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8 Ways Retailers Should Target Smartphone Users

8 Ways Retailers Should Target Smartphone Users
Image credit: 9to5mac.com

Not surprisingly, mobile played an increasingly important role this holiday shopping season. According to Deloitte's Annual Holiday Survey, 68 percent of smartphone users planned to use their devices for holiday shopping, and these consumers would spend 27 percent more on holiday gifts than non-smartphone owners.

During the holiday shopping season in particular, consumers experience sensory overload with all of the promotions and advertisements they come in contact with. On mobile, it is critical that retailers hyper-target all messages based on real-time situational factors and robust customer profiles and implement dynamic pricing on an individual level.

If marketers push irrelevant content, consumers will perceive it as an annoyance and intrusion that will negatively influence not only their holiday shopping behavior, but also behavior throughout the coming year. Retailers need to start analyzing all of the behavioral (app and web), transactional and demographic data gathered this holiday shopping season to start the creative targeting planning for the coming holiday shopping season.

Related: 3 Major Retail Predictions for 2014

It no longer cuts it to tailor messages only on past purchases or geolocation and demographic data. Advances in predictive analytics, marketing automation and cross-channel profiling paved the way for marketers to target their mobile audiences in much more resourceful, highly personal and relevant ways. Here are eight ways retailers should be segmenting their customers:

Shopping cart abandoners: Predictive analytics can anticipate which customers are likely to abandon their cart as well as which deal (e.g. "Free Shipping" or "5% off") is more likely to inspire them to follow through on their purchase.

The lone mall wanderers: Leveraging location data and automation tools, a retailer can target shoppers who are in a mall but have yet to walk through its doors with a push alert featuring a personalized offer to entice them in.

Eleventh-hour shoppers: Marketers need to start engaging with habitual procrastinators early on, recommending items and highlighting sales for gifts. Pushing a message when the individual comes in close proximity of a store, with a tailored deal, will help retailers close on the last-minute purchases.

Related: 4 Ways Retailers Can Ride the Post-Holiday Wave to More Sales

Holiday hostesses: Leveraging big data, retailers can predict who likely plays host during the holidays and send information on home decorating items, hosting tips and festive recipes to drive engagement and loyalty.

Social butterflies: By accounting for social influence, retailers can court customers with a large Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram footprint with special offers and deals. Those posts could then be seen by thousands of other people.

Early-bird buyers: Which customers err on the side of early? Retailers should start targeting holiday campaigns to this cohort when other customers might balk at the timing. Some people don't mind holiday gift ideas in September, while others would cringe at the thought of it.

Deal fishers: Retailers are always competing to provide the best deal, especially around the holidays. Retailers need to segment their deal-hungry audience based on which offers motivate them the most to make a purchase. While some people will get excited about free shipping on orders over $100, others only care about discounts on home goods.  

Thrifty brand loyalists: Some people want a certain brand, but wait for the price to fall and then purchase a vast quantity. Most commonly, this segment emerges on the day after Christmas and the following weeks. Retailers need to implement dynamic pricing on an individual level, providing these thrifty brand loyalists with deep discounts that will pay off in the total purchase bill.

Related: 5 Common Ecommerce Returns Mistakes

Puneet Mehta is co-founder and CEO of MyCityWay, a cloud-based mobile experience creation and mobile marketing automation platform that enables brands to address the complete customer journey across digital and physical landscapes. Mehta spent much of his career as a tech executive on Wall Street, building sophisticated platforms to power large-scale trading systems and help high-frequency trading desks predict market trends. He has held leadership positions at Citi Capital Markets, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Johnson Controls and IBM TJ Watson Center.

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