Mobile Behaviors: What Customers Are Actually Doing Online

Despite the current emphasis of mobile marketing and optimization, there’s little data available to quantify the activities that mobile users actually complete online on a day-to-day basis. Statistics tend to be skewed towards optimistic promises, such as: “70% of mobile consumers shop online.” This says nothing about how often they shop online or what time period this shopping takes place in; it just means that seven out of every ten people have shopped online at some point. Let’s try to get a bit of a fuller picture of what consumers are actually doing when they pick up their smartphones and tablets.

phone2Mobile Behavior and the Online Consumer

91% of users access their email on a daily basis. Just looking at that statistic would seem to indicate that email is the most important mobile task, but that isn’t true. Digging a little deeper, we find that only 7.6% of the time that a user spends on their phone is spent on email. We can still see email has tremendous marketing reach — it just doesn’t have a significant volume of activity.

More importantly, a full 80% of consumer time is spent on the following five apps: Facebook, YouTube, Maps (‘search’), Pandora and Gmail (’email’). So when we say that consumers are spending more time on mobile devices than ever before, this is undoubtedly true — but the vast majority of time is being spent on social media, not on search queries or consumer activities.

Mobile consumers are more likely to encounter a company’s brand through social media rather than through an organic web search. Searching for local businesses through the ‘maps’ function is also undoubtedly skewing activity statistics.

And, at the same time, an app like Pandora or YouTube could be used for a more passive user experience. Users may simply have Pandora running in the background, or even be playing YouTube playlists for music rather than social media purposes. So we can see that consumers are using the Internet through their mobile devices very often, but how often they’re using it actively may be arguable.

phone3Reaching Out to the Mobile Consumer

Surveys would indicate that companies wanting to reach out to the mobile consumer would need to also focus on developing their social media campaigns, rather than strictly developing the mobile functionality and accessibility of their websites. It’s undoubtedly true that modern websites must be responsive, but the question here is whether the mobile consumer is looking for their website at all — or if they’re more likely to encounter the brand through another platform.

When mobile users do search online, their searches tend to be more local than desktop users — one in three rather than one in five. And virtually every study supports higher conversion rates through mobile devices, if only because the customer is already somewhat committed; mobile consumers appear to search for products when they already have a purchase in mind. A significant amount of searches involve reading product reviews and looking up specific products, services and companies, bolstering this theory.

Thus, we can see that mobile usage is very important to an e-commerce marketer; we just aren’t able to quantify exactly how important. We know that consumers convert more often, but we also know that they are usually already primed to buy and have an idea of what they want to purchase. And we know that brands are probably more likely to be interacted with by the mobile consumer through social media rather than their website.

mobile-616012_1280Search Engine Optimization and Mobile Design

Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: Google is changing its search engine results page to promote mobile-friendly results when relevant. But this is less of a concern than it may at first seem to be. Though every Google algorithm change throws the marketing world into a frenzy, Google’s standards for a ‘mobile-friendly’ site are fairly straightforward.

In fact, they’re so straight-forward that you can test your website with Google’s simple tool. Google has been gauging mobile-friendliness through its AdSense portal for some time now; it’s not as nebulous a concept as, for instance, their “page quality” metrics or “site authority” scoring.

All of the above is not to say that a mobile website design isn’t important, nor that mobile website users should not be targeted. For e-commerce websites, the mobile user experience has to be streamlined, attractive and usable. For the purposes of improving user experience, a solid mobile platform is absolutely important.

But it is to say that, for the purposes of mobile user behavior, social media advertising may actually be more important to the average marketer and have more of an overall impact on the average consumer. The vast majority of mobile users are not looking for e-commerce sites or sorting through search engine results, but are instead flipping through their social media accounts and checking their email. It is there that the company needs to reach out to them.

Sustaining Email Remarketing Campaigns Without User Irritation

Email remarketing is usually targeted towards reducing shopping cart abandonment, but not always. Email remarketing campaigns can be used to ping users who have initiated any conversion process but not finished it. A common form of email remarketing is to contact users who have begun the sign up process for a website but not completed it, or those who have signed up for a website but not filled out a profile. But how can you sustain a remarketing campaign without user irritation?

saleAlways Offer Some Form of Additional Value

Shopping cart abandonment campaigns have it easy. They almost always offer some form of value, such as discounts or free shipping. Customers love seeing coupons delivered straight into their inbox. But the situation can be a little more challenging for businesses that are remarketing a non-monetized conversion. For instance, a free site that wants to encourage users to finish their sign up process. Remember that content, too, can be valuable.

Here are a few examples of proving a site’s value through remarketing messaging:

  • Coupon site: Check out these great deals that were posted just this week! Finish your profile to view others!
  • Dating site: Look at these new profiles near you! Sign in now to receive your matches!
  • Industry site: Are you up-to-date on these new industry trends? Connect with us to find out more!

noGive Users an Extremely Painless Opt Out Process

The days of trying to make opt out options circuitous and obscure are dead, if not due to sheer user fatigue than due to rather straightforward legislation. The easier it is to opt out, the more positive the impression will be of your brand. It may not be that the user isn’t interested in your product or service; it may only be that the user is trying to clear out their inbox or do not need the remarketing emails to track your business activity. Keep your opt out cheerful and upbeat and you will increase the chances that your customer will come back.

hands-545394_640Target Your Remarketing Towards Both Demographic and Behavior

Use all of the information you have at your disposal to target your remarketing effectively. The best remarketing campaigns don’t offer just any coupon, they specifically offer coupons for the products that the user was interested in — even if the discount code can actually be used on any product in their basket. This effectively personalizes the messaging and inspires the user to convert.

The modern user is skeptical of emails that begin with “Hello, [your name],” and then go on to include generic content — so if that’s the extent of your personalization, you need to step up your game.

Instead, consider a few of these options:

  • Wishlists: Trigger a remarketing email that notes when the prices on certain items that are already on their wishlist have gone down.
  • Sign up prompts: Identify when a user has visited the site several times without finishing their profile and send them helpful information regarding the process.
  • Window shoppers: Send a remarketing email to logged in users that browse but do not buy, featuring special promotions in the areas that they most often browse.

timingTime and Schedule Your Remarketing Properly

How often can you send a remarketing email without it becoming frustrating? It depends on the email. You should never be sending identical emails to your users, one after another. Each subsequent email should be materially different from the last. Timing, however, can be a little challenging.

Many remarketers suggest that you send your first email within an hour of the consumer leaving your site. Your site is still fresh in their mind and they are still likely interested in your product or service. Waiting too long could mean that they’ve already taken themselves out of the market. But after that, a reminder email can be sent anywhere from one to three days following initial contact. Beyond that, a once a week reminder may be more appropriate.

websiteFully Integrate Your Email Messaging Into Your Website

Your job isn’t done once your user returns to your website. Your website must be properly integrated into your remarketing campaign to ensure a smooth user experience. Otherwise the user may simply get frustrated and leave again. Remember, you’re working with a user who has already failed to convert one or more times. If the email just sends them to a generic page, their attention may be lost.

Here are a few examples of successful integration:

  • Coupon codes and discounts: Discounts should automatically load into their cart and their cart should still be full. At this stage, the user should be able to immediately resume the checkout process.
  • Finishing a profile: Your website should load at the last page that the user filled out, so that they do not need to repeat any part of the process.
  • Learning more: Any informational conversion prompt should always direct the user to the relevant, promised page. The goal is to provide a seamless transition between the email and the website.

Most email remarketing campaigns are successful simply because they are so innocuous. Even an irritated user will simply glance at the email and delete it — tragic for the remarketing campaign, but not necessarily detrimental to the brand. Still, reducing the irritation factor of any marketing campaign is a good goal to have, especially when trying to build a reputation.

3 Simple Keys to App Store Optimization

A mobile app can be an effective channel for marketing your brand, as well as a way to add a stream of passive revenue. But, with over 2 million apps listed in the major app stores, it can be difficult to stand out. A few ways to ensure that your app gets seen:

1. Use a keyword-rich title.

KISSmetrics discovered that apps that had keywords in their titles had 10.3% more downloads than those that did not. For the best results, use the relevant keyword that potential customers use most often when looking for apps like yours. Research well before choosing. Changing the name of your app can hurt your ASO. Also, as your app gains fans, you’ll want people to be able to find it through word of mouth.

2. Higher ratings equal higher results.

The more ratings your app has, the higher it will show up in the app store results. The success you have getting those ratings will depend a lot on how you ask. In your app, it is pretty standard to ask users to rate your app after a certain number of days. But, you can get a more enthusiastic rating by asking “Love the app?” with Yes and No options below. Yes can lead to a request for ratings; no can lead to a comment form so you can help resolve your customer’s issues. Also, pay attention to the comments left by users in reviews. By addressing issues and improving your app, you can earn a higher spot in the app store results.

3. To get lots of downloads, have lots of downloads.

When you create an app, let people know. Talk to current customers. Tweet about it. Put a link on your site. Ask friends and family for downloads and reviews. While research seems to indicate that more competitive keywords require more downloads to get higher results, every bit can help.