October 10, 2018
The State (and Future) of Digital Marketplaces
The results are in. During the 2016 holiday season, half of all total website visits were made via smartphones and tablets, and 31% of all total online purchases were made through these same devices. These figures continue to increase year over year, showing that consumers are increasingly turning to the internet to shop—and to their mobile devices to facilitate. On top of this, online sales reached an astounding $91.7 billion overall, marking an 11% increase from the 2015 holiday season.
If you’re in the retail and e-commerce space, and you want to grab a slice of this nearly $100 billion (pecan?) pie, you must get savvy about your mobile presence. Not only does this mean fully leveraging your mobile app (and having one to begin with), but it also means thinking about exclusive mobile channels such as push notifications and in-app messaging, as well as other channels like web, social, and email, all as working together to perform one function—getting the consumer to engage with your brand and driving them towards that coveted goal conversion. (Fewer abandoned shopping carts, anyone?).
You may be wondering, “How can I use email to get more people to download and engage with my mobile app—and buy something?” The answer is found in the concept of cross-channel. You may think you have cross-channel already, but what you probably have is multi-channel. (Sorry to be the one to break the news). Multi-channel means that you’re using many channels to communicate with your customers, which is good, but it’s not great. Multi-channel is, for lack of a better word, passé. Cross-channel, on the other hand, doesn’t just signify having a presence on many or even all channels—it goes a (giant) step further to signify listening to the behaviors and activities of your customers on one channel and using that information to deliver highly relevant messaging on other channels.
Cross-channel-enabled marketing automation can help send these crucial signals from one channel to another. So, if a customer downloads your app, fills up their cart, but walks away, they can then be served a relevant email that they open on their mobile device, reminding them to go complete their purchase…and perhaps even at a discount.
But wait, there’s more. Brands can really solidify their stake with consumers in the sea of online shopping noise by providing them a truly personalized experience. Enter, artificial intelligence. Marketing automation that combines the power of cross-channel with artificial intelligence can help marketers achieve one-to-one personalization with every single consumer by automatically sending messages with the right content, on the right channel, and at the exact right time that each one of them is most likely to view it. The result? Higher engagement, conversion, and revenue.
As you can probably guess by now, these tactics go far beyond the holiday season. Consumers are on their mobile devices year round, and marketers need to follow suit. The retail and e-commerce brands that will win the race in the end are the ones that are optimizing mobile through the lens of cross-channel, artificial intelligence, and personalization.
So make it your new year’s resolution for 2017 to say goodbye to batch & blast messaging and instead, deliver fewer messages but with incredible accuracy and provide a highly personalized experience to every one of your consumers. They’ll feel it, really. And you’ll notice the difference in your bottom line.
A Bi-Weekly Newsletter Focused Exclusively on Online Marketplaces