Smart ways to attract smartphone shoppers

Sponsored feature: As mobile technology continues to accelerate, phones are quickly becoming indispensable shopping tools. Our research shows 45% of private (as opposed to business) smartphone owners in the UK use their phone as part of the shopping process, whether that’s researching a product or comparing prices. Twenty-eight per cent of those users have actually made a purchase on their phone, 52% of these within the past month, explains Ian Carrington, mobile advertising sales director, Google.

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This means that having a mobile strategy is key to engaging with these connected consumers. And this is especially true for advertisers focused on driving online and instore conversions. To help you develop your strategy, follow these best practices to power purchasing among smartphone users.

Make it easier for customers to contact you with Click-to-Call Ads.
Whether you take orders over the phone or have a physical store location, you can enable customers to connect easily with you by including your phone number in your mobile search ads. Since users who make a call are showing interest in your product or service, they’re more likely to make a purchase. With a call costing the same as a click to your ad, this cost-effective ad format drives quality leads and conversions for your business. See the Carphone Warehouse case study below for more information on this functionality in action.

Extend your online brand reputation to mobile with seller ratings.
It’s no secret that having a great online reputation is essential to driving online conversions, and with Seller Ratings on mobile you can extend your online reputation from desktop to mobile devices. The Seller Ratings extension enables mobile searchers to see merchants that are highly recommended by other shoppers. By showcasing relevant and useful rating information for your business, the extension can help differentiate you from your competition and guide potential customers to purchase from your site. In recent studies, campaigns with mobile Seller Ratings saw a 7.5% increase in click-through rates when compared to campaigns without.

Take your customers directly to your desired conversion path with Mobile Ad Sitelinks.
Ad Sitelinks enable direct navigation to specific pages of your website. Since navigating on the mobile web can still be difficult, Sitelinks for mobile can be especially useful in taking customers directly to specific content on your site. For example, with Sitelinks you can quickly guide your customers to the best-selling products or to your online store locator.

A maximum of two Sitelinks can appear on mobile devices with ads displaying two links across one line or stacked vertically on two lines. One-line Sitelinks can show with the Click-to-Call Phone Extension and will display one link to your website alongside your phone number. One-line Sitelinks can also show with the Seller Ratings Extension and will display your online store rating as well as two links to your website.

Mobile users find this format particularly helpful and on average campaigns with Mobile Ad Sitelinks see a 30% increase in click-through rates when compared to campaigns without. Some companies however see triple-digit increases; the case study that follows illustrates the phenomenal performance of Mobile Ad Sitelinks for the Carphone Warehouse.

Case study: The Carphone Warehouse propels its multi-channel strategy through mobile makreting

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Gareth Jones, head of online marketing The Carphone Warehouse

The Carphone Warehouse harnesses the power of the mobile medium to facilitate multi-channel assistance and drive sales

Launched in 1989 as a UK mobile phone retailer, today The Carphone Warehouse has a portfolio of thousands of stores across nine European countries, as well as an e-commerce site.

Given the different channels its customers can use to access products, connecting these channels with a mobile marketing strategy was a logical progression. “Clearly The Carphone Warehouse has a natural position in this emerging mobile space, and we view it as a key way of driving efficient sales but also fulfilling what we refer to as multi-channel assistance,” says Gareth Jones, head of online marketing.

The first step was to build a mobile-optimised website incorporating click-to-call functionality that enables a user to contact the call centre and make a purchase. “Previously if you searched for ’carphone’ on your mobile, you’d have gone through to the dot-com site. We were selling through that, but that was more to do with the tenacity of the user to pinch, scroll and end up at the checkout.” Next, it worked closely with its agency Efficient Frontier to build a campaign specifically for mobile, analysing results on a frequent basis to refine its keyword lists. They included a click-to-call number in their text ads as well.

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It then began to explore new AdWords ad formats designed for mobile. Taking advantage of Mobile Ad Sitelinks, which allow an AdWords text ad appearing on a high end mobile device to include two links to a site’s deeper content, The Carphone Warehouse included a link to its store finder page. “That’s a clear multi-channel dynamic. You’re walking down the street, you fancy buying a phone, you need to know where The Carphone Warehouse is and you use your mobile search functionality to do that,” says Jones. The month after launching the mobile campaign, the click-through rate for Mobile Ad Sitelinks was 312% greater than for mobile search activity where Sitelinks did not appear.

The company has focused the majority of its m-commerce efforts on the mobile site rather than apps. “We offer apps as well, but there are probably certain benefits to having your commerce functionality through a mobile site, not least that through Google it’s easier to find than trawling through a multitude of different app stores with half a million apps.” He notes that a mobile site efficiently capitalises on impulse buying, pointing to the example of a shopping centre visitor who spots a compelling offer. “You can search for ’carphone’ through Google and be at the store in a millisecond, then research and buy. If you didn’t have an app uploaded you probably wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Another benefit has been the chance to develop best practice in mobile internet marketing before it has even begun to approach its full potential. “We’ve started to glean various nuances about behavioural differences,” Jones says. “There’s a lot of benefit in being an early adopter; while other people are catching up, we’re on the next evolution in our thinking.” l There’s a lot of benefit in being an early adopter; while other people are catching up, we’re on the next evolution in our thinking.

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