Over half of consumers use mobile for shopping at least weekly, including 35% who mobile shop daily. So the question isn’t whether brands should enter mobile, but how to do it most effectively. But what are shoppers actually looking for from brands on their smartphones and tablets? Here are a few stats proving what works.

Hyper-local deals: Both at your stores and your competitors’

Running advertising for a brand or product next to a competitor’s ads online or in print is known as conquesting – and it’s a practice that’s been around in marketing for quite some time. A more recent take called “geo-conquesting” uses mobile location targeting around the physical premises of competing businesses. And it works: Geo-conquesting leads to a 30% higher click-through rate than standard geo-fencing (in which advertisers target deals to their own location via mobile). Says Tom MacIsaac, CEO, Verve Mobile:

“The one big theme from this research is that if you’re going to target users near your own stores… it’s really effective to also target people who are near your competitor’s stores.”

Premium content in return for data and time

Studies show that consumers would rather take the time to view or listen to an ad than pay for uninterrupted content. Sixty-seven percent of smartphone owners said they would rather deal with ads on a site than pay for premium content. 

Users also don’t mind sharing some of their personal data for freebies. This can be a great way to collect information about your consumers, including an always-valuable email list. Seventy percent of smartphone users and 53% of tablet owners said they were willing to exchange personal information for a premium app download, while 77% were willing to engage with ads to get the app. Says Jordan McKee, Yankee Group analyst:

“Mobile device owners have demonstrated that they’re willing to interact with a brand by exchanging their time – ad views – and personal data for free digital content. Since users chose to take part in this exchange, the engagement can be far more meaningful and powerful than a pop-up, banner, or television advertisement.”

Brand interaction while they’re actually interested: When using shopping apps

People are more open to ads while they’re shopping, so shopping apps are the perfect place to advertise via mobile. And the statistics agree – 58% of smartphone users use store-specific apps or general shopping apps, and more than 40% of shoppers use their phones in stores to find deals. Also, mobile coupons have a 10% redemption rate compared to just 1% for traditional coupons. And the benefit to brands goes beyond sales. Not only does the shopper opt into marketing, but they can share valuable data in exchange for shopping help, says Scott Williams, VP Media Sales at Bazaarvoice:

“Shopping apps provide a two-way mechanism. The brand knows what the shopper is interested in based on their scans… The brand can then invite them to a deeper conversation, for example, searching for the right shampoo by hair type and color – valuable information for the brand that lets it deliver a valuable result to the consumer.”

Responsive, mobile-optimized design

Finally, nothing is more annoying to a mobile shopper than a site that isn’t formatted for their small screen and clumsy thumbs. Use responsive design to make your site work on every screen to avoid almost surely losing customers. Consider the different user experience on mobile devices, and make adjustments to site design like those explained here. Says Billy Hollis, Design & Experience Manager for Bazaarvoice:

“Great responsive design isn’t just about making your site appear unbroken on smaller screens… You’ve got to consider the user experience on a tablet vs. phone, and cannot assume that the same styles for your desktop web presence will work when adapted to a smaller screen or device.”

Understand what customers are looking for in mobile, and delivering an effective, sales-driving mobile experience becomes that much easier.

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