Some digital trends come and go, quickly shifting from a technological craze to a lame fad like Moon Shoes and Furbies. Mobile communication, however, is a statement here to stay. According to a June 2013 study from Pew Internet and American Life Project, 91% of American adults own a cell phone, with 55-58 percent of these using smartphone that enable them to research, contemplate, and complete eCommerce purchases with ease and security. No longer a niche market, mobile shoppers are now a key player in online sales and are estimated to generate 15 percent of U.S. eCommerce sales this year (Tweet This Stat!).
These statistics probably didn't make you raise your eyebrows in shock or surprise as you probably purchased something on your smartphone this morning like the majority of American consumers. Congratulations- you just contributed to the 38.4 billion dollars expected to be spent in mobile transactions this year.
Mobile & B2B
With this amount steadily increasing each quarter, B2C companies are aptly reallocating budgets to mobile site development and devoting many of their marketing efforts to harvest untapped revenue from mobile customers. This is fine and dandy for these B2C vendors, but what is the B2B marketer to do? Do corporate shoppers making purchasing decisions for their business now expect the same convenience of mobile shopping as you experienced this morning while buying a cup of coffee on your smartphone?
Surprisingly enough, this rush to be mobile-ready is equally relevant to B2B companies. Research by State of Digital reveals 65% of C-level executives are completely comfortable with making a business purchase on a mobile device. This number is staggering (Tweet This!).
As business decision makers continue to feel more and more confident with mobile transactions, optimizing websites for mobile users will become a necessity for B2B companies as well. Grainger, a Fortune 500 industrial supply company and leader in B2B mobile eCommerce, launched a mobile app and readied their site for mobile use to allow businesses decision makers to access their products at any time or location. The company boasted about this new availability as they recognize that CEOs and business purchasers aren't always making transactions at their desk. They're working from home and on the run, so they need to peruse a mobile site with ease of a quick purchase.
But isn't the buyer journey completely different with B2B than B2C?
Some may be quick to argue that B2B and B2C companies play in different arenas with website goals being entirely different. While the primary goal of most business-to-consumer websites may be to simply guide a potential customer from initial visit to product sale, the aim of a B2B website is to generate leads. This thesis can be theoretically applied to mobile marketing and mobile eCommerce.
Some companies using mobile well for leads are thinking through the user experience on mobile devices and making it easier for companies to convert. For example, Allstate is leading the way in click-to-call success by allowing their mobile traffic the opportunity to speak immediately with a sales rep rather than filling out a form. ReviMedia verifies a small amount of lead information gained from their mobile lead forms and matches the remaining information one would supply in a desktop lead form. With CEO's and decision makers gravitating towards convenience and ease in today's busy world, they are becoming increasingly familiar and comfortable with making purchase decisions on their mobile device- be it an iPhone, Android, or Tablet.
Like Grainger, it's time for all companies to stop talking about mobile marketing, and just start doing it. Take a look at your analytics, look at how many visitors are coming from mobile, and don't forget about that fancy tablet. Even if less than 20% of your traffic is coming from these devices, that is 20% of users looking for personalized content willing to give their information to learn more, or looking for a reason to buy from you. We all know that sometimes a small percentage of traffic can result in game-changing revenue increases. Make the move to mobile.
(Image: adamr via freedigitalphotos.net)