Consumers are on their phones constantly, including when they shop. Whether they're making a purchase or simply researching items, stores, and sellers, customers are relying on mobile devices to buy things, and businesses should be focused on creating a personalized, location-based shopping experience to stay competitive.
Businesses need to monitor mobile marketing trends for the coming year (and beyond). Being vigilant about emerging trends can increase business, website traffic, and overall sales and profit. Business News Daily asked marketing experts for their tips on how small businesses can maximize their mobile marketing efforts.
Focus on user experience.
Marketing technology and mobile advertising are changing every day. Your company can stay ahead of the competition by seizing opportunities as they come.
"As more people utilize their phone for searching and purchasing online, it's extremely important to focus on the mobile end-user experience," said Cyril Lemaire, managing partner and founder of Traktek Partners. "The way people can find information on your business and interact with your website from their phone is crucial to mobile marketing success."
Most companies see about 50 percent or more of their traffic from a mobile device. Even incremental changes with a focus on mobile can lead to strong results, Lemaire told Business News Daily.
Take advantage of beacon technology.
Beacons are tiny devices synced with shopper's smartphone through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and allow retailers to identify and track people as they shop. This kind of technology shows retailers what their customers are looking at and buying in order to better personalize their marketing.
While the response to beacon marketing isn't necessarily overwhelmingly positive, a recently published piece by MBA@UNC, University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Online MBA Program said the beacon technology dream is still alive.
Using beacons, marketers can provide personalized messaging based on a customer's specific location, said Lemaire. This essentially puts the vendor's message in the hands of the customer at the right place at the right time.
"The beacon can allow the vendor to do anything, from getting them into a store to promoting a particular product while they are shopping," Lemaire added.
Learn to track mobile sessions.
Mobile shopping sessions tend to be shorter, as people grab their devices while waiting for a train, taking the elevator, etc., said Dan Shulman, director of marketing at Liftopia. However, sessions happen more frequently, and marketers need to learn how to string these together into a complete sales cycle.
"On a technical level, that means … better tracking and attribution models," said Shulman. "Marketers need to know that the person bought only after searching for their product with a mobile device on Google, reading a review on their mobile on Amazon, directly visiting their website on their mobile, and then switching to their laptop computer to make the purchase."
Optimize your content for mobile searches.
Lemaire said the biggest mobile marketing trend to watch for in 2018 is mobile SEO and search. As search engines focus more on providing an improved user experience for its mobile users. This will continue to change mobile SEO in the new year.
"Be ready to make adjustments as the focus changes to more conversational text keywords due to mobile searches from phones," Lemaire added.