In his new book, Mobile Influence, digital pioneer Chuck Martin quotes a vice president of one of the largest food brand companies in the world, who tells him, "There are 7 billion people in the world, and 5.1 billion of them have a cell phone, and 4 billion have a toothbrush." With dramatic figures such as these, it's hard to argue with Martin's contention that "mobile is a complete game changer that alters consumer shopping like nothing before it."
Specifically, Martin argues that mobile has killed the traditional sales funnel and replaced it with a new sixphase process that he calls the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle. The traditional sales funnel dealt with a stationary customer who moved step-by-step closer to the purchase. The mobile shopping cycle phases are not sequential but instead represent opportunities for influencing the customer that could happen at any time.
The Sale That Got Away
For example, Martin describes an experience at a Dick's Sporting Goods store in which he saw an item for sale. On his mobile, he found the same item 30 percent cheaper at another retailer. Since the manager at Dick's refused to match the price, the author bought the item from the second retailer.
Notice that the other retailer had not moved the author from awareness to consideration to purchase. Instead, the other retailer became engaged with the author for the first time when the author was about to make the purchase at another store! "During the six distinct moments of the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle," Martin explains, "marketers have the potential to steer the mobile consumer toward their product and influence shopping behaviors."
The Six Influence Points
The six influence points of the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle are identified by Martin as follows:
1. The Set Up (Pre-buy). In this phase, the mobile shopper is doing research, Martin writes. This phase is similar to the traditional search phase of the pre-mobile age, except, of course, the technology used for the search is digital and mobile.
2. The Move (The transit).The consumer is on the way to the store or is running errands. The retailer locks in to the location and sends targeted messages to the consumer. For example, a customer is at a mall tweeting "I'm buying a new pair of jeans." Alert marketers can contact the tweeting customer and use an offer to get them into their store in the mall.
3. The Push (On location).The consumer is at a brick-and-mortar store. There are a variety of uses for mobile in the store, from accessing coupons for redemption at the store to reading product reviews or looking at the retailer's website for product info.
4. The Play (Selection process).The consumer is near the actual product being considered for purchase. One example: Consumers are scanning prices and comparing them on the spot with prices at other stores. As the example described above demonstrates, retailers need to pay attention to "the play."
5. The Wrap (Point of purchase).This is a chance to connect with the consumer … while they are buying your product. For example, offers and counteroffers can be sent to the mobile device as the consumer is using a mobile self-checkout option.
6. The Takeaway (Post-purchase). As a buyer excitedly sends a picture of his car via his mobile, how can the auto manufacturer or dealer become part of the conversation? This is an example of the challenge for marketers at this phase.
Consumer interest in mobile shopping is so high that sometimes businesses are caught unaware. In the chapter on the pre-buy phase, Martin tells the story of a consumer loan company that put its loan application online. When a majority of online consumers unexpectedly started filling out the long and detailed application using their mobile devices instead of their laptops, the company realized that they needed to take specific steps to address the needs of mobile prospects and customers.
Written by the CEO of the Mobile Future Institute, Mobile Influence is an invaluable tool for businesses that are looking to take full advantage of the mobile revolution.