It's hard out there for brick-and-mortar retailers these days, thanks mostly to mobile retail. Just getting consumers in the door is a huge challenge because of trends such as showrooming and price-comparison apps, and there's no denying it: Today's consumer is — first and foremost — mobile.
Google's Mobile Focus Is Making Waves
According to a Google research study with Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands, 87 percent of all consumers consult their smartphone screens before even setting foot in a retail outlet. Mobile shoppers can make smarter, faster and more efficient purchases. We're now seeing mobile-retail convergence between physical store locations, personalized apps and Internet marketing. And with Google's latest changes to its search algorithm, known in the industry as "Mobilegeddon," retailers who fail to make their sites more mobile-friendly are already seeing the negative impact in how their sites are ranked in smartphone search results. Forbes reported that 46 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 29 percent of the top 500 retail sites had not received Google's "mobile-friendly" designation. With top retail players struggling with Mobilegeddon, you might be wondering what chance you have.
The first action to take is to run your website URL through Google's mobile-friendly analysis tool. This will give you an idea of how optimized your site is for smartphones, and you can work on improvements from there. Make sure your most important site pages are indexed and pass the Google mobile-friendly test. Once these changes have been made, it can take anywhere from a few hours to over 72 hours for Google to show your web pages as mobile-friendly. Large sites may take longer to show up in mobile search rankings.
To ensure that all your marketing efforts are focused on mobile retail, you must embrace it and start thinking of it as an opportunity. By giving mobile shoppers a better user experience, the smartphone serves as your top salesperson, directly engaging with and influencing purchase decisions — both while the customer is in the store and just before they choose to make a purchase.
Mobile-retail convergence gives retailers access to specific consumer behavior patterns, enabling you to learn more about their preferences and shopping styles. This data will help you create a highly personalized customer experience and empower your brand to build meaningful, repeat relationships with customers. Mobile-retail convergence is the key to delivering a consistent, personalized online and in-store experience — both of which are part of the modern customer journey.