can be made simpler and more effective with a powerful analytics solution that consolidates customer data, allowing a retailer to tailor a personalised advertisement that caters to a customer’s needs and habits.

Engage Mobile Consumers Through Mobile Apps
Consumers are progressively seeking an integrated shopping experience that includes digital channels. A recent regional study by PwC reported that shoppers are using their mobile devices to check prices and reviews while in-store, spending an average of 15 minutes online per brick-and-mortar store visit. The same study also revealed that consumers are even making purchases from unaffiliated mobile commerce apps while looking at same items along the isles of a brick-and-mortar store.

To avoid having their revenue ‘hijacked’ by unaffiliated mobile commerce apps, retailers and advertisers must consider investing in their own brand apps that incorporate ‘store mode’. ‘Store mode’ includes features such as dynamic store maps, the ability to display exact product locations, and the most efficient routes through the store to fulfil a shopping list. It also provides customer insights to retailers and delivers personalised content based on data accumulated from current purchase intents, past purchase behaviours, and the shopper’s location inside the store.
Retailers who develop apps with ‘store mode’ see five times more customer engagement and increased sales. As brick-and-mortar meets mobile, engaging consumers both online and offline while they are in the process of making purchase decisions increases the possibility of consumers buying a product directly from the brand.

Reach Out With Real-time Capabilities
With the average smartphone owner in Southeast Asia spending more than three hours per day on their smartphones, toggling between chat apps, social networking, games and multimedia, retailers who are keen to keep up with their mobile consumers will benefit from having tools with real-time capabilities.

A tool with real-time capabilities makes use of predictive software algorithms that enable the tool to think and act on behalf of advertisers, intuitively featuring the most relevant product recommendations. Real-time advertising targets visitors immediately after they leave a brand’s website. This is done by delivering personalised performance display ads that infuse real-time data with online or in-app banner advertising spaces that have been purchased beforehand. Real-time capabilities enable marketers to reach out to a user while the brand is still top of mind.

Adopt An Integrated Approach
Historically, search marketing – the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid and unpaid efforts – has been the most reliable and cost-effective way for marketers to generate new customers and sales. However, fifteen years of growth in the industry has created significant market saturation, where additional investment in search marketing often does not create enough return. Furthermore, consumers spend only five percent of their time online performing searches and only 13 percent of online users perform a shopping-related search query on any given day.

The emergence of personalised performance display advertising has provided marketers with a way to reach out to consumers even when they are not using search engines. Research from Criteo has shown that when performance display ads are combined with search marketing, the frequency of shopping-related search queries increases by 28 per cent. For best results in increasing a mobile user’s exposure to a particular brand, advertising campaigns should be integrated and optimised for both search and display, across multiple mobile devices.

Create Measurable And Business-relevant Outcomes
Apart from collecting information on a customer’s online browsing preferences, it is important for marketers to have processes that effectively evaluate the return of investment on advertising strategies. Top-line measurements alone – such as the number of impressions and clicks – cannot capture the full complexity of a customer’s pre-purchase behaviour. A global study by Fournaise reported that 58 percent of marketers only focus on ‘likes’ and ‘clicks’ when measuring the return of investment on their marketing spend. Marketers must also consider metrics that provide deeper insight, such as average order values and conversion rates.
Average order values and conversion rates enable marketers to segment a brand’s online customers into different categories based on how much they spend when they visit the site. With the right data analytics tools, marketers can examine their mobile advertising strategies at a granular level – whether their ads are attracting viewers, turning viewers into clickers and ultimately, converting them into customers.

Though there appears to be some inertia or scepticism in the industry, stats and trend studies show that mobile is here to stay and is showing no signs of slowing down. There is no better time than now for retailers and advertisers to take advantage of the tremendous upsurge in mobile device usage and realise the opportunities this creates for mobile commerce.

The author, Yuko Saito, is Managing Director of Southeast Asia at Criteo, a leading global technology company that specializes in digital performance advertising.