Vector flat illustration online storeMobile has become a way of life. We expect that with a simple tap or swipe we will receive the answers we are looking for. This is no different from how we expect to engage with retailers. With more people than ever using a mobile device on a daily basis, it should not be a surprise that a recent Business Insider research report indicates a steady increase in mobile shopping.   The mobile channel has surpassed desktop usage over the past three years. Tablet usage has also swelled to its highest numbers to date, despite declining tablet sales.

BIWith all the time that consumers are spending shopping online, it only seems logical that ad revenue would be up from mobile advertising. Just in the first half of this year, according to another Business Insider report, mobile marketing accounted for 30% of the revenue of the whole of ad spend. Similar to how the numbers of mobile shoppers are multiplying, so too are mobile ads.

Despite all of this growth, retailers are still struggling to update their sites to deliver the right mobile user experience and are having a bigger challenge engaging repeat customers. These two factors alone could stunt retail growth in the mobile space in the coming year. But all is not lost if retailers continue to focus on putting the customer first.

While seemingly obvious, putting the customer first seems to be rare in marketing and especially mobile marketing. In the past, marketers didn’t have the data they do today and often did the best they could to reach customers. Nowadays, the data is there and should be used by marketers. A couple of ways marketers can better engage mobile customers include SMS messaging to reach them and surveys after purchases to get to know them better and anticipate future purchases.

SMS messaging

Text based campaigns are far more effective than email in terms of reach, as consumers are at least five times more likely to open a text as opposed to an email.  This is a permission based marketing opportunity that retailers need to be taking better advantage of. Consider using this channel to offer personalized discounts, sale event announcements, and communicating transaction or shipping status.


Figuring out who the customer is and why they buy is useful information but is an elusive answer for marketers. One of the most effective way of determining a customers opinions and desires, is to simply ask. One approach could be to send customers a text, once they have made a purchase. And offering a discount in return for survey completion is a great way to engage customers and increase the response rates. The information gleaned from these surveys can be used to anticipate future purchases, improving both the users experience and targeted offers.

Need help developing a retail strategy that includes mobile? Contact us.

Image Source: BI