This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
Retail mobile marketing is all about targeting your marketing efforts to consumers on mobile devices (some 211 million of us use mobile devices to perform searches, according to Statistica).
So while these consumers have the option to purchase on their phone—whether it’s for pickup or delivery—the way you market your business to them on mobile can also help get shoppers inside your store.
There’s no single answer to creating a mobile marketing strategy for your retail store; above all else, ensure it’s unique to your business’ objectives, customers, and needs. Here’s how to create a retail mobile marketing strategy in five steps:
1. Define Your Mobile Marketing Goals
The SMART goals methodology—which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound—can help provide the framework to determine the goal for your retail mobile marketing strategy.
Here’s a simplified approach to start and build from:
- Specific: Create a mobile marketing strategy that increases in-store sales by 25%.
- Measurable: We will review data monthly to learn what is and isn’t working and determine how to adapt our tactics moving forward.
- Achievable: We will achieve this by focusing our marketing budget on mobile only.
- Relevant: Without a mobile marketing strategy, we may lose shoppers to competitors.
- Time-bound: We will reach this goal by the end of the year.
Setting SMART goals is the first step to ensuring you and your associates understand your retail mobile marketing strategy—and how you can achieve it.
2. Understand Your Customers
You can’t have a successful mobile marketing strategy for your retail store without understanding your customers. Here’s where to start:
Use Existing Customer Data
Understand the who, what, and why by analyzing the data you already have.
- Who is generating the most revenue?
- What are they buying—and how often?
- Why do they need these products?
You can tap into customer relationship management (CRM) software to help with some of the heavy lifting. Alternatively, you can also use your point-of-sale (POS) system to gather this data. POS Systems offer marketing tools and reporting and analytics insights to help you create a clear marketing plan based on your customer profile and behavior.
Talk to Your Associates
What better place to start than the people who are interacting with your customers daily? The key here is to focus your questions on who your team thinks are your store’s best customers.
- What do you think your best customers have in common?
- Why do you think your best customers keep coming back?
- What seems to be the most important to your best customers?
- How do you think your products help solve your best customers’ needs?
Focusing on your best customers will help ensure your retail mobile marketing strategy will target the right audience.
Research Consumer Habits
What do your customers do before and after making a purchase in your store? While your customer data may not give you a concrete answer, you can tap into trends and insights to better understand.
For example, a PYMNTS study indicates nearly half of consumers use their phones in-store to find discounts or deals, while a third perform price comparisons. Nearly 70% of shoppers, according to RetailMeNot, use their phone in-store to find product information instead of speaking with an employee.
If you start noticing similarities during your research, you can consider segmentation to take your audience insights a step further.
Use location, needs, demographics, and purchasing habits as a starting place to begin identifying groups of common customers. This practice will help you know who to target your retail mobile marketing strategy to and who not to.
Plus, segmentation leads to personalization opportunities—and 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business that provides this type of experience.
3. Align on a Single, Simple Message
In 2019, US consumers spent an average of three hours and 43 minutes on a mobile device each day—surpassing time spent watching TV for the first time. But while time spent is increasing, the time to get your customers’ attention is decreasing. In fact, humans have an average eight-second attention span.
That’s why it’s vital to keep your mobile marketing strategy’s message simple, clear, and as straightforward as possible.
To start, ask yourself how your in-store experience addresses your customers’ needs and wants. Begin with their most important need. Highlight how your store addresses it—this can be a driving force in ensuring your retail mobile marketing strategy is as effective as possible.
Identify Optimization Opportunities
Your single, simple message, however, is only as efficient as your marketing platforms. That means if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you risk losing your customers’ interest because of a subpar mobile experience, regardless of your message.
One way to check if your website is mobile-friendly is Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. All you have to do is enter your website’s URL to receive a full analytics report, in seconds, with clear action items to address.
Google Optimize is another tool you can use to better understand what your customers engage with the most by testing your website’s content and performance. This tool provides advanced targeting tools to provide the best content to your best customers too.
Have a mobile app—or looking to build one? Aim to prioritize functionality and performance over fancy features. And remember: Always test it from a consumer’s perspective. If the performance is noticeable, it’s time to consider what you may not need to free up some space.
4. Bring Everything Together
Bringing your mobile marketing strategy to life means meeting your customers where they are. Here’s where to start:
Lean on Social Media
Social media is an integral piece in any marketing strategy. Here, you can develop creative ways to highlight your in-store offerings through engaging videos, graphics, and other interactive capabilities like polls and Instagram Stories.
- Giveaways: Consider a giveaway for a gift card to spend inside your store. This is also a great way to increase visibility to your store, as giveaways encourage your followers to share your business offerings on their accounts.
- Running ads: Have extra dollars to spend? Running ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram can help ensure the right audience is seeing your posts. When you really understand your audience, consider targeting ads on Google.
Update Your Google Business Listing
Most US consumers (93%) search online for a local business, with 87% reading the online reviews. With Google My Business, you can ensure your business listing is as up-to-date as possible with accurate location, hours, website, and contact information.
Tip: If your store follows any current health and safety protocols, ensure they’re visible. Two-thirds of consumers say they wouldn’t use a business if reviews mention COVID-19 health and safety measures were not implemented.
Send a Text Message
Already have customers opted-in for text communications? Then SMS marketing is a must-have for your mobile marketing strategy, especially if you’re incorporating time-sensitive, in-store promotions into your campaign.
Plus, 86% of small business owners say SMS marketing has higher engagement rates than email communications, although only 13% of small businesses actually use the medium.
Remember, these messages have a short character count limit—so keep your communications clear and concise with the necessary information on the promotion, the deadline, and any applicable links. Always send your texts at an appropriate time too.
Engage Through Email
While email marketing open rates aren’t as high as SMS marketing, email is still growing—and definitely isn’t going anywhere. The key to ensuring your email communications are as effective as possible is to think, of course, mobile first.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Write short, compelling subject lines. This space lessens on mobile, so keep your subject lines between 25–30 characters.
- Use the space beneath the subject line. Referred to as preheader text, this is where you can quickly summarize your in-store promotions to entice users to click.
- Ensure your copy is scannable. Shorter paragraphs are easier on the eye, especially on a mobile device.
- Include a single call to action (CTA). Be intentional about what you want your customers’ next step to be, and ensure your CTA button is near the top of your email.
5. Test & Learn
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a successful retail mobile marketing strategy. But, analyzing, testing, and learning as you go can ensure you’re on the right track.
If you use the SMART goal methodology outlined above, the framework is already set for you. If you decide to compile data monthly, this is the perfect time to see what is and isn’t working and how you can adapt moving forward to achieve your goal.
Learn more about how to use retail data analytics in your store to track results.
A retail mobile marketing strategy isn’t only for driving ecommerce sales. Mobile marketing can also help businesses of all sizes drive in-store sales with the added benefits of gaining better customer insights, improving your in-store experience, and so much more.
As you create your mobile marketing strategy, keep in mind that marketing trends and insights are ever-changing as technology advances—so make this research a priority for your business to ensure your mobile marketing strategy is as effective and successful as possible.