The new challenge: How to engage the digital consumer in a multi-device world

Today’s Digital Consumer in a Multi-Device World

By Alex Lirtsman

The new digital consumer experiences content through many channels. The exodus from desktop to mobile continues to grow exponentially. When the shift to mobile first occurred, brands were following the visitors but not necessarily the revenue as mobile consumers were early adopters and conversion rates were not significantly impacted. The shift over the past year has been so significant, brands are now being financially impacted since mobile revenue is not growing as fast as mobile pageviews.

The latest move is mainstream America’s adoption of mobile devices. This includes not only millennials, who have been using smartphones for content consumption and mCommerce for quite some time, but baby boomers as well. This shift provides a huge opportunity for brands to reach consumers on their mobile devices with relevant, crave-worthy content that drives mobile purchasing.

Year over year, brands are seeing roughly one-third of their traffic transition from desktop to mobile devices. For many brands, this marks the first year they’re seeing more mobile site visitors than desktop visitors. Much of this is driven by social and email, and this content is primarily being consumed on mobile devices. The issue is that even if a consumer lands on a mobile site that is incredibly optimized, the consumer may not be in the purchase mindset. A consumer’s frame of mind is not the same as it might be while interacting with a retailer app or browsing from a desktop device.

To counter this shift, brands must understand how every channel and device work together for a more optimized experience. The relevance and timeliness of the communication matter, and the entire process needs to be cohesive. Mobile-optimized websites are essential; however, even if a brand has a perfectly optimized site, it doesn’t guarantee that consumers are going to purchase. No matter how optimized the mobile site experience is, it simply can’t compete with a desktop experience.

That challenge isn’t just creating a perfectly optimized customer journey, it’s creating a communication mechanism that is attuned to all device types the entire way through the purchase funnel. The challenges many brands face are two-fold:

1) How do brands make sure they adopt cross-device attribution? Brands must track the entire funnel to determine that the person interacting on mobile is the same person purchasing later on desktop or tablet.

2) When someone lands on a site via mobile device, how do brands remarket to them on a desktop device when they are ready to purchase if they didn’t perform an action?

Amazon recently launched #AmazonCart, a functionality that allows consumers to add items to a cart through Twitter and purchase later. Abandoned-shopping cart emails are another tactic. These are just two ways brands are solving such challenges.

Further, marketers are also figuring out consumers’ optimal time of use by device type so they can tailor communications based on when they’re more likely to be on desktop device therefore increasing propensity to purchase. Sending emails at optimal times used to be a tactic; however, it’s quickly becoming outdated. Now brands are sending messages when consumers are more likely to purchase, and that means opening via desktop.

The movement to mobile is both challenging and exciting. Although few concrete answers exist to solve the challenges surrounding mobile conversion rates, brands and marketers are finally following the dollars to understand and confront the revenue shift.

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