Mobile commerce has revolutionized not only shopping but also food delivery, travel and bill payments. Before the advent of m-commerce, shopping was an event that required planning. Picky shoppers needed to spend a whole day visiting multiple stores and comparing products. Fast forward to today, you can browse products from multiple stores and marketplaces with a few clicks. You can switch from one store to another and then switch back to the first within a few seconds.
The m-commerce industry isn’t a zero sum game. What this means is customers today can and do purchase products and services from multiple stores or apps as per their need. However, this doesn’t mean the industry is any less competitive. A smartphone owner on average has around 50 apps on their phone. Each of these apps is competing for a user’s attention by sending constant communication to remind them to get back on the app.
Where traditional marketing strategies fail here, is that in the case of mobile marketing, the user has control over what marketing communication they wish to receive. If notifications from one app annoy them too much, they now have the option to just turn notifications off, or worse, uninstall the app altogether.
But why do we need to retain customers, you might ask, when we can just keep increasing our app downloads and keep getting newer customers?
As Agi Marx states in this blog, ‘growth without retention is not growth, and retention is the single biggest strategy for growth’. It’s been proven that a high customer retention rate can increase company profits by as much as 95%.While selling to a new customer, there’s a 5–20% chance of conversion, while selling to an existing customer has a chance of 60–70% conversion rate.
Based on our experience running mobile marketing for clients in various sub domains of mobile commerce, we’ve compiled a list of 5 marketing strategies essential to growing an m-commerce business.
As any mobile marketer is aware, push notifications are the most effective channel for mobile commerce marketing today. However there is a fine line between a push notification driving engagement and being obtrusive spam. There are certain factors to crafting an effective push notification enabled user engagement strategy:
a. Segmentation: User data is key. In today’s data driven age, mobile app users are more than happy to share their data, if that means a more personalised app experience. Even if you don’t collect demographic data, there exist ways to craft personalized marketing strategies. Track events performed by users on your app to figure out user behavior personas, and use these personas to set segment based notification campaigns.
b. Time of send: Use A/B testing to figure out the time when your push notification campaigns convert maximum users. This strategy of optimizing time of send might not apply to every user but it’s better than sending out push campaigns at a time when users are most likely to just dismiss the notification without a second look. Certain mobile marketing platforms offer the option of time optimization.
c. Content: Your notification content can make or break your mobile push campaign. Personalise your content and change it up keeping in mind the persona of the user segment you are sending it to. Notifications with product recommendations based on individual user preferences can drive campaign conversion rates like crazy.
d. Frequency: No matter how desperate you are to sell, don’t assume shooting off notification after notification is going to boost conversions. This will lead to users getting annoyed and turning off notifications or simply uninstalling your app. You lose a marketing channel to reach these users or you lose these users itself.
Checkout pages must be optimized for a seamless user experience. A user who has proceeded to check out items for purchase has already decided to spend money on your business. If at this point in the conversion funnel, users drop off due to a confusing UI (user interface), and a payment procedure that takes way too long, doesn’t load quickly or keeps displaying errors, then that must be fixed on high priority.
In case you haven’t optimized for step 2 yet, you might find a considerable number of user drop-offs on your cart checkout page. These are users who were almost through the final stage of the conversion funnel. Even if the number of drop offs are few, having a permanent trigger based cart abandonment campaign running can boost sales significantly. Cart abandonment emails have a 25% click rate. When compared to regular marketing emails that have a 2% click rate on average, it becomes obvious that this is a strategy which can boost sales with barely any effort i.e. it has a crazy high ROI.
Platforms like Google and Facebook allow you to run re-targeting ad campaigns on your existing customers. Use these features smartly. Re-targeting can be made exponentially effective by displaying customized ads based on user browsing history and user preferences. If a user has recently made a purchase on your platform, use re-targeting to up-sell related products or even build brand credibility and awareness by displaying blogs on product use or other relevant information.
Most marketers shy away from giving promo codes any credit as an effective growth strategy. If you believe so too, we’ve written an entire blog post to explain why promos actually help retention. But promos must be used strategically. Rather than handing out bulk discounts, adopt the user behavior data you have to target user segments with persona-specific promo marketing strategies.After running and analysing hundreds of growth marketing campaigns for our clients in mobile commerce, we’ve built and fine tuned MARS, an AI powered marketing tool which learns from past user data to send out custom promotional marketing actions to each user worth just the right amount to get them to transact with your business.
If you’re interested in being an early adopter, sign up here.