Be Mobile-First or Go Home

Today, 1 of every 3 online purchases are conducted on smartphones. A few years ago, this kind of statistic might have been surprising, but it comes as no surprise today. Millennials are on the verge of taking over the Boomer’s purchasing power, and mobile-only internet usage is steadily increasing. In the past few years, the way purchase decisions are made has been flipped on it’s head. In-store foot traffic has declined by 57% since 2011, but the amount spent by each store visitor has tripled. That first statistic is scary to me – as someone who worked in retail from age seventeen until just a couple of months ago (the past five years), I saw the slowdown of in-store traffic first-hand. But it’s true, the value of someone walking into your store has increased, because consumers come there with purpose. Before they step into a store, they are searching on Google, sorting out “best sellers” on e-commerce sites, scrubbing Instagram and Youtube to see the product in action, and reading reviews. If after all of this searching they decide to spend their valued time stepping foot into a store, they are extremely highly inclined to make a purchase. According to a study conducted by Google, 76% of people who search for a specific product’s local availability will make a visit to that store within 24 hours.Influencers have also had an undeniable effect on purchase behavior. 64% of women are influenced to buy a product when it’s displayed in context, whether it be in an Instagram photo by The Blonde Salad, or a makeup tutorial by Michelle Pham.Convenience should be priority one when it comes to mobile marketing. How annoying is it when you can’t make a purchase because of a technical snafu? How about when there are too many annoying opt-in’s required to make a purchase, like creating an account? Google discovered that these types of inconveniences result in a 23-29% chance that the user will ditch the purchase completely. If mobile-first isn’t your strategy moving forward, you may want to doing some re-evaluating. Mobile purchasing during the holidays increased 33% between 2014 and 2015, and you can be sure that will increase dramatically again this year.