10 mobile and digital stats retailers will want to consider for this year’s strategy

The Airship team offers advice for successful mobile and digital engagement during 2021. 

The pandemic has further cemented mobile as the centre of peoples lives for in-the-moment information and streamlined conveniences to manage through this extraordinary time. We selected 10 statistics that showcase the importance of certain aspects of mobile and digital marketing you will definitely want to consider as you think through your customer engagement strategy this year.

1) Mobile App Audiences grew 31 per cent YOY in 2020, up from 16 per cent YOY growth in 2019.

Not only the overall audience leveraging mobile apps has grown but, Airship’s State of Global Mobile Engagement 2020 report, also identified dramatic uptake in average app opens and notification direct open rates, while location-sharing opt-in rates grew for the first time in years. You can read the full report to see how the numbers compare across different verticals and regions.

2) The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards eCommerce by roughly five years, according to IBM.

Facing this accelerated growth, it’s important that retailers reconsider the role of their stores in combination with e-commerce to deliver the experience customers want and need now and in the future. It only took a few months from the pandemic’s onset for consumers’ preferences for click-and-collect to evolve from safety to convenience.

3) According to a study by the XM Institute, 94 per cent of consumers who give a company a “very good” CX rating are likely to purchase more products or services from that company in the future.

Ongoing testing and experimentation can drive small improvements that net large business results. Tests and experiments are often focused on a small percentage of customers first, before rolling out to everyone. Beyond improved revenue, this agile, evidence-backed approach can direct product resources to areas that will make the most impact, and mitigates risks to business performance and user retention.

4) According to the State of the Connected Consumer study from Salesforce, 52 per cent of customers expect offers to always be personalised — up from 49 per cent in 2019.

To build loyalty, you need to show your customers that you understand their needs and value their time and attention. Shift away from scheduled campaigns and brand messages, to delivering helpful, useful, highly contextual information to individuals. According to industry analysts, messages triggered by customers behaviours see at least 3-5X the response rate of regular marketing messages, and personalised promotions or incentives to complete surveys or reviews can be tacked on.

5) The number of companies investing in the omni-channel experience has jumped from 20 per cent to more than 80 per cent in 2020, according to PwC’s Retailing 2020: Winning in a Polarized World study.

During this pandemic, the strongest brands have leaned into contactless commerce, exclusivity, scarcity, content and frictionless, white-glove service. With a combination of those elements, marketers this coming year will focus on growing direct customer relationships that deliver mutual value and grow retention and lifetime value. And that means mastering native mobile-first channels like apps, SMS and mobile wallets, to send the best messages and transact throughout the customer lifecycle. In 2021, marketers will elevate optimisation to focus on customer journeys and the impact to business goals versus message engagement metrics, as well as optimising end-to-end user flows across digital properties and messaging channels to better serve individuals’ preferences and the business’ bottom line,

6) Cash will be overtaken by mobile wallet as a preferred payment method by 2022, according to the 2019 Mobile Payments Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020-2025) report by Mordor Intelligence.

During this pandemic, a bevy of statistics have shown that the mobile wallet is gaining traction and suggest it will continue to do so. Consider that, according to the Mordor study, 57 per cent of shoppers said they would be comfortable using mobile wallets to continue to make contactless payments after the pandemic. And, 30 per cent of consumers have made mobile wallet transactions for the first time. On average, after adopting mobile wallets, consumers’ average order sizes increased by 2.4 per cent and their transaction frequency jumped by more than 23 per cent. For consumers, mobile wallets features like coupons, loyalty and gift cards will be attractive for in-store shopping because consumers want more streamlined conveniences.

7) According to the Facebook IQ report, The Future of Shopping has Come Early, more shoppers are prioritising reliability (70 per cent) and convenience (68 per cent) when deciding where to shop online.

Consumers are prioritising convenience and opting for products that reduce effort, while enhancing speed and ease. In the next few years, leading commerce organizations will generate 10 per cent of online revenues from services attached to physical products, including subscriptions, auto-replenishment, predictive maintenance, marketplace operations and payment services.

8) Both average app opens per user and average push notification direct open rates increased 29 per cent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Airship’s State of Global Mobile Engagement 2020 report.

Another Airship study found that app users who receive notifications in their first 90-days are retained at nearly 3X the rate of those who do not, while the pandemic has further increased engagement with apps and notifications. However, to gain advantage, you must first get your users permission to send those messages. Optimising opt-in rates is a matter of testing different approaches to position the value, which can vary across  brand and  app verticals. Here are 10 practical ideas that you could start leveraging.

9)According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Consumer study, 76 per cent of customers prefer different channels depending on context.

Today’s customers expect a consistent and connected experience across digital and store touchpoints, as many journeys today involve multiple devices and channels. Retailers must have a strategy in place to recognize customers and their preferences, and even coordinate experiments across channels so valuable segments experience consistency wherever they choose to interact.

10) 32 per cent of customers will walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience, according to a PwC study, Experience is Everything: Here’s how to Get it Right.

No excuses. There are too many good brands out there that compete with yours, so ensure the decisions you make and the experiences you provide are based on data from users and iteratively improved over time. Businesses have responded to these unprecedented times with the urgency that survival inspires, but consumer behaviours and expectations are changing just as fast. More than ever, consumers’ expectations are often based on their last best experience – across all brands – so the bar is constantly being raised.