Many regular blog readers will know that a couple of years ago, Google updated its search algorithms to account for the growing number of people accessing the web from their mobile devices. Essentially, mobile-friendly websites now receive higher rankings that those sites not optimised for the small screen.
Investments in mobile make sense, that’s for sure. However, what’s interesting and what’s emerging now – according to recent research – is that we shouldn’t assume mobile users make purchases in the same way they surf the web. Huh?
Research documented on US platform Smart Insights indicates that consumers are still making their purchases, for the most part, from computers and not via their smartphones. The numbers seem to suggest that users are happy to use their mobile phones to browse and do basic purchasing research, but many of us are still reverting to our desktops and laptops to seal the deal.
So it seems that while users do indeed access the web via Chrome, Safari and other mobile browsers, it is not with the express intent to buy anything. Now, that’s not as scary as it seems for us mobile marketers. This is because this same research referred to above also found that “if you want to capture a mobile market, messaging is still going to be the best way to reach [it] because most people open their text messages…”
As we have said before, the beauty of messaging is that messages can be personalised, automated and sent at prescheduled times to literally millions of smartphone and feature phone users. However, the challenge is in composing short SMS or MMS messages with an ultra-engaging call to action.
To summarise all of this, it seems logical that the best approach to mobile marketing is to invest a large proportion of budgets in messaging systems to create interest and mobile-friendly websites to enable consumer research, while retaining a limited desktop presence where actual purchasing can take place.