We’re not just interested in a quick way to transmit a clever ad slogan anymore. It’s much more than that. Brands are taking on complex personas, and brand recognition occurs not with a jingle, but with just a few notes. Messages are getting shorter, and tools like the QR code, the SMS, and the NFC are becoming vitally important with a growing m-commerce market.
In a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted by Lightspeed Research for Accenture. Fifty six percent of consumers said that mobile devices make the shopping experience more enjoyable.
According to a 2013 study by McKinsey, m-commerce is a big deal. It says:
“Now totaling $200 billion in global transaction value, mobile commerce is projected to grow by 35 percent annually over the next five years.”
There are three prevailing methods of reaching this market.
The SMS (Short Message Service) has been around since the early 2000’s and is still effective. They can send a short and clever slogan in a quick message, but can also contain links to redirect the user to a sight of interest. SMS services are simpler, do not require scanning technology and are often more compatible with devices in less developed parts of the world. This is important for marketers involved in international sales. And although simple in principle, it’s evolved to include services like “short codes”. A customer will receive an ad with an abbreviated number with which to become engaged with a brand. Besides messaging, it’s a way for marketers to attract visitors and redirect them to more content about your brand. Examples include:
- WAP sites: Websites designed for mobile devices which require less bandwidth than those designed for a computer
- Downloadable applications, like games
- Mobile video (TV) ads.
Beyond words: One-dimensional barcodes were a great innovation, used for attaching product data to goods in a store, to make checkout at the register quick and easy. It also tracks a parcel of mail to your door. Because the amount of information was limited, it evolved into a two-dimensional “quick response” (QR) codes which could contain more information in a smaller area. As soon as smartphones had the ability to scan, the potential was quickly apparent and a new marketing philosophy was born. Now, you can easily create a QR code (for free) and get it out there quickly.
More localized communication: A more sophisticated form of communication is beginning to compete with the QR code. Near field communication (NFC) allows a user to wave a smartphone over a NFC compatible device, to send information: shipping addresses, locations, even business tools like invoices. There are no visual cues required and is easier to use than an optical scanner. Examples of applications include:
- Grocery store checkout
- Public service announcements on busses or trains
- Secure online payments
- Tagging exhibits at car shows or museums with a description/explanation
QR codes, SMS and NFC are inexpensive, effective, and easy to use technologies. In a nutshell, they boost mobile conversion rates because of how quickly the customer can become engaged. Keep that in mind when using them.
- They should be easy to use and even easier for the user to become engaged.
- Make them fun to use. This is a great way to entice visitors to engage in fun activities like Ikea’s Facebook tagging promotion, for example.
- As with any other ad campaign, keep your returning customers in mind. This may be an opportunity to reward repeat customers. Increasing your customer retention by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.
Mobile conversions are now the first topic of conversation among experienced entrepreneurs with regard to sales. We know that when engaging customers, time is critical. The number of words and the quality of your message means the difference between a curious click and a sale. That said, it makes perfect sense that mobile marketing is eclipsing all other methods of customer engagement, and those who provide online business tools must be prepared for it.