Staying top of mind with on-the-go consumers, part 2

Building on Part 1 of this post, increases in the adoption of mobile devices among consumers and the the amount of connected time being spent on mobile devices have revealed telling patterns regarding consumer shopping habits. A full 82% of smartphone owners report having used their phones in-store. And they use their phones for a variety of mobile activities including comparing prices (58%), getting product information (38%) and looking up product reviews (22%).

But cross-device connectivity is changing more than consumers’ in-store behavior.

Consumers are now driving the emergence of mCommerce, or the purchasing of goods through a phone. According to a Piper Jaffray and eMarketer study, mCommerce now makes up more than 15% of total eCommerce. As such, companies are aggressively investing in growing their mCommerce businesses, with CPG being one of the leading categories. In-store coupons, product info searches, and other app-delivered messages and offers are helping lead the CPG mCommerce movement.

There is some debate over whether tablet purchases should be classified as part of mCommerce or part of desktop commerce, but the growth in the usage of tablets and purchases made via tablets lends further support to the case for cross-device marketing.

Multi-Device Shopping and Buying
As a consequence of consumers’ increased migration between devices throughout the day, we are finding that more and more consumers are initiating purchasing decisions on one device – through information gathering, price comparison, or searching for reviews – and completing the purchase on another device. Over two thirds of respondents to a 2013 Google and IPSOS study reported such behavior across a variety of industries.

Cross-Device Marketing Receptivity
There is also growing evidence that consumers respond to cross-device marketing programs at far greater levels than they do to single-device programs. This is because cross-device programs provide a more complete view of the user, allow for messaging at more opportune moments, and leverage richer user insights for optimization. Average engagement rates for cross-device programs were 3.4 times higher than for single-device and conversion rates were even more effective at 5.4 times single-device programs.

What To Do Now?
Whether you are just starting to embrace cross-device’s potential or are looking to optimize the results of your current cross-device efforts, I would offer the following suggestions:

Truly commit to taking a cross-device approach
In today’s hyper-connected world, cross-device capabilities are absolutely essential. Personal internalization of this reality is not enough however. Successful cross-device programs require a fundamental shift towards consumer-first thinking throughout a company. Be an agent of change and push to raze the device and information silos that may be standing in the way of your cross-device marketing vision.

Strategize before you act
Resist the temptation to jump right in without a plan. The most successful cross-device programs start with a sound strategy that takes into account both your target audience and your specific business objectives.

Research your target
The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to find and engage them across their various devices. Staying abreast of the latest trends in consumer behavior through ongoing market research and analysis will help in getting you – and keeping you – on the right track.

Think in terms of data, delivery, and measurement
Cross-device encompasses more than simply delivering ads on multiple screens. You must first aggregate user data under individual anonymized profiles to identify the right users to target. Once this has been done, you must be able to deliver relevant ads to the same user across their devices. And finally, you need to be able to measure your programs in order to optimize them against a user’s cross-device behaviors.

Following these four steps alone won’t ensure cross-device success, but deviating from them will likely spell trouble. Use them as a starting point as you define your own cross-device marketing vision.