April 25, 2012
GameFly’s mobile app
During the Finding Your Edge: An Increasingly Competitive Mobile Envrionment What Will It Take in 2012? session, mobile experts spoke about what mobile marketing techniques are working for their companies. The panel was moderated by Brandon McGee, director of global mobile at Dell, Round Rock, TX.
From our perspective, we see HTML5 as almost ready for prime time, but there are still things you cant do with it, said Sean Spector, cofounder and senior vice president at Gamefly, Santa Monica, CA.
We are focused on Android and iOS, but we know that HTML5 will fill in holes for us, he said.
When it came to deciding on features to add, the company focused on streamlining basic features, such as check-out, and also incorporating more fun features for its core demographic of 18-34 year old men.
GameFly also asked its consumers what types of features they would like to see added to the mobile site.
Over the past 20 months, the company has seen that ten to 15 percent of traffic comes from mobile, showing how young, tech-savvy consumers want access to their favorite brands via their handsets.
Additionally, over the last 18 months, GameFly has seen that more page visits are coming from apps versus a mobile site.
Giving consumers a simple shopping experience is imperative for retailers to turn mobile traffic into sales, per the exec.
Although there are advancements being made with mobile Web, not everyone is convinced that HTML5 is mobiles saving grace.
Native apps still have a strong place with hardware aspects, said Robert Russell, director of ATT Marketing Solutions, Atlanta.
Many brands and retailers have cemented their smartphone efforts with apps for the iOS and Android operating systems. However, Research in Motion is still relevant, particularly to business clients. Windows could additionally shake up the smartphone market with its anticipated Windows 8 operating system.
When it comes to developing a mobile strategy, it is important for companies to think about what makes the most sense for their company. Therefore, it is crucial that companies experiment with mobile to find out what works and what does not.
As an example of a brand that is getting mobile right, Mr. Russell said that Dominos iPhone app is successful because it keeps users up-to-date on their order.
SMS is a workhorse when it comes to mobile channels with its reach and high open rates. However, marketers need to realize that there is a time and place to communicate with consumers.
When marketers find something that works, they want to do it more and more, Mr. Russell said.
[Consumers] want messages, but they want them to be timely and relevant, which is part of why it is effective but also why you need to be careful, he said.
SMS is effective in communicating with consumers because they view the messages as immediate compared to other digital channels such as email.
Although adding mobile commerce to initiatives can be a great feature for brands to add, consumers are still primarily searching on their devices, making features such as find a location necessary to any mobile campaign.
For example, Mr. Russell said that ATT has found that for every consumer buying via their mobile device, 63 consumers are looking to find a store.
Alex Golshan, director of enterprise product management and multichannel sales systems at Guitar Center, Westlake Village, CA, said that the key for retailers is to understand that todays shopper is interacting with multiple touch points, including mobile, that all lead to a sale.
Guitar Center currently has a mobile Web site, and mobile makes up approximately five percent of traffic for Guitar Center.
Therefore, the retailer is more interested in how it can use mobile in-store to help sales associates and consumers streamline the buying process.
For example, this year the retailer is looking to develop an app that sales associates could use to walk consumers through the process of buying a guitar. Similarly, receipts could be sent to consumers via SMS or email.
By tying a purchase to a users account, consumers would have access to their order history both on the companys Web site and mobile properties.
When it is buying a $10,000 guitar, you are not going to check-out on mobile, Mr. Golshan said.
If you are a multichannel retailer, the in-store mobile experience is important, he said.
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York