Mobile commerce, or “m-commerce,” has already taken the world by storm. One third of ecommerce is now mobile-driven, and “perusing marketplace apps” is so fun that it’s one of the most popular pastimes. Of course, with all of these new marketing opportunities, there’s also more competition. So how can businesses scale and grow market share without drying up all their resources?
There are plenty of marketing tricks available that claim to help drive m-commerce sales. For example, use chatbots, add augmented reality, or test out geotargeted marketing. But these don’t cause long-term change. A healthy strategy should be driven by digital transformation, not hacks. The first step is to realign goals and practices to fit modern ecommerce needs.
Let’s start by focusing on the backbone of m-commerce__: powerful product information at the right touchpoints.
What your brand communicates across touchpoints matters
The marketing funnel has always been the cornerstone of smart ecommerce efforts. Mobile is simply adding new opportunities into the mix—from fresh formats and placements to new channels and technical requirements. Users also bring a different mindset to mobile. They don’t use mobile the same way they use desktop. In fact, Facebook’s own Reynold D'Silva describes mobile users as a “goldfish” audience.
“The current best practices in advertising and brand storytelling often don't work on mobile because they are based on decades of research into the passive medium of television."
*Marketing to goldfish: The ABCDs of mobile advertising*, Reynold D'Silva, group head of FMCG, tech, telco, and media brands at Facebook
Users also expect much more personalization. Google even found that 61% of users are more likely to buy on mobile when the app or site customizes information according to their location and preferences.
Product data strategy matters because, no matter the medium, information is what helps a user understand that a given product will (or won’t) suit their needs. The addition of more touchpoints only increases the need for consistent product data.
Furthermore, the right messaging across touchpoints will also help businesses compete with those who sell cheaper products or have other advantages. By providing a more powerful product experience, you can show the value of your brand and compete without compromising on price or quality. Digital natives may have the upper hand on mobile, but agile product data can get businesses up to speed with minimal effort.
How to drive interest with mobile-specific advertising efforts
A healthy and varied portfolio will be what changes a business that has “products online” into a brand that users love to engage with and buy from—whether it’s mobile, desktop, or some unknown, future platform. Here are several ways you can enhance the customer buying experience just by paying closer attention to how you use product information.
Prepare product descriptions for absolute clarity and completeness
69% of smartphone users say they’re more likely to buy from companies whose sites and apps help them find the right information. Don’t forget, it’s (way) more difficult to perform research on mobile than desktop. If a user can’t find the right information, they’re likely to bounce to a competitor’s page rather than scour the mobile web for details. To make your offering more maneuverable:
- __Make sure product descriptions and titles are complete and clear.__
Make browsing easier and search smarter
Have you ever tried to make a purchase on mobile, only to find that poor functionality made it nearly impossible? That’s a nightmare. It’s likely also why 73% of consumers say they would switch from a poorly designed mobile site to one that makes purchasing easier. To combat this there are two steps:
- __Ensure that your product data is optimized__ to be used in __on-site search____, __and ensure that it’s ready for __recommendation engines____. In order to relate queries to the most appropriate products, titles and attributes (like color or size) must be absolutely clear and standardized. Analytics data can also be used to tell these engines which products to prioritize due to their performance or ROI.
Prepare creative and attributes for mobile-specific ads if necessary
Many channels offer mobile-only formats. For example, Facebook’s Collection ads. Different creative or specific sizes may be necessary to power these ads. These will need to be included in the product feed. To optimize campaign performance specifically for m-commerce:
- __Tailor product information and creative in order to leverage mobile-specific advertising and listing opportunities__. This will require planning, as editing generally needs to be done within the product feed before it’s distributed to the advertising platform.
Leverage mobile marketplaces to reach huge audiences
Mobile marketplaces are the cornerstone of modern cross-border m-commerce. In fact, in 2018, users spent 18 billion hours in shopping apps. That’s up 45% from 2016. Much like Amazon took over shopping in the past decade, mobile marketplaces are increasingly critical for reaching shoppers.
Marketplaces also take care of one of the most complicated aspects of mobile commerce: financial applications and payment options. Customers want a checkout method that’s quick and secure. They trust marketplaces more than most other sites and app, meaning any business can benefit just by adding marketplaces to their channel portfolio.
- __Tailor and distribute product feeds to the most relevant marketplaces__ for your audience. This should be simple for businesses with a smart product feed solution in place.
Note: one common tip is to build your own marketplace app to sell your products. However, the marketplace app space is competitive. Only businesses who are able to create a truly useful, beautiful app should compete in this way. Otherwise, you risk turning users off to your brand and focusing efforts in all the wrong ways.
Be sure custom label strategies take mobile into account
You may already be segmenting audiences on mobile. Custom labels can make this easier. For example, if certain products sell more on mobile than desktop, you may want to differentiate them with a custom label. Ideally, this should be used both for m-commerce and other forms of ecommerce.
On the other hand, mobile users expect far more personalization. They’re using phones in a specific physical location at a certain time. They won’t necessarily want to see the same products when they’re out and about town as they would at home. If necessary, segment products that are more tied to specific locations and times, and also remove those that are less relevant.
- Use __custom labels__ to create segments specifically for mobile campaigns. Possible groups include keywords more often used on mobile or products that sell more on mobile. These labels can then be used within marketing and sales channels to quickly segment products and run campaigns.
Test and track the results of your feed
In order to create the right custom labels or properly segment products, you’ll need to start by understanding what does and doesn’t drive revenue on mobile. That may be easier said than done. This includes defining “success” and finding a way to quantify it. This is where A/B testing and regular tracking will come in handy.
Exactly how you perform this will depend heavily on your current feed management software, as only some will offer relevant tools. We’ll use Productsup as an example.
- Productsup lets you implement A/B testing and track exactly which variation of a feed is getting more clicks. This means you can test titles, creative, products, and anything else.
- The ROI Strategy tool will also let you automatically turn your analytics into action points. So, if a product is selling well on a certain mobile marketplace, you can create a relevant label to be used in your campaigns. Or, products with high CTRs but low sales could be segmented from the feed for affected channels. In short, any number can be turned into an action.
Achieve m-commerce agility with easy channel expansion and product data tailoring
Traditionally, product data has been managed manually by technical (rather than business and marketing) teams. That worked a decade ago when there were only a handful of ecommerce channels out there. Now that businesses need to distribute data to Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Walmart, and dozens of other sites, the traditional method is not so practical.
Productsup makes it easy to expand your portfolio and reach channels around the globe. Marketers can make changes quickly and easily in order to build a powerful, compelling product feed. There's no IT or outside help required. Then, they can distribute that feed to new and existing channels of all kinds. Single-handedly, marketing and product teams can take complete control of the feed and uniquely prepare it for m-commerce success.
- Reach new marketplaces and other channels
- Test variations of attributes to find which works best for mobile shoppers
- Use rules and logic to apply relevant custom labels
- Craft an experience that is consistent between touchpoints
- And more.