Mobile Location Revolutionizes Holiday Shopping

This holiday season more people than ever are utilizing their mobile devices for holiday shopping. IBM's Digital Analytics Benchmark reported that Thanksgiving weekend set records for mobile sales and traffic, accounting for nearly 40% of online traffic on Black Friday and almost a third of all online traffic on Cyber Monday. Three years ago, mobile accounted for just 4% of Cyber Monday online traffic. This year many retailers extended their Black Friday deals online and Cyber Monday became Cyber Week, allowing consumers to shop deals on their tablets in the comfort of their own homes instead of facing overcrowded brick-and-mortar locations.

Retailers are rushing to capitalize on the mobile channel, building apps and mobile websites to better connect to their customers. However, the mobile opportunity has already evolved beyond m-commerce. Consumers are not only using their mobile devices to make purchases at home but are using those devices to enhance their in-store experiences. But while many retailers fear that in-store mobile use will cannibalize in-store sales through practices like Showrooming, savvy retailers are taking advantage of the fact that their customers are constantly connected and leveraging mobile location to drive customers into their stores and increase share of wallet.

In recent years, one of the biggest advancements in mobile marketing has been driven by geofencing, a virtual layer of location intelligence that enables retailers to offer tailored promotions and alerts via SMS, MMS or through an app, to customers when they are in the proximity of a store and most likely to redeem an offer take action.

But is geo-targeted advertising “creeping out” customers? The numbers definitively say no. According to a recent survey by Sociomantic, 70% of consumers say they are comfortable receiving ads and content specifically targeted to them. Additionally, mobile coupon offers that are targeted and relevant lead to a 67% chance of action, compared to 35% by general respondents.

Researchers are also finding that people who use several devices to shop spend more, using their devices to browse, research, compare prices and search for offers at home or while they are shopping. Retailers need to make sure their mobile strategy is directed at these highly-profitable multichannel customers. And using mobile location to send push notifications and proximity marketing should be a critical element of any integrated mobile strategy. So if you weren't using it this holiday season make sure it's on your agenda for 2014.