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Why Retailers Should Write “I Will Be Mobile” On the Nearest Chalkboard This Back to …

By Steve Olenski

I left “100 times” in the title for fear of angering the Google keyword Gods. So the title should really be Why Retailers Should Write “I Will Be Mobile” 100 times On the Nearest Chalkboard This Back to School Season.

Of course, retailers — and all brands for that matter, should be mobile at all times of the year. But since this is back-to-school time, we’ll keep it in that context. So, after reading and disseminating this post, if you are a retailer and you don’t feel adequately equipped from a mobile perspective, then yes you must find the nearest blackboard and write 100 times “I will be mobile.”

It’s A Mobile World After All

Yes that is a horrible play on words; cliche’d; hackneyed. Pick one, Or all.

But, it’s true and you know and I know it. And it when comes to the context of back-to-school and just mobile our world has become, the following headline from a recent press-release says it all: 89% of Parents Select a Retailer for Back-to-School Shopping Based on Deals Available on Mobile Devices.

The release and corresponding study come courtesy of Retale, who surveyed 1,000 parents with school-aged children grades K-12 in July. The survey focused squarely on the use of smartphones while shopping.

Here are some more findings to nibble on:

  • 78% will use a smartphone for back-to-school shopping this year
  • Among this 78% the most common mobile activities are:
    • ​63% will use a smartphone to compare prices
    • 62% will look for coupons and deals
    • 55% create shopping lists
    • 47% research products
    • 41% read product reviews

One final stat: Of the 78% of parents who indicated they will use a smartphone for back-to-school shopping this year, only 37% said they will make a purchase directly via their smartphone.

Key Takeaways

There are three key takeaways from these findings.

1. The fact that over 3/4 of parents will use a smartphone in way, shape or form for back-to-school shopping. Quite frankly, I would have expected that number to be higher given the rampant pervasiveness of mobile in our everyday lives.

2. The 89% of parents who are looking for a deal, a discount; some kind of savings. The economy is up. The economy is down. Doesn’t matter. People are people and as such will always want to save a few dollars here and few dollars there. It’s just human nature. The important thing to remember is that value does not always mean discounts.

3. The 37% (of the 78% who will use a smartphone for back-to-school shopping) that indicated they will make a purchase via their smartphone. The quick math, never one of my stronger subjects, says that leaves 63% who will make a purchase either online via a PC or in-store. My assumption is it will be more the latter than the former. All of which means retailers, not only should be mobile, literally – but must never lose sight of the in-store experience, either.

School Days

In keeping with the school theme, I give you The Marketer’s Backpack. It’s an an array of thoughts on differing subjects from some of the brightest teaching minds today from some of the best institutions of higher learning in the land. We surveyed them to get their take on a number of different subjects surely to be near and dear to all marketers’ hearts.

Download and unpack The Marketer’s Backpack today.