Mobile Consumer Trends and Email Marketing

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In just over a decade e-commerce has redefined the way consumers shop. We are still seeing brick-and-mortar store after store go out of business as the tendency to shop online increases every day. Most of those stores going out of business underestimated the power of e-commerce when the trend began to reveal itself and didn’t realize their mistake until it was too late. Well, trends are changing again. Don’t be the company that minimizes the power of mobile commerce.

Mobile Consumer Trends

In the past four years mobile shopping has grown nineteen fold and now accounts for nearly one third of all e-commerce. Forrester Research predicts that 2014 will see mobile sales increase to $114 billion in total with $38 billion coming from mobile phones and $76 billion from tablets. That is a notable, and important, rise from last year’s mobile sales of $72 billion. This shift has significantly influenced consumer behavior:

  1. Customers now spend more time on their mobile devices than desktops. It has become a part of our culture to constantly be on our phones and other mobile devices. We are a society that expects continuous connectivity and this has influenced our behavior, including how we shop.

  2. Mobile shoppers are more focused. When researching products, mobile users are more specific in what they are looking for resulting in quicker searches and, therefore, decisions. In fact, 88% of consumers searching on a mobile device will make a purchase within 24 hours. So, the faster they find what they are looking for, the faster they will make a purchase.

  3. Click through rates are higher on mobile devices than desktops. Consumers are more likely to click through search advertisements on their mobile devices than on their desktops. These rates can be nearly 42% higher than those of desktops. And the higher click through rates are associated with searches of a commercial or consumer nature that translates into a more valuable consumer.

  4. Mobile shopping peaks at night. Mobile consumers tend to do their shopping at night, most likely on tablets. It is estimated that 41% of all screen time is now multi-screen time, indicating that these mobile shoppers are making purchases while at home watching television every evening.

  5. Mobile web is just as important as mobile apps. Though many assume there are two digital experiences, desktop and mobile, they are mistaken. In reality the digital consumer experience can broken into three categories: desktop, mobile web and mobile app. And the functionality of mobile websites is vital to their success. Consumers do their on-the-go product research through the mobile web, not apps. It is important for e-commerce merchants to understand that the mobile web is necessary, while mobile apps are optional.

Email Marketing

With a growing mobile market, it is become more and more important to integrate these trends into the construction of email marketing campaigns. For instance, 66% of all emails are now opened on a mobile device, making it vital to ensure that your email campaigns are compatible with a variety of mobile devices and not just desktops.

While mobile phones are the dominant device of choice throughout the day, their usage peaks in the early morning hours prior to work. Desktop usage then peaks during working hours and tablets show a sharp increase in usage during primetime evening hours. So, how can you utilize knowledge all of these trends and consumers to optimize your email marketing campaigns?

  1. Grab consumer attention immediately. The average email subscriber receives about 15 commercial emails each day. While that does not seem like a lot, consider that a majority of those emails end up in the trash unopened.  If you want to avoid this fate, you’ll have to have a compelling subject line that clearly addresses who the email is from and keep the body of the email more visual and less wordy. Because mobile users have more distractions they have a lower tolerance for length and spam.

  2. Optimize the email for mobile devices. There are many considerations that can impact this. Start by ensuring that images are low-bandwidth so that they will load quickly. Don’t lose a customer because your email images won’t load fast enough. If your email contains text, be sure it is formated in a mobile conducive manner and makes readability a priority. Text should be at least 12 pixels and presented in a single column. Finally, be sure that your tap targets can be hit with a fingertip. These buttons should have a clickable area of around 44 by 44 pixels minimum. Customers who aren’t able to easily click through may be lost.

  3. Schedule emails carefully. The usage patterns discussed above are accurate for the general consumer, but make use of your own analytics to determine when your unique consumers are using certain devices. By collecting and analyzing this information you will be able to plan more personalized and targeted marketing campaigns based on your customers’ usage patterns.

  4. Employ seamless mobile compatibility. Nothing is more contradictory than formatting email marketing to mobile devices and then having a click through to a desktop landing page. To give your customers the best experience possible, mobile email should link to compatible mobile websites. In general, your website should take advantage of responsive design. This type of design minimizes the amount of resizing and panning a consumer must do to navigate your site, giving the consumer a more streamlined experience.

In an ever transforming consumer landscape, it is essential to remain ahead of trends and prepare for inevitable changes. As mobile commerce continues to grow, those merchants that don’t adjust will be left in the dust.

What changes will you make to your mobile marketing?


Want more information on email marketing campaigns? Check out the upcoming AddShoppers webinar featuring the Bronto Marketing Platform. Register here.