Consumers are growing more and more attached to mobile devices. Tablets and smartphones are evolving into nothing less than personal digital ecosystems, customized for easy access to information, communication, entertainment and now, even shopping.

Smartphone users are driving m-commerce, as they use their devices not only to make purchases, but also to access search and comparison shop while they’re on-the-go.

In fact, earlier this year, Google released data which showed that among 5,013 adulImage: Courtesy of author blogt smartphone users in theUS:

  • 79 percent rely on their phones to help with shopping.
  • 70 percent use their phones while shopping in-store.
  • 74 percent of smartphone shoppers made a purchase as a result of using their smartphone.
  • 67 percent said they research on their smartphone and then buy in the store.

In addition, the study revealed the importance of search and local information:

  • A whopping 95 percent of smartphone users have looked for local information.
  • After looking for local information, 77 percent contacted a business, and 44 percent made a purchase.

Results like these make it clear that mobile is quickly becoming an essential component of the marketing mix –and that mobile offers a wide range of opportunities to extend a marketing strategy.  For example, marketers can use mobile campaigns to:

  • engage customers in personalized two-way conversations,
  • integrate brand messaging online and offline,
  • incorporate location-based products and services,
  • provide compelling offers, incentives and services in real time,
  • deliver “chunks” of content that are easily consumable –and readily re-transmissible throughout users’ social networks,
  • implement intelligent 1:1 marketing (using near field communication (NFC), QR codes or Microsoft Tags)

. . . and this list seems to be constantly expanding.

So, don’t think all you need to do is optimize your website or design an app. If you’re going to successfully engage with mobile shoppers, you also need to ensure your business can be easily found via mobile search. And, you need to fully incorporate mobile as part of a multi-channel, integrated campaign.

After all, when it comes right down to it, mobile may be the most personal and immediately actionable among all of today’s digital platforms.

Mobile allows you to provide rich engagement (via specially-designed websites and apps), quick alerts (using SMS text messages), or anything in-between. Plus –and perhaps most important of all –mobile serves as the connector between the digital and physical worlds. Consumers may go online to gather and share information, but the vast majority still do most (if not all) of their buying in brick-and-mortar stores. Once you begin to incorporate triggers –such as NFC, QR codes, or Microsoft Tags –into your mobile strategy, you’ll be able to appeal to customers with relevant real-time offers that appear when they’re most effective: when your customer is ready to buy.