As mobile becomes more and more central to everyday life, it’s essential that brands find ways to take advantage of mobile to drive engagement and build strong relationships with their customers. For forward-looking retail and ecommerce companies like Jet, Sephora, and Urban Outfitters, that means taking full advantage of engagements tools and tactics to build winning mobile-first strategies.
Let’s take a look at what these retail innovators—and others—are doing to make that happen:
We’re living in the age of the second screen. That makes it possible to engage users on different channels and platforms, but it also increases the potential for distractions, making it that much more important to reach users at the right time on the right device. Mobile shoppers are no exception—in fact it’s more important than ever to be able to engage and re-engage with them effectively.
While there may be a number reasons customers abandon apps, get distracted, and don’t complete their mobile transactions, Jet uses email and push in concert to make sure they don’t lose out on sales simply because customers forget about a potential purchase. Plus, they do it with personality. It’s like they’re acknowledging, “We know you don’t have to keep our push notifications on, so when we do send you push notifications, we want them to be the kind of messages you actually enjoy reading.”
When it comes to inspiring loyalty, Sephora’s free “Beauty Insider” rewards program takes the cake. Whether you’re shopping on mobile, web, or in store, Sephora seamlessly updates shopping carts, points, and rewards availability based on your purchases. Plus, programs like their birthday gift and free mini makeover help get customers back in the store to restock on favorites and try new things. They make it all happen using a series of emails, push notifications, in-app messages, and news feed cards—all of which make for a seamless and thorough user experience.
With up to $4 trillion in sales lost annually due to abandoned shopping carts, understanding why customers may not be following through with their purchases in mobile is key to succeeding in ecommerce. ThredUp takes a two-pronged approach: one, by creating urgency with a time-stamped deep discount and, two, by pairing an email reminder with a push notification (this multichannel approach makes it all the more likely to generate conversions among potential buyers).
Not all push notifications are created equally. Some are going to resonate more with your customers than others—and marketers can’t always know ahead of time which messages will speak best to their audience. Here’s the thing: you can just ask them what kinds of outreach they want to receive.
Amazon does just that with its preference center, which allows users to explicitly dictate the types of messages that are useful to them and that they want to receive, while giving users the ability to update those preferences at any time. Looking to take this approach one step further? Consider using push action buttons to include options like “mute” or “not interested” with push notifications, making it even easier for customers’ to signal their preferences.
While customers still spend most of their mobile time on apps (as opposed to the mobile web), getting mobile web users to make the jump to your mobile app can be a challenge. Too many brands try to encourage downloads with fullscreen in-browser messages and other interstitials, making for a frustrating user experience and increasing the chances that their search ranking suffers.
Zappos does an impressive job avoiding those pitfalls. By using a eye-catching (but small-scale) interstitial to inform customers about their app and highlight the value of using it (in this case, free next-day shipping), Zappos drives additional organic downloads without irritating customers who just want to order on their mobile website.
6. URBAN OUTFITTERS
Personalization makes it possible for brands to talk to users like individuals. And when we combine personalization with other tools and tactics like A/B testing and dynamic audience filters for segmentation, we’re able to find our marketing sweet spot—that place where our messages are improving our users’ experiences inside and outside of our app, and we, in turn, are seeing stronger brand loyalty and higher revenue.
Urban Outfitters has embraced this approach, using powerful customer engagement tools and forward-looking tactics to provide their audience with a better, more responsive brand experience. That’s worthwhile as a goal on its own, but it’s also paid off handsomely for the brand, boosting their message open rates by more than 100%.
With lost revenue from purchases abandoned midstream at stake, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM found a way to increase conversions from potential lost carts through A/B testing message variants. In this case, they found that sending a message with a 15% discount within 30 minutes of cart abandonment was their sweet spot. Users came back to their carts, completed their purchases, and boosted 1–800–FLOWERS.COM’s conversion rate 350% above the industry average.
How does your retail business compare?
By leveraging tools like A/B testing, data collection, personalization, and dynamic content, retail and ecommerce brands have been making a splash with their mobile marketing. There’s a lot you can learn from these brands, but don’t stop there—to foster long-term success in this industry, you have to be willing to keep learning and iterating. After all, yesterday’s winning message is today’s control.
To get a better understanding of the state of the industry, learn best practices, steal applicable plays from other verticals, and learn how to win the customer journey in the mobile age, check out our retail mobile cheat sheet.