By BuzzCity

For businesses today the importance of employing a mobile strategy in the marketing mix is now widely accepted; now it seems that mobile is leading the way. Research by Deloitte revealed that a third of smartphone users check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up – exemplifying our reliance on mobiles. BuzzCity’s research, in association with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), reveals that mobile is now the driving force in online shopping.

Technology has always been a catalyst for change and, importantly, it’s affecting how consumers buy goods and products. Consumers, always connected, are changing the way they choose to purchase and mobile is the key driving force of this change. In the last few years, mobile has given us the ability to shop anytime and anywhere. It is at the centre of our social and digital lives. If brands can reach us on mobile, they have a myriad of opportunities to engage and build our loyalty.

Mobile’s potential to undermine ‘traditional’ brand power and the need for businesses to maintain the relevance of their message across all digital media channels is clear – but it’s just not happening quickly enough. When it comes to shopping, mobile shoppers want instant access to information, and fast. As consumers, we now expect to have information at the tap of a fingertip.

When using phones along the shopping journey, whether inside a store or en route to one, it’s often to glean information on better deals, comparisons or endorsement from peers. In many cases mobile consumers don’t even reach the checkout. BuzzCity’s research reveals that 22% of consumers left stores for a better deal online compared to 13% last year and 27% could not find what they wanted in stores compared to 14% in 2013. And as devices become the main source of information gathering, consumers no longer interact with store personnel, consequently not making it to the tills, which should further signal alarm bells for retailers.

There is clearly some learning to be taken from this sharp rise in numbers. Mobile as a channel has evolved very quickly, but there is a challenge for businesses to create a truly seamless shopping experience to retain consumer loyalty. So how do businesses with a retail arm achieve this?

There is a clear need to transform the in-store shopping experience by getting content into the hands of their target audiences, making it easy for consumers to connect and engage with your brand. Those who have developed mobile strategies have gone beyond the basic functionalities of making a purchase or finding a store to offer personalisation as a means of creating positive brand associations. This can range from remembering your last purchases to making recommendations for your next and delivering coupons to your phone.

To exploit the ever evolving potential of mobile it’s not just about having a ‘mobile presence’ but adding the innovative with the practical - by listening to and providing solutions for consumers’ needs.