If you go down to your typical “bricks and mortar” shopping mall at any given time and simply look around you, you will see people interacting with their smartphones and mobile devices everywhere. They’re not just talking to someone on the phone. Indeed, far from it, they are very often interacting with an application to help them find out some information. In the days recently gone by, if we really wanted to know something when we were “out and about,” we had to make a mental note and then dive online when we got home to do some additional research. If this information trawling was part of the decision-making process, we were not being very time efficient here. Pending the outcome of the research, or a whole host of other factors, we might indeed never consummate the transaction, to the detriment of the particular marketer concerned.
Any red blooded marketer should salivate at the prospect of cutting out all this research time and providing the consumer with exactly the right amount of information at the right time, to enable them to make the buying decision here and now. While many people were, at one time, trumpeting the arrival of Internet marketing as the death of “bricks and mortar,” we should look at mobile marketing as being a way to really help to draw people in through that sliding glass door. Now, they should be armed with all the information they need, able and willing to get it right there and then in the store, while on the cusp of buying.
Industry information shows that more than 50% of retail shoppers had used their mobile devices to help them make a strategic buying decision while they were conducting their Christmas and holiday shopping. This could be comparative, as in looking to see whether such an item was cheaper at another location, or doing some immediate research to answer a question that they might have at the point-of-sale. The buyer could become a whole lot more efficient by completing a shopping list at home, which is then pushed to the mobile device by SMS, to be carried to the store – the perfect solution.
In these cases, we don’t have to concern ourselves about pushing the message out via texting or SMS marketing to potential buyers, but we do need to make sure that these people are never lacking the information that we really ought to be able to provide them. As marketers we are definitely falling down on our job if we are missing the opportunity to convince the potential consumer that we are providing any and all information necessary to make their job a little easier.
There will surely come a time when it will be very intuitive for shoppers to tap a couple of screens and get all the information they might need, supplemental to their pending buying decision. In the meantime, marketers should do everything to help shoppers realize that their task is a whole lot easier now than it ever was.