Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mobile Marketing is More Important Than Ever!

I purchased a new SmartPhone over the weekend and was amazed at how easy it is now to shop via apps. Some of my favorites I found in just a matter of minutes:

1.) ShopSavvy (find on itunes.com, it's free) - Users can scan a barcode and instantly find a list of all local and online stores selling the item along with the prices at each store. Users can also search for items instead of scanning barcodes and organize deals into folders.

2.) Trip Advisor (find on itunes.com, it's free) - I was a fan of this one mainly because you can instantly search for hotels, restaurants, etc. w/out having to enter your location because the app already knows your location. You can save your favorites and review ratings from other people along w/ the distance from your current location and view location on a map.

3.) Amazon (find on the anroid marketplace, it's free) - online shopping at it's finest made specifically for smartphones. Shopping this app was easier than shopping on a standard pc or Mac, I promise! You just have to know what you are looking for since it's search based.

So back to my main point for all you online marketers out there....as more and more consumers gear up on smartphones and they become more and more sophisticated, consumers are going to expect to be able to come to their phones first to shop. To get ahead of the game, marketing dollars are going to need to shift drastically and quickly. So what are your peers doing? The e-tail group (http://www.e-tailing.com/) recently released their 2011 Q1 10th Annual Merchant Survey and found that mobile initiatives among 200+ merchants had jumped 26% year over year from 49% vs. 23% year prior.

I recommend that your eCommerce road map have a smartphone app in it for the next year if it doesn't already. One important tip: don't think of these new initiatives as immediate revenue generators but rather make your ROI goal: engagement & relationship building for the long run.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's a Crazy Exciting ECommerce World Out There

As the face of eCommerce changes almost daily, it seems one of the best ways to stay on top of how to best connect with your customers could very well be by simply keeping track of which technology companies are buying each other.

For example, it seems everyone has been keeping an eye on why it was so important for Microsoft to buy Skype, a quick and quiet steal from Google. Did they have a more strategic vision in mind or was it simply to have a quick win on Google. If you followed this article - Facebook, Skype, and Microsoft's savvy investment, you'd quickly have a good idea of just why.

One thing is certain, the companies that stay on top of the newest trends in social networking will be the ones that stay on top or get to the top of their industry much more quickly and cheaply. With that said, I am anxiously awaiting my keys to the door of Google+, the newest "project" as Google would call it that just might be the big shift that takes Facebook almost as fast as Facebook took the MySpace market.

Only time will tell what's next. One thing is for sure, marketers - get ready to plan your attack and hold on tight. There could be some major shifts needed in your current strategy.