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5 key findings about the multi-screen movement

Retailers, take note: Another one of life’s constants, aside from the gift of taxes, is that we’re all consumers. The average American spends 45 minutes of each day shopping—whether on laptops, through tablets or using mobile devices.

In the U.S., people spend over seven hours each day looking at screens. We are consumed by a variety of screen-based devices: televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets and more.  This multi-screen, buyer-driven reality creates more chances for today’s retailers and marketers to connect with consumers than ever before. According to our recent Global Research Survey, retailers employ an average of 3.4 channels to connect with and collect data from consumers.

With the quickly changing digital marketing landscape come chances for retailers to innovate their marketing strategies. Here are five key findings about the multi-screen movement every retail marketer should consider to keep ahead of competition.

1. Smartphone use grew 174 percent from 2013 to 2014 for lifestyle and shopping apps, but the ultimate transaction still occurred on a computer or offline.

What this means: Smartphones are being used as a research method for consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions. Despite the actual purchase occurring offline (which may be due to trying on clothes before purchasing or trusting more in brick-and-mortar purchasing security), mobile search plays a huge part in the buying cycle.

Takeaway:

Content offered on your mobile website should be optimized for easy viewing. High-quality images, 30-second or less videos or slideshows combined with concise product descriptions will woo your customers.

2. Despite mobile being a top priority, retailers in particular are dialing back their app production because of high development costs and the challenges of getting consumers to use and keep them.

What this means: The proliferation in lifestyle and shopping apps should be taken with a grain of salt. Don’t jump into the mobile app bandwagon without optimizing the essentials like your mobile website’s design and content.

Takeaway:

Consider using a third-party service to optimize things like customer experience and design elements on your mobile website before even thinking about mobile apps.

3. According to Google Insights, 90 percent of multiple device owners switch between screens to complete a task.

What this means: Have you ever found yourself messaging someone on a smartphone only to set it down and continue the rest of that conversation on your PC because you had a task you’d rather complete on a different device? Now that most consumers have at least two electronic devices in their personal possession, marketers can’t just focus on optimizing the desktop user experience.

Takeaway:

Provide a seamless, uniform user experience across all potential platforms a consumer may have like desktops, mobile devices or tablets. For example, retailers should not have different return policies for products bought in-store and online. While great for building an eCommerce presence, dedicated online sales departments are often the reason for these discrepancies.

4. Even with ad relevancy, 56 percent of U.S. smartphone users say they never want to be targeted for ads. However, when asked how they wanted to be targeted for mobile advertising, 54 percent replied “Interests,” followed by forty-four percent with their “Current location.”

What this means: Even if consumers don’t want to be targeted with ads, they are still expecting to receive ads. The balance, then, lies in how timely, relevant and beneficial those ads are to your customers.

Takeaway:

Consumers are generally averse to ads on their smartphones but if presented with relevant benefits (e.g. in-store notification of discounts), they are more accepting. Focus on privacy and be sure to be transparent with consumers on how your will use their data. Think about using dialogue boxes to inform customers or subscribers when and how their data is being collected or used.

5. Tablets are the second-highest revenue-generating devices, with revenue per visit of $2.40 compared with the smartphones’ $0.97.

What this means: Although PCs and tablets generate more revenue and higher average order values, mobile shouldn’t be neglected due to its importance to product research. The three most important platforms for both revenue generation and marketing opportunities are PCs, smartphones and tablets.

Takeaway:

With this in mind, tailor content and design elements around the strengths of each platform to reap the maximum benefit. Consider a heavier emphasis on call-to-actions and copywriting in PCs and tablets while focusing more on storytelling and customer benefits on smartphones.

Today’s multi-screen reality is one still full of untapped opportunities. Not only are consumers finding more about what you as retailers can offer them, but you can also learn about your consumers from their interactions on an increasing number of channels. As always, the key to a successful business is a happy customer. Keep these five key findings about the multi-screen movement in mind if you want to stay ahead of the game.

Want to learn more about optimizing the omnichannel experience? Stay tuned for our webinar “Building a successful omnichannel marketing experience” this Wed., April 29th!

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