15 February 2013

Don´t add a mobile strategy

When we are talking "mobile", there is an enormous range of devices and sizes. But when does it stop being a "computer" and start being a "mobile device"? Where does your web stop being "web" and start being "mobile"? Or is the channel really the issue?

In my opinion, the combination of outstanding product information and timing is the key, rather than the device presenting it. Combine the right information at the right time to the right audience with the best possible usability, and you have created an outstanding customer experience. Here are my 5 cornerstones of digital marketing and digital commerce:

1.  The message: combining qualitative product information with excellent SEO
2.  The timing: the right product information at the right time
3.  The usability: if my 6-year-old can't buy it, your web shop is not good enough
4.  The trust: be reliable, trustworthy and to get recommended by me and my friends
5.  The personalization: keep track of customer behaviour, location and interests

If you do your homework and make sure your information looks just as good in a mobile device as in a computer, then these are factors that will count in your digital sales. And yes, purchases via mobile devices does increase. Over 50% of the Swedish Fashion E-tailer MQ site traffic came from mobile devices during Christmas shopping in December 2012. Prior to 2012, mobile devices were largely used for informational “snacking”—the consumption of short bits of information, such as product ratings, pricing comparisons, or user-generated reviews. 

But OpinionLab’s findings suggest that Holiday 2012 shoppers eagerly embraced the mobile devices as standalone purchasing platforms:
 ”When visiting an e-tailer’s mobile website, 42% of smartphone users indicated that their intent was to buy a product. Among tablet users, a still impressive 34% of shoppers expressed intent to buy a product during the course of their visit.  Conversely, researching, browsing, pricing comparisons, and other pre-buying activities were largely confined to desktop and notebook sessions.”  
The iPad was driving mobile sales, but the Site Opinion Rating for tablet-using buyers was 32% lower than the overall Site Opinion Rating for all online shoppers
So why a drastically lower rating? Was it the bad usability? Or was it not getting the product information through? All 5 cornerstones above share one basic requirement: a combination of understanding the customer, and the availability of enriched, customized product information. At inRiver we don't do copywriting, we don't do usability, nor do we do mobile shopping carts. Still, without the things we do, none of the other actions deliver their full potential. 

It's time to realize that what we yesterday called mobile is what we now call smart. Tomorrow it's just information access where you need it, when you need it. As consumers we are now using the device we have in range, that is easily accessible.

This is PIM and why it's important for smart, digital commerce:

PIM stands for Product Information Management. With inRiver PIM you can collect, enrich and distribute all types of product information to any channel. Mobile or not, printed or digital. This saves a lot of time while at the same time you ensure all information is available in all your sales channels, exactly when your customer asks for it - regardless of device.

So don´t...

So don´t create a separate mobile strategy. Instead, make sure your design, your movies, images and texts  - i.e. your product information - can be used by anybody, anywhere at any time! No matter if your customer is using a computer, a mobile device or a pair of Google glasses. And consider starting your digital strategy by implementing inRiver PIM ;)

Best regards,

Martin Stenke
Business Development Director