The word phone really does a disservice for the ever-increasing capabilities of the modern day phone. No one really makes calls any longer. We send audio messages, text messages, drop lines on social media platforms, and share videos with one another.
We also use it to communicate with our favorite brands and retailers, to shop and browse the virtual aisles. We game on our phones and find directions to the closest bookstore. We even track our health, diet, and sleeping patterns on our phones.
But “phone” is the word we use since it’s the original purpose of a smartphone. We don’t call them what they’ve become: a digital assistant, an addictive device, a shopping portal, our health record.
So much so they have become part of everyday life, that some people even digitally detox by putting down their phones, switching them off, and switching off the online world to reconnect with the physical.
According to Adobe – which heads the big box of serious digital tools like ecommerce platform Magento and digital experience platform Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) – 89% of people surveyed strongly agreed that they need their device while on the go, and 1-in-5 said they couldn’t live without it.
Phones are also home to your brand’s app, where customers and potential customers are one click away, and one search away, from your ecommerce site – wherever they are, be it at work, at home, walking in the park, stuck in traffic.
In fact, 2021 is set to be the year that mobile ecommerce overtakes laptop/desktop ecommerce. So it’s clear that mobile is key for retailers and brands to survive and thrive in the present and future. That a mobile-first approach is not preferred but necessary.
The Adobe survey also found that 54% of consumers also rely on their phones when they are at home. In the last 12 months, phone users have been increasingly using their mobile for banking (an increase of 39%), scanning documents (up 34%), and sending money (up 29%).
Mobile is fast becoming the preferred method for shoppers. In particular, we are using our phones for buying electronics (49%), banking (47%), ordering food (46%), researching a holiday (42%), and browsing clothes (39%).
There is enough compelling data to make mobile front and center of ecommerce strategies, with shoppers increasingly relying on mobile apps, where unlike laptops that have to be switched on and off, mobiles are constantly on and ready to communicate.
“Smart marketers understand the central role mobile plays in everyday life,” said Bridgette Darling, the digital experience product marketing manager at Adobe. “And recognize that mobile touchpoints must add to the customer experience.”
“Mobile apps, in particular,” she added, “must be compelling enough to earn the initial download and also useful enough for consumers to want to use all the time.”
When you have a mobile presence it’s important to not only be there but to provide an enjoyable, memorable experience. This type of mobile moment can lead to stronger brand loyalty.
Yet with so much competition, consumers face a barrage of irrelevant messages and offers coming from so many ecommerce directions. “This is an opportunity for marketers to be more personal,” added Bridgette, “and targeted with the way they’re communicating with their consumers.”
The trick is to give consumers what they want, which is to receive offers and deals but for them to not be intrusive; for them to be targeted and personalized. For creative folk to get mobile spot on, a technological infrastructure that enables communication among back-end systems.
Infrastructure such as Adobe Experience Cloud, a collection of platforms that include Adobe Campaign, Adobe Target, and Adobe Experience Manager, all of which combine to allow the analysis of consumer behavior, the creation of rich audience profiles, and corresponding effective marketing campaigns, with the help of geolocation capabilities and multivariate testing.
Other studies from Adobe point out that providing special offers and discounts act as great incentives to encourage people to download an ecommerce app. “Brands have to think about what specific role their app plays in the customer experience,” added Bridgette, “and figure out a way to make the app both useful and personal to the consumer.
“How they communicated with their customers through that app is equally as important. It cannot be considered or treated like the customer’s email inbox.”
Both personally and professionally, mobile is front and center of our lives. And its usage has increased our expectations. We want things to work faster, easier, and better to take over more and more tasks of our lives. And we want relevant and timely communication from the brands we love most.
Brands who translate their customer’s wants and needs into easily navigable mobile experiences. “The key is to understand the use case, value, and need of the mobile experience and where that fits into the customer journey,” said Bridgette. “Creating a mobile marketing strategy that will deliver the best possible experience for the customer is crucial.”