5. Mobile & More
In case you didn’t notice, in 2016 more people now access digital channels through mobile devices than through desktop devices. That changes how brands think about the consumer decision journey. At which interaction points are consumers on mobile devices? Do they want to complete transactions on their device? Are they just using mobile for research and then making the purchase later? Research from Monetate, for example, shows that ecommerce conversion rates for smartphones are still much lower than desktops. But these dynamics are changing really fast.
The combination of tablet use, new sizes of devices, and better mobile user experiences, supports consumer preference for their pocket computers.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone wants to complete every transaction in mobile, although according to Forrester, mobile commerce will rise to 33% of all U.S. eCommerce sales by 2020. The disconnect is that while almost a third of retailer traffic, for example, comes from mobile, it only delivers about 11% of sales. This is for a number of reasons, including, today’s slow mobile speeds, inadequate design of smartphone experiences, and poor integration of mobile into brand marketing systems.
With consumer demand for mobile and the inevitable shift to mobile commerce, however, brands should focus on doing what they can now to lay the groundwork for enabling mobile as a conversion channel. That includes investing in better mobile experiences, enabling easier access to product reviews, integrating email seamlessly, and making functionality in the conversion process easier, such as in checking out and form completion. Research from the Columbia Business School tells us that already 52% of shoppers use their phones to price check and 50% use them for information and reviews. Within a few short years most consumers will also expect to buy with them. They will expect simple, effortless ways to accomplish their goals. Brands that do not prepare now to deliver on these expectations will find themselves at a disadvantage.
This is still, though, the early days of mobile commerce. As Forrester reports, most of current mobile commerce activity takes place in apparel, consumer electronics and media. Much of it is also subject to multi-screen shopping. This is where shoppers research on mobile and complete the purchase on desktops. While this will evolve with mobile overtime, it makes sense to enable multi-screening today with tactics like enabling saving or emailing a mobile shopping cart.
Many prospects will buy something sooner or later; “later” sometimes being a very long while. That’s why a big part of selling is getting the prospect to accelerate the purchase and buy sooner. Great systems, persuasive value propositions, consistent follow up will all contribute to getting more closes at any particular moment, but as I’ve noted earlier, many of the factors that ultimately influence a purchase may be out of the control of the brand no matter what they do. The mission is therefore to build a system that consistently applies itself to every type of lead, from the hottest to the coolest, focusing energy on those ready to close, while not neglecting to reach out and engage all other leads.
Disciplined consistency over time creates a continuous pipeline of leads, and is the secret to succeeding with these complex selling systems.
Just ensuring that follow up and “touches” do not stop after a couple of attempts can have a profound effect on conversions over time. If a prospect has consumed the value proposition, addressed concerns, answered questions and still does not buy, it does not mean that the game is over. On the contrary, the long game is just beginning. This is the process of feeding the interest that the lead has shown, maintaining awareness, growing trust and cementing brand preference, in preparation for the moment when the consumer’s need, desire and ability to act align.
Brands that create marketing/sales systems that build an on-going pipeline designed to address not only short term ready-to-buy consumers, but also the medium and long game of patiently cultivating prospects, will create a reliable revenue pipeline.
With mobile use in retail environments growing, and the explosion of mobile commerce on the horizon, it is important for brands understand how it will change the way people shop. For example, if you want to see a retailer look sad talk about Showrooming. This is where people evaluate products in store and then buy them later online, depriving the store of the purchase. Webrooming, on the hand, will make a retailer’s smile return, because this is where the consumer researches online and then buys instore.
A study from Infoscout on Black Friday shopping in 2015, showed that 51% of shoppers admitted to Webrooming vs. 35% who said they were Showrooming.
For brands that sell in brick & mortar locations these dynamics are something to carefully consider as you craft the consumer journey around conversion points. Webrooming can be facilitated by confident brands as a way to integrate comprehensive research, the store experience and speedy gratification. Of course all of this depends of the nature of your product or service.
In this short attention span world, speed of response has become another important factor to consider. As our focus constantly shifts from task to task and to the next bright shiny object, so does our willingness to go back to something that may have held our attention, but from which we have moved on. That’s why striking while the iron is hot has become an important tactic. A classic Harvard study showed that of the thousands of companies they studied 24% took more than 24 hours to respond to a lead-initiated contact, and 23% of the companies never responded at all.
According to LeadResponseManagement.org, the chance to qualify a lead drops to 10% after the first hour and after 10 hours leads are invariably completely cold.
While many brands might use a call center for this follow up, some use automated email or even text, which can also be an effective tool. A study by Velocify, for example, showed that sending a text immediately after an initial contact increased subsequent conversion rates by 112.6%.