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Strategy

Unlocking the Potential in Your Multichannel Mobile Strategy

By Kellye Snodgrass

If you’re anything like your friends, family and colleagues, you spend a lot of time on your cell. If you’re like me, you hide the “screen time” notification on your phone.

Shoppers are spending more and more time on their mobile devices — two times more than they did just four years ago. Reaching shoppers where they’re spending time online means that you need to reach them right under their thumbs.

That means creating a mobile marketing strategy. Mobile strategies aren’t new for retail marketers. But more and more retailers have been adopting them over the past several years with even more planning to adopt a mobile strategy in the next year to keep pace with the shopper.

But even though shoppers are spending twice as much time on mobile devices than they did four years ago, mobile conversion rates are still low compared to desktop. Why? Most mobile experiences were simply ported over from desktop and don’t cater to the mobile device or mobile device user. For example, when compared to desktop, mobile engagements require more concise, timely communications to a millennial-first audience.  

But there’s a big opportunity in mobile. 

The headlines around it are staggering — CTRs are 10X what we see in email with claims of as high as 20% contribution to total ecommerce revenue. But, SMS is at least 10 times more expensive than other retention channels like email and brands are wondering how much of the revenue they’re driving in SMS is truly incremental to what they were doing before. Which is why you need to make sure your investment is living up to its full potential and driving revenue.

3 Challenges keeping your mobile program from reaching its full potential

Don’t limit the success of your SMS program. To drive incremental revenue, there are a few considerations you need to make to be sure that your SMS program is helping you — not hurting you.

Limited personalization

Marketing has come way too far to let the personalization ball drop now. Even if your experiences across site, email and display are personalized, you’re still not delivering on the promise of keeping the customer at the center if you’re not personalizing your SMS program. At such a higher cost than other channels, it becomes that much more important to deliver on that promise to protect your bottom line and make sure that you’re driving incremental revenue. It just takes one moment for a shopper to convert or not convert — so don’t waste that opportunity to match your shoppers with the product they’ll love with static messaging. You have all of this data on your shoppers and your products, so you don’t want to let it go to waste.

What this should look like: Your SMS program should match shoppers to the products they love, in the environment they prefer based on the predictions generated by all of that shopper and product data. So any trigger like an abandoned cart trigger, a price drop trigger or predictive audience-driven campaign should be able to be orchestrated via your SMS platform for mobile-friendly shoppers to increase conversions.

Cross-channel coordination

No man is an island, and SMS is no exception. The implications of not having coordination with another channel like email are huge. A lot of times with SMS, marketers are operating out of siloed customer profiles. All of that valuable data is wasted if that identifier isn’t connected to a larger customer profile so you get the full picture of who they are (and so you can market to them with scientific precision). The other implication is that you might be wasting your investment in SMS if you’re sending texts to shoppers who aren’t likely to convert there. Not knowing which shoppers are likely to convert on which channels at different moments in their shopper lifecycle won’t just cost you a conversion — it will erode your bottom line.

What this should look like: Customer profiles are connected and robust. With cross-channel coordination, you can identify and grow customer profiles with the information you get across channels. You can launch multichannel campaigns, build channel touches into those campaigns and determine the best channel option for any individual.

Slow workflows

Your SMS program needs to move just as fast you do. Slow workflows mean more manual work for you and your team with an SMS program that is siloed from your other channels and your other customer data. Without the speed to add audiences quickly and easily to your SMS campaigns, you won’t be keeping up with the speed of your shoppers.

What this should look like: You can segment, build and personalize campaigns at scale. You can understand performance across channels with commerce campaigns built to convert and drive repeat purchases.

Use mobile to enhance a shopper’s lifecycle, not interrupt it

Your mobile marketing program should enhance your shopper’s lifecycle — not interrupt it with stale messaging and untimely communications. You only get so many chances to get it right before you get blocked (or left on read). 

Think about how this all comes together. With SMS, you can increase identification of new shoppers with true cross-channel coordination. With all of that new data, you can grow your unified customer profile to make your outreach better and better. With all of that new shopper, behavioral and product data you can make recommendations about which products your shoppers will want to buy to boost conversion on the channel they’re most likely to convert. Armed with that information and your new identifier, you can continue to drive purchases with predictive analytics from those shoppers at scale the way they want to be reached (know who is mobile-friendly, who prefers email and who loves social media) — keeping the shopper at the center and the channels all working together in harmony.

Don’t misinvest in SMS

Making the right investments in your mobile strategy is critical in building and scaling your mobile program to drive profitability. By starting with the right foundations or implementing them now, you can be sure that you’re intelligently driving incremental revenue at scale and bringing your SMS program into your multichannel mix in the right way.

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Kellye Snodgrass

Kellye is a member of the Product Marketing and Operations team and is one of Bluecore's first Product Marketing hires. She's spent most of her career in marketing technology with a special focus in the eCommerce space. When she's not online shopping on one of our customers' stores, she loves to write about data-driven retail marketing strategies that not only drive performance, but are easy to implement

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