The final trend report in Ad Age 's Mobile Marketing series
publishes Nov. 28, and is an in-depth look at mobile commerce.
Learn who's already buying via mobile, how tablets are influencing
shopping habits, the state of tap-to-pay efforts and why your
website needs to be ready for mobile shopping.
The retail mantra used to be: "get 'em there and we can close
the deal." Now the sale doesn't even end with the consumer steps in
store. According to comScore Q2 2011 State of US Online Retail
Economy, 40% of smartphone owners use their phones to comparison
shop while shopping at retail locations. What's more, 14% have
actually abandoned the in-store purchase and bought the item from
their smartphone, while standing in store. Simply put, if there's a
cheaper, better, faster deal via the web than brick and mortar can
offer, its goodbye customer.
There is some good news. According to Gallup, consumers are
going to be spending more this holiday
season. The bad news though: they're going to use their phones
to determine if retailers will be singing holiday carols or the
It used to be you'd go to a store to get expert advice. We're
now either wise enough or cynical enough to know staff are pushing
a product or upselling us somehow. Even official reviews online
meet skepticism. Today we'll trust the opinions of strangers and
friends that our phones deliver on any topic any time.
So, what's a retail marketer to do with this? Frankly, ask
consumers for help. If you can't beat 'em, network 'em. Encourage
people to check in, to post a comment, or write a review after a
purchase. Use geo-based apps like Foursquare, Shopkick, or Facebook
Places to offer a specials and discounts to anyone nearby. And
remember social traffic drives online traffic drives store sales.
The more check-ins, posts and comments your store receives on
mobile devices, the more visible to potential shoppers you
Ultimately, retail is risky. Opening your store up to feedback
will inevitably bring the bad with the good. But do it well, find
new ways to engage shoppers socially and you'll point them directly
to your door and your register. Now that 's a sale worth
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marcus Fischer is CEO
space150, the digital agency with offices in New York, Los Angeles
and Minneapolis. He can be reached at