Using the growth of mobile to capture a changing audience

Jay Karsandas discusses the consumer shift to shopping on the move and how small companies can take advantage. 


Jay Karsandas discusses the consumer shift to shopping on the move and how small companies can take advantage. 

They say television killed radio and the internet killed television. So what succeeds the internet?

Sales and advertising media change as new technologies develop and emerge to disrupt the market, but one aspect that doesn’t change its position is the consumer. Consumers don’t fundamentally change but habits do, and over the last few years shopping behaviour of consumers online has shifted significantly. Mobile devices have introduced another medium to the mix of touch points within the research or buying process.

Shopping is now real time, on the move and instant. Businesses that adapted to this change have capitalised on growth opportunities while in turn providing a better experience to their existing customer base and advocates.

Small to medium businesses that don’t adapt to mobile behaviour miss out on potential revenues, for example mobile devices in the UK accounted for 6 per cent of all retail sales in 2014.  According to industry body IMRG, mobile device sales doubled to 3 billion with 2015 expected to drive even more growth.

While mobile is growing, it is not just an opportunity for small businesses in the future. Mobile is now.

Experience

The introduction of 4G and more advanced technology has seen consumer expectation on mobile experiences increase. Your own audience expects online usability and speeds to match their time-sensitive lifestyle. Investing in mobile-specific or responsive websites not only provides a better experience for consumers but also increases conversion and website performance.

We experienced an uplift in conversion focusing on our mobile-specific consumers, with speed and functionality a key focus in defining the website. The results over the course of a year delivered a 30 per cent increase in conversion, while mobile contributes to 25 per cent of the total order mix.

Dependent on the scale of a business and its product set, identifying and creating simple and logical journeys is key to a great user experience on mobile. Adding more information than needed only complicates the process, while a lack of space on mobile means a different thinking on design and layout to that of traditional desktop sites.

The principal from modernist architecture, ‘form follows function’, could easily be applied to how we should approach mobile.

Researchers and browsers

The emergence of mobile has seen a difference in how shopping research behaviour has changed, with expectations from users to find reviews, information, guides and news at hand. Real-time information on the move or as part of second screen viewing within the home can be a driving influence in the decision process of consumers.

Small businesses can benefit by ensuring their online content is optimised to provide the right information at the right time. Businesses in specific niches who plan ahead and produce content pre-launch of their products can capture higher traffic volume online over their competitors. While there are many SEO techniques and guides out there, first and foremost businesses should write and produce content based on their target audience. Great content can reap great rewards for a business with a strategy to use content to drive influence on conversions and leads.

Google my business

Google rankings and paid search is not only for big enterprise businesses with big marketing budgets. Google’s focus and continued investment in its location services has opened up potential online and offline footfall opportunities for smaller businesses.

Google Local is a highly effective tool to capture your business’s specific niche audience. Using Google Local the results displayed are targeted with relevant businesses within a certain location, offering targeted results to the users intent.

Where Google Local really comes to play is users on the go with mobile devices. With Google Local for businesses, setup is a simple process for business owners and can be done for free. Potential customers are presented results with information on location with live directions straight from Google Maps, extra information on your business from opening times to reviews, while the feature ‘click to call’ allows your audience to call your business directly from search results. Mobile plays a big part to drive real time shoppers directly to stores, with big brands investing heavily into multi-channel retail to convert online customers to in-store footfall. A combined approach works better than silo activity while also delivering more efficiency on marketing spend. Smaller businesses can use this approach to test and learn what works for them.

With 100 billion searches a month on Google, and mobile searches growing year on year, being relevant within your market is a tough task on it’s own, being consistently relevant to your target audience is even tougher. Local search allows you to be there, at the right location, at the right time, against the right intent.

Don’t wait on mobile

There are many elements to executing a great mobile strategy. While it can seem overwhelming to do them all, focusing on how your consumers behave, what they want, and what they expect from you as a business to deliver as a mobile journey. Keep it simple, useable and stay relevant to what your users are looking for. 

Further reading on mobile

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