How Mobile Has Impacted The Customer Journey
In an increasingly busy world, the mobile phone has become a vital tool to help people manage all the competing priorities in their lives. Communicating to our friends and family, catching up on the latest headlines, playing games, being entertained and, of course, online shopping represents just a small handful of the things that we’re able to do via our devices.
This has not gone unnoticed by digital marketers all around the world who have reacted to embrace the opportunities created by mobile technology at every stage of the customer journey.
Digital discovery isn’t by chance
Businesses now accept the benefits of engaging with their new and existing customers via their mobile phones and digital marketers have become incredibly sophisticated in targeting the most relevant consumers for their brands.
From search engines to social media, apps, podcasts and video – there’s a plethora of medium in existence and within these, targeting mechanisms and analytics of their own. Marketers not only understand this but know what mediums their target audiences are most frequently engaging with. They can often then set specific audiences sets (via gender/age/interests/jobs etc) for these ads to increase the chances of their promotions being seen by those they’re intended for.
Proximity has also become a major factor when it comes to mobile discovery with location-based search queries the dominant driving force. People are constantly looking for products in and around their vicinity no matter where they happen to be. This location-based data combined with audience sets culminates in arguably the most powerful targeting based marketing mechanism available today and is why the phase of discovery in the digital context is very rarely down to chance.
Building trust, fast
Once a product/brand has been discovered this doesn’t automatically translate into a sale, as you all well know. The trust phase is an integral part of the customer journey that still needs to be satisfied. Again, the mobile phone has transformed how people determine the trustworthiness of a product and social media has become an integral part of this phase.
Social Media has become incredibly important, not just for established brands but for new and emerging brands too. Upon first discovering a brand on mobile, many of us search for a social media presence to, in the first instance, confirm legitimacy. Do they have social media accounts? How much of a following do they have? Are they posting regularly? How are people rating their products and services?
All these things are obvious almost instantaneously and can build trust just as quickly. The nature and style of your content then gives an impression of your values and personality which can instil added positivity.
Other platforms like apps, Google reviews, 3rd party websites are important sources too but in the context of mobile, social media tops the lot for immediacy which has again been a modern phenomenon of the mobile era.
If you’re successful in the discovery and trust phases your potential customers will hopefully make their way towards a purchase. The influence of mobile as a platform has had a huge impact on the customer journey and experience and the best companies have taken advantage of all the best characteristics mobile affords.
These characteristics, which we’ve already touched on, is for a fast, efficient and seamless experience. Good mobile web design is a huge factor in ensuring this phase is at its most effective. How does the user experience look and feel on a mobile screen? Is everything clear and legible? Is it fast and responsive? Is it easy to use?
Part of this is about boiling it down to the essentials. What do your customers need to provide at a minimum to make a successful transaction? Is there any unnecessary complexity that acts as a barrier to purchase? How quickly can they make a purchase if they are in a rush?
Answering all these questions well means companies can get the best in this particular phase through mobile users and it’s precisely what the best examples are able to achieve.
Repeating becomes second-nature
Once you’ve got them in you want to keep them in and ensuring that you’ve done the aforementioned things well will help you retain a lot of these hard-earned customers but that’s not where it ends on mobile.
Retargeting through mobile is a tremendous asset and is something that makes a lot of sense. Retargeting allows you to create specific copy for ads for people who have already purchased from you in the past which can be vastly different to those at the start of the customer journey. The direct nature of this is unlike anything possible in traditional forms of marketing which has again given marketers extremely powerful tools to leverage.
Mobile apps in particular have become an important part of this phase in the context of mobile devices as platforms from which companies can target their customers on an individual basis. It also means they are seeing your retargeted ads without distraction from the medium itself like a search engine results page with other competitors.
If you do this well, your customers behaviour with repeat purchases via these methods will become habitual and your bottom line will benefit because of it.
Celebrating with your fans
The instant and immediate nature of mobile has allowed companies to communicate with their customers in a more humanistic way, which in terms of the final referrals phase, enables them to create loyal brand endorses and ambassadors.
Social Media presents great opportunities for companies to celebrate their customers’ successes with the rest of the world. This can be at an individual consumer level or it can be facilitated through the use of social media influencers with large and captive followings.
Encouraging endorsements like these can be a massive influence in the purchasing decisions of others, especially from those directly connected to the endorser themselves. The natural trust these people carry and hold effectively then gets passed onto your brand/product ticking the boxes of the discovery and trust phases almost at once. This allows them to more quickly transition through to the purchasing phase which, when repeated, can snowball into the others.
The future of the customer journey is in mobile
As you can see, the impact that mobile has had on the customer journey has been profound and has not only streamlined and quickened the experience but made it more interactive and human as well. With the interconnectivity of the world and our lives increasing day by day, this will only perpetuate this movement which is already well on its way.