Mobile-optimized websites are becoming an essential tool for delivering sales conversions and promoting the sale. Here we summarize the latest information you need to know about consumer pre-purchase behavior and demand for mobile websites, including strategies for converting customers with a mobile-optimized website – both in-store and online.
Showrooming: Threat or Opportunity?
Showrooming – the practice of researching a product in-store, but purchasing it later online – is a growing trend marketers need to understand so they can respond proactively to evolving consumer purchase behavior. eMarketer reports that a February 2012 ClickIQ study found that nearly half of U.S. online shoppers researched products in-store before buying online, while a 2011 Insight Express study found that more than one-half of smartphone owners said they had used their device to find a better price while shopping in-store.
While showrooming can compromise in-store sales, it is also an open opportunity to deliver in-store conversions for companies who play their cards right. The risk that a customer will purchase with a competitor between an in-store visit and making an online purchase can be mitigated through proactive in-store strategies. Consider these examples:
Best Buy was an early adopter of QR codes on product fact tags, which have evolved to embrace showrooming by linking to real-time product reviews, pricing and information on similar products. More recently, Target has offered free shipping and competitive price matching on in-store purchases made via QR code scan. QR codes linking to a mobile-optimized website can help to promote in-store sales and minimize the risk of purchasing with a competitor by offering enticing benefits that deliver convenience and value in exchange for immediate in-store purchase.
Beyond Showrooming: Don’t Miss the Online Sale
Considering that 8% of all digital traffic comes from smartphones or tablets, a mobile-optimized website is an important strategy for capturing customers who conduct pre-purchase research online.
A recent study from Google conducted by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger found some compelling statistics supporting mobile optimized websites. Two insights in particular caught our eye:
1. Mobile friendly websites encourage purchases
2. Not having a mobile friendly website helps your competitors
Here are the highlights:
• 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service
• 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site
• 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn't mobile-friendly
Whether you’re looking to improve in-store or online sales conversions, a mobile optimized website is an essential tool in your marketing mix to help close the sale. Distribution and pricing strategies such as free shipping and price matching for purchases made via QR code scan show customer respect by delivering convenience and value for the scan, while also embracing the consumer’s preference for showrooming in creative ways that bolster sales – rather than erode them. The bottom line? Showrooming is going to happen. Marketers need to respond to the trend in creative ways that close the sale while they have their customers’ and prospects’ full attention. A mobile-optimized website is a must-have in this toolkit.
* For more information on how to use QR codes effectively, sign-up for QR Code Tips and Tricks.
How are you using your mobile-optimized website to promote in-store and online sales?