You Don’t Get a Second Chance to Engage Mobile Customers

Mobile customers are the same as any other customers – they are fickle, and you have to get it right the first time.

One of the many challenges retailers face is the fragmentation of the customer engagement process, when the customer wants it to be as seamless as possible. The journey often crosses several channels – both online and off  – and if you don’t engage customers at the right times and in the right ways, they will probably end up elsewhere.

And chances are, that somewhere else is Amazon. A Survata survey conducted on behalf of Bloomreach found that 44% – almost half – of all product searches start on Amazon, while just 21% begin on a retailer’s site.

Consider the following factors when engaging customers through mobile:

Proximity and Timing

It’s not just about delivering the right message, but doing so at the right time and in the right place. Many organizations rely on email campaigns as an initial touch point, but that medium has become less effective as it isn’t immediate. Push notifications provide a more timely alternative to email as they offer real-time information. Using location-based technology to understand when a customer is nearby, or behaviour analytics to determine when they’d be most interested in purchasing, can help ensure you send the most effective, engaging messages.

The Right Communication Channel

Consider the best vehicle for each customer. More traditional shoppers may be better served with email, while more tech-savvy shoppers may prefer immediate, contextualized push notifications. Another factor to consider when selecting the best communication channel is the urgency of the message. Push notifications lend themselves well to time-sensitive information, while email is a better option when you don’t require an immediate action.

Increased Personalization

The value of personalized experiences shouldn’t be underestimated. In the aforementioned Survata study, 87% of consumers said they would buy from a company that predicts their intent, and intuitively suggests products. Harness the intelligence of shopper data to determine shopper habits, and the next logical steps in the engagement cycle. If you get it right, it can be tremendously effective in engaging the consumer. Marketers who are personalizing web experiences see a 19% increase in sales on average.

Mobile Influence is Key

Mobile should be driving customers to the highest conversion point: the store. Finalizing a purchase, the purchase value, and a higher rate of conversion can all be influenced by mobile if it’s used effectively. The mobile experience is just one part of a customer’s journey, but it can be the key part.

Shed Old-Fashioned Views

It’s counter-productive to view the channels that comprise multichannel and omnichannel businesses as separate silos. Creating a unified strategy across desktop, mobile and in-store, which includes attributing revenue, is critical in delivering a seamless experience to the customer.

Customer Experience Reflects Cost of Acquisition

The cost of customer acquisition and the experience provided are fundamentally linked. The perceived value in acquiring a customer is erroneous if that customer doesn’t remain on board. Econsultancy reports that 82% of companies believe customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition, yet marketers shift more focus and resources to acquisitions than they do retention. In an ironic and cyclical fashion, not keeping customers on board can, in turn, lead to increased customer acquisition costs.

The Bottom Line

Today’s non-linear purchasing model requires looking equally at all parts of the funnel, helping to bridge the gaps among them, and encouraging a seamless experience, regardless of where a consumer is first engaging. Mobile is a critical part of that.

Continued customer engagement while doing a poor job across any of your channels is unlikely. Use that pivotal first chance to engage a mobile customer – not only to get their attention, but, more importantly, to keep it – no matter where or how they’re shopping.