This was a special cyber Monday for me. I observed two things in mobile, one that surprised me and another that validated what I already knew. Instead of addressing the usual data that says mobile is growing, sales are growing, etc., in this post I will only share my casual observations and things I’ll be doing in my marketing to keep up.
Things I’m going to do different going forward:
- Think of creative ways to encourage usage of new apps with upcoming marketing campaigns.
- Make sure my mobile experience is perfect prior to moving to desktop. When taking product shots and adjusting the site, I’ve been looking at laptops instead of mobile phones first.
Surprise – Pass the app to collect $200
It is a Thanksgiving tradition in my family to go out on Black Friday and see what we can find. Prior to this years tradition, I did some research online to see what companies were offering. I quickly found that Expedia was offering huge discounts on hotels, similar to what they did last year, except this year they had a twist. To get the discount, you had to book through their app. I found it frustrating at first, because you had to search online to find out what cities the hotel deals were in and at what hour they were released. Then you had to open the app to search the city and book the hotel. After going through the process, I realized that this was a brilliant move and they were accomplishing three important things:
- They acquired new users for the app. By forcing people to use the app, Expedia moved users to a booking tool that they want customers on. The app can provide a better user experience, allow for targeted and personalized marketing, and increase loyalty and revenue.
- They showcased the key features and value proposition of their app by having a user actually go through and perform an action of searching for the hotel, multiple times.
- They provided data for improving their mobile app. With this influx of traffic, Expedia increased their ability to use analytics and a/b testing tools within their app to analyze and optimize the experience.
Kudos to Expedia for implementing their marketing campaign in a creative way that encouraged the usage of their new app. I look forward to reading up on the results of this marketing campaign.
Validation – Mobile is where transactions happen
My darling wife, Camille, and her friend, Becky, recently launched a shop selling hair bows for little girls. I was excited to see Camille make the plunge into sharing her creations with the world. I had the opportunity to help prepare for the launch and we talked about their user experience. My theory, going into this experience, was that the overwhelming majority of her target market, busy moms, will be finding her shop and purchasing from a phone. After getting Shopify setup with all the product shots, meta data, pricing, etc., it was ready for release on Cyber Monday. Camille and Becky started to preload images via Instagram and Facebook at 10 PM on Sunday and visitors started to come in immediately, thanks to a couple individuals who already followed them.
At the end of Cyber Monday, I pulled some analytics data around their business performance and noted that 76% of their unique visitors, and 63% of revenue that day came from a mobile device. Granted this data was a small sample set of 360 users, it was still telling. Sixty percent were millennial females between the ages of 25-34, which was also an expected finding. My sister happened to be the first order of the day, and I called her to ask her about how she made her purchase. She confirmed exactly what I thought would happen by telling me that she woke up on Monday morning, opened Instagram while still in bed, saw the post and made the purchase right there on her phone.
This was a fun experiment for our family, but it really made me connect to my second finding of the weekend. I find myself thinking too much about how my sites will work and appear on desktop sites, when in reality there is more to be gained by focusing on mobile sites first. Moving forward I want to make sure my mobile experiences are in a good place before I move them over to the desktop.
You don’t have to experience Black Friday from the showroom floor to takeaway some of the findings I’ve been thinking about this year. However, mobile continues to gain favor with our audiences, and we need to continue to be thinking about mobile more than ever before.