Today's consumers are practically glued to their phones 24/7. Moreover, 74% of smartphone owners uses their device for some type of shopping-related activity, according to Dr. Carrie Colbert, a consultant and professor who led PMA's education session on “Engaging the Mobile Shopper.”
So how can businesses start to capture some of those mobile consumers? Colbert offered 10 steps to get started.
1. Mobilize your website. Your site needs to be optimized to look good on a smartphone or tablet screen and load quickly. “Don't lose a customer because it's taking a little too long to load,” said Colbert.
2. Watch your competitors. Find out what direct and indirect competitors are doing well — and not so well.
3. Start using mobile yourself, and use it in a way that your customers would use it. The things that irritate you will probably irritate them, Colbert said.
4. Experiment with a mobile ad. Target sites or apps, such as a recipes app, where consumers are already thinking about food and shopping.
5. Start building your mobile opt in list. Whenever you ask for your customer's information, such when they want to access a coupon, ask if you can send them alerts via text messages.
6. Create an SMS or QR code promotion. Just make sure you're providing customers with something useful, like a recipe or coupon, and you're not spamming them.
7. Think video, if it applies to what you do. Colbert gave an example of linking to a video on how to cut up a pomegranate from an ad for pomegranates.
8. Integrate, integrate, integrate. Your mobileneeds to complement what you're doing elsewhere, said Colbert, whether it's in-store, in your newsletter or website, or in traditional ads.
9. Test and measure. Do rigorous quality assurance testing to make sure your mobile ad or other venture works as it should. Also recognize that you're measuring engagement — how many clicks did the ad get — not necessarily a significant increase in sales, said Colbert.
10. Get help. Colbert suggested suppliers find a retailer to partner with, but this could go both ways.