6 Tips for Reaching On-The-Go Mobile Customers

It has now become apparent that no matter where consumers go or what they decide to do this summer, they’ll all stay connected with the outside world through smartphones and tablets.

The proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices has un-tethered consumers from their computers and freed them to pursue more active lives while still being connected.

For instance, after a long day outside during the summer, I enjoy relaxing and visiting my favorite retailers online to see what new products are being offered. That being said, retailers need to invest in platforms that allow them to stay in touch with consumers while they’re on the move, particularly when they are on vacation or away from home for an extended amount of time.

One way to enhance the experience for the consumer is to deliver targeted product recommendations across all on-the-go devices. More and more, we’ve seen retail clients ask for help personalizing their customer experience across all touch points…the priority being smartphones and tablets.

Retailers should take advantage of the fact that consumers are often in a new location while on their vacation. For example, a consumer may check out a well-known ticketing retailer and through a recommendation find that their favorite band is playing right down the street from their summer cottage.

Because this leading ticketing retailer was able to use the consumer’s current location data and understand their preferences, they are more likely to draw in the consumer.

When it comes to product recommendations on-the-go, retailers need to understand that providing recommendations on smartphones or tablets are hard enough, but delivering a more personalized, engaging experience to consumers soaking up the summer sun is even harder.

To do this, retailers need to keep in mind some preventative measures to assure recommendations presented this summer to consumers on-the-go make sense and get noticed:

Smaller screens require bigger effort
You must recognize that smart phones and tablets have inherently small screens; that means you need to maximize value of what is shown (by providing recommendations that deliver relevance) and make navigation easier.

Make personalized recommendations readily available
But be cautious: Just like on-line, try to make recommendations pervasively available – but don’t go overboard given the small screen size or your mobile e-commerce platform may suffer.

Look through the window
Support virtual window shopping by showing recommendations that provide value to your consumers. By making it easy to see and navigate to something that they’ll be interested in, they’ll be more likely to stay on your mobile site. This is vital on the small screen where session lengths and real estate are both compressed.

Make it easy
Help customers complete their purchases. Personalized recommendations can only go so far to engage customers and lead them to purchase, but if the check-out process is overly complicated or time-consuming (especially while on-the-go) you’ll get a lot of potential buyers saying “bye-bye.”

Invest in making it easy to check-out and assure that recommendations are pervasive throughout the checkout process, including highlighting cross/sell items and complementary goods.

Every touch point is different
It’s key to recognize differences in behavior by touchpoint. People may buy different things depending on where they’re browsing…e.g., an online shopper may purchase DVDs or shoes, but most likely will not purchase furniture or appliances unless they know exactly what they are looking for and are doing price comparison.

Location, location, location
Take into account location – based on your business, location-based recommendations may actually elicit increased action. It’s vital to understand how location can impact your business and how you can push recommendations that are sensitive to the location of each individual consumer.

Mille Park is vice president and general manager of CONNECT at ChoiceStream.

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