Mobile Web Advantage #3: Mobile Websites Drive People into Brick-and-Mortar Stores

August 25th, 2011 by

Last month, we introduced six benefits of moving your companies’ services to the mobile web. In this post, we will drill down into one such benefit to retailers: mobile websites drive people into brick-and-mortar stores. Google’s “Mobile Movement” study found that 55% of consumers who research and browse for goods on their mobile device visit a store afterward, with 40% making an actual purchase from the brick-and-mortar location. Another set of data collected from various retailers shows that 5-7% of their total store visitors are driven by mobile. The key to leveraging the mobile channel effectively is to have a mobile optimized website that addresses consumers’ most burning questions — WHERE is the store, WHAT can I buy, and HOW MUCH money can I save.

WHERE is the store?

By leveraging location information unique to a specific user’s handset, retailers are able to encourage visits by listing store locations and providing directions to the nearest physical store. This is helpful to on-the-go consumers when they want to complete a quick shopping errand, and provides the opportunity for retailers to specifically target customers who are nearby. According to Forrester, 26% of consumers want to use their mobile phones to get directions from their current locations to a store. And retailers are beginning to provide that opportunity. According to Millennial Media, the number of mobile campaigns featuring store locator capabilities jumped 48% from April to May 2011. One example is Enterprise Rent-a-Car, who in late 2010 did hyperlocal targeting of potential consumers using Google Ads for mobile. Once users clicked on an ad, they were directed to a map of the nearest rental location and a phone number. Another example is KFC , whose mobile site is tied to advertising channels of all sorts (and developed by Trilibis). Location finder is a key feature of KFC’s mobile web experience, allowing consumers to quickly find the nearest restaurant to satisfy their craving for fried chicken.

WHAT can I buy?

Consumers like to look up what there is to buy at the physical store, as well as do a bit of research on the products before making a purchase decision. Thus, mobile sites which provide inventory lookup capabilities and allow interaction with store content are quite effective. For example, Vitamin Shoppe allows users to see local product availability as a result of search inquiries, and Jigsaw, a UK women’s clothing retailer, has a mobile site that allows users to search for products, see images, and view recommendations for matching clothing items. CVS’s Mobile Site allows users to refill their prescriptions and research drug information (in addition to locating the nearest store). On KFC’s mobile website, consumers can check nutritional facts of any menu item to make a better decision regarding their lunch or dinner options.

HOW MUCH money can I save?

Consumers will visit a store if they can save money. According to JiWire, 53% of mobile consumers surveyed said promotions and coupons would get them to visit a retail location. American Apparel successfully drove consumers to its stores during last fall’s New York Fashion Week when it executed a mobile campaign that combined an in-store discount (20% off) with location finder. Also last year, Ace Hardware ran a promotion to their target market that included holiday ads and discounts. All ads drove traffic to the mobile site, which ultimately resulted in an 8% uplift in store traffic among the targeted group (adults age 35-54) who viewed the ads. KFC tackles this in a variety of ways, such as showcasing deals front and center on its mobile site, offering loyalty programs that inform of specials via SMS, and deploying various savings-oriented ad campaigns that target mobile consumers.

In conclusion, traditional brick-and-mortar stores have only scratched the surface of how to fully leverage the mobile channel. However, consumer interest to date indicates that retailers who are embracing mobile are on the right track. To stay relevant, you’ve got to jump on this fast-moving train, too.

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3 Responses to “Mobile Web Advantage #3: Mobile Websites Drive People into Brick-and-Mortar Stores”

  1. [...] begin the series, lets talk location, location, location! It’s equally as important for brick-and-mortar real estate as it is for the virtual real estate of a mobile website. Mobile visitors are eager to [...]

  2. [...] begin the series, lets talk location, location, location! It’s equally as important for brick-and-mortar real estate as it is for the virtual real estate of a mobile website. Mobile visitors are eager to [...]

  3. [...] have available while they are already out of the house. This has made email much more effective for marketing brick and mortar businesses than it was when the email had to persuade people to get up and leave the comfort of [...]


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