How can you successfully target shoppers through mobile? Olivier Ropars from eBay offers up some of the firm’s learnings

Navigating the mobile landscape

Smartphones are now the mission control for our lives. They are always with us and changing everything, including how we shop.

A commerce revolution is underway and mobile is leading the charge. Many brands and retailers may have created apps or optimised their mobile sites, but driving traffic towards them is another matter.

We recently commissioned research which revealed that globally over a million consumer facing apps (1) went into production last year alone.

64 per cent of those apps failed to see completion or were rejected by app stores, accounting for £3.19bn of development costs globally. Getting consumer engagement right through technology is vital. Mobile, in particular, plays a critical role in how consumers interact with retail brands.

Beyond the technicalities around design aspects and consumer interface of mobile apps, there are some fundamental principles for retailers when targeting shoppers with mobile:

1) Put mobile at the heart of your strategy – Investing in apps, creating a site that is optimised for every device or working with partners who offer access to mobile technology, it is vital to harness the potential mobile offers.

2) Embrace technology – Smart retailers constantly innovate, embracing technology to engage their consumers, e.g with self-checkouts and click and collect.

3) Consistency is key – No matter what channel the shopper starts and finishes the purchasing journey with. Mobile is the glue that brings these online and offline experiences together.
It’s bringing the online world into the store to enhance the customer’s experience.

4) Put your brand in the hands of the consumer – The ability for consumers to shop on the move via mobile devices increases the likelihood to spend – it’s not about cannibalisation, it’s about tapping into new opportunities. Apps allow consumers to make better decisions about what they buy, providing unique insight before purchase.

5) Don’t underestimate the opportunity – Mobile shopping is only set to grow. Our research shows that the arrival of universal 4G will offer a further boost of approximately £1.8 billion a year (2a) to the
retail economy.

With more than half of consumers now shopping on mobile compared to this time last year (2b), and over four million customers joining eBay from a mobile device since 2012 (3), smartphones have changed the shopping journey forever. Retailers mustn’t stand still; they need to turn this exciting opportunity into reality.

1.Source: Conlumino mobile apps research, July 2013
2a and 2b. Source: Conlumino 4G research, March 2013
3.Source: Top eBay Facts and Figures, eBay Global Communications Q4 2012

Olivier Ropars is senior director EU mobile commerce at eBay.

Agree with Ropars? Let us know in the comments section below.

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