Mobile usage is through the roof and, when it comes to shopping, it's no surprise that consumers are turning to their mobile devices to buy, buy, buy!
Last year, mobile accounted for one in every five holiday purchases, and that is only expected to rise. With US holiday retail sales expected to hit $655.8 billion, retailers need to capitalize on the 2016 holiday season by ensuring their mobile strategy is rock solid.
During the holidays, businesses focus on their mobile-optimized eCommerce sites, but they also need to look at their mobile content strategy. To help consumers discover, search and evaluate their holiday purchase decisions, businesses must create a multi-channel approach.
Traditionally this means sharing lower engagement content on websites, blogs and social media channels, while creating content-based mobile apps to offer a premium experience. Content apps, or content hubs, can be used to generate leads or as a part of an integrated communications plan for campaigns, like product launches, events or even for internal communications.
Here are 5 ways a content app can help retailers boost sales this holiday season:
Inspire online shoppers with an interactive catalog
eCommerce is expected to skyrocket this year with more than 30% of purchase coming from mobile this holiday season (eMarketer). While an eCommerce sites and mobile apps can get the "transaction" job done, they often lack in inspiration and storytelling.
An interactive catalog can help you tell stories that inspire consumers to click through to your eCommerce site. For example, an Food & Wine shop can publish an interactive product catalog that also uses video and animation to share recipes, home entertaining or gifting ideas.
Retailers can publish their interactive catalog to a branded app that consumers can install directly on their mobile devices. With a single tap, your catalog can be accessed anywhere. And best of all, once your app in installed, users will receive new content you publish immediately - a great benefit for any retailer that wants to bring direct mail campaigns to mobile!
Create a mobile content strategy around gift giving
The holidays are synonymous with gift-giving, and the internet has made it easier than ever for shoppers to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list.
According to a 2015 German consumer poll 82% of respondents said they researched digitally before buying Christmas gifts, naming search engines and retail websites or apps the most common sources of information. For retailers, this highlights the need to create engaging content that inspires gift-giving.
While interactive catalogs and commerce sites are vital to holiday success, retailers can also use blogs to publish stories around gift-giving. In addition to sharing via social and email, blog posts can be distributed in a content-based app as a feed.
In-app feeds can help retailers attract more users to their content app. By sharing fresh content more often, app visits increase and retailers can slowly nurture users towards conversion goals.
Retailers can also leverage in-app feed to publish exclusive content not found on their website. For example, they can create a series of video content highlighting some of the best gift options to your loyal customers.
Bridge the mobile gap in brick-and-mortar stores
Consumers are happy to use mobile devices in store - in fact 82% of customers use their phones inside a store to better evaluate a purchase. But who says they need to use their own!
Many retailers are setting up in-store iPad stations to help consumers navigate the store and even order merchandise that is currently out of stock. Why not use this same idea to inspire and educate shoppers with an engaging presentation.
For example, create an interactive presentation to showcase your latest product and deliver it via a branded app that can be loaded onto iPads used by sales staff and/or customers.
Create a content hub for product information
The holidays is also a time for spending on big ticket purchases. Think technology, automotive and luxury items.
Consumers require information to research and evaluate more expensive purchases. What better way that with a one-stop-shop app filled with product specs, reports, reviews, etc. Once your app is downloaded, you can follow up with marketing automation campaigns to nurture the user towards a purchase, store visit or other conversion goal.
Content hubs can help consumers research and evaluate products, but they aren't limited to shoppers. Businesses can also use content apps for internal communications or sales training to ensure everyone is up-to-date with the latest product announcements, offers and sales strategies.
Use mobile app data to improve digital marketing
Optimizing your digital marketing campaigns can make or break your success this holiday.
IAB's 2015 “Holiday Shopper Playbook” reported that digital media, especially Email and Internet ads, are important in influencing holiday shopping. The report found that 22% of US adults report that Email Ads and Internet Ads influence their Electronics purchases. When it comes to clothing purchases, 1 in 4 U.S. adults report that they are influenced by Email Ads and 1 in 5 by Internet Ads.
Mobile apps can help businesses gather valuable data to improve digital marketing activities and influence more purchasing decisions.
Mobile apps help businesses collect “intent” data, including location and in-app actions. Intent data can be used to improve marketing automation campaigns (email, re-targeting ads, social, push notifications and in-app messaging) with better targeting and personalization.
Is your business ready to create a content-based app for the holidays? Don't delay - start building your app today!