4 Costly Mobile Marketing Strategy Mistakes Retailers Make

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In an age when consumers spend more time on mobile than any other form of media, mobile marketing strategy is playing an increasingly important role in retailers’ overall plans. This is especially true today given that nearly half of consumers’ usage of mobile apps increased during the pandemic, according to a recent survey from Broadridge Financial Solutions.

As consumers continue to rely on their mobile devices throughout their shopping journey, retailers are investing heavily into apps such as grocery list building platforms to engage with users and include this imperative channel into their marketing mix.

However, the challenges around mobile marketing can be overwhelming at times, especially when it comes to making the right call on where and when to spend their mobile marketing dollars to reach customers effectively. Retailers also want to make sure they’re getting the greatest return on investment from their mobile apps, making it critical that they serve experiences that further influence conversion.

That’s why it’s key to understand the four common mistakes many retailers are making with their mobile marketing strategy, and how they can be remedied with deliberate and engaging approaches.

The App is the Only Part of Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Yes, apps are a valuable way to engage shoppers on their mobile device. However, just releasing an app isn’t enough to capture consumer intent and justify the amount of investment needed. Consumers expect a seamless omnichannel experience across the shopping journey, including the mobile touchpoint. In fact, 84% of consumers expect companies to make it easy for them to interact across print, digital and other channels.

To reach a wide cast of shoppers and encourage downloads and engagement, marketers must include promotion of the app across all channels, including social, store signage, receipts, weekly promotions and more. Target does this well by reminding consumers across all channels about the rewarding shopping experience they can get by downloading the app, such as easy access to Target’s Circle offers, weekly ad notifications and item availability.

You must also diversify your mobile marketing investment into other industry-relevant mobile apps with larger audiences, such as those for shopping lists, productivity, recipes and lifestyle. By including these apps in your mobile marketing mix in addition to your own mobile platform, you can create a strategy that reaches a large, highly contextual, mobile-savvy audience.

Limiting In-Store Promotions to Physical Displays

Traditionally, retailers engaged with shoppers in-store through physical displays, shelf positioning of products and price-grabbing visual signage. Retailers can go one step further by making mobile a go-to reference for shoppers, especially since 80% of shoppers are looking at their phones while navigating the aisles.

Imagine that Sally is a mom who goes to the store once a week. She uses her favorite mobile grocery list app for all the items she needs for this week’s meals. At the store, she uses the app to checking items off. Reaching for her daughter’s favorite cereal brand, she gets an alert for an in-store promotional offer to try out a new brand of milk to go with it. By having access to critical list-building, first-party data and understanding what’s driving Sally’s purchase decisions, you can create a data-driven connection right on her mobile device.

Forgetting to Promote Private Label

Private label products are driving profits for retailers, with year-over-year sales growth of 13.7% in 2020 vs. 12.9% in 2019, according to Coresight Research’s recent report.

To make sure consumers are placing these items in their basket, you must include promoting private label as part of your mobile marketing strategy. This could mean implementing an add-to-list promotion that puts private label products onto shopper’s digital grocery lists. This helps you reach the right shopper at the right time, targeting consumers in the middle to lower parts of the funnel when they’re engaging with a product category. This helps you build awareness, understand consumer purchase intent and increase private label sales and the bottom line overall.

Not Keeping the User Experience (UX) in Mind

Retailers often make the mistake of simply copying and transferring their desktop or web experience to their mobile app. If the site is not optimized for mobile, it hurts the user experience, leading to frustrated customers and abandoned carts.

According to a survey conducted by FullStory, 65% of consumers trust a business less when they experience a problem with a website or mobile app. Consequently, their experience with a retailer’s promotional content may reflect negatively on how they feel about and perceive their products.

Retailers who don’t create a mobile experience that is helpful, productive and specifically built for mobile are missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with consumers in a meaningful way. Retailers who prioritize the user experience and make the mobile app, easy to navigate, intentional and true to their brand will win consumers over.

A Strong Mobile Strategy Will Beat the Competition

Consumers’ expectations for a seamless omnichannel customer journey means you need to utilize mobile channels in a way that drives conversions and sales. Retailers big and small have already committed to making mobile marketing a key priority within their overall mix. By taking a hard look at your current mobile strategy, you can look for pitfalls that are hurting sales and find new ways to harness the power of mobile to engage with consumers as they shop.

Molly McFarland is the Founder and CRO of AdAdapted