Factoring Mobile Tactics into Your Back-to-School Retail Strategy

Mobile shopping is on the rise.

According to a back-to-school report from IBM in 2015, 37 percent of shoppers use their smartphone to conduct at least some of back-to-school shopping, which is a 15 percent increase over the previous year. Additionally, 12 percent of shoppers will use a tablet device to do their shopping.

So what does this all mean for your local retail business during the back-to-school season? Mobile optimization is an important component of your digital marketing strategy if you want to reach back-to-school shoppers. In order to connect with the customers during this crucial season, here are three strategies to incorporate mobile tactics into your overall back-to-school marketing strategy.

Optimize Your Back-to-School Page for Mobile

Ideally, your entire website will be mobile-optimized at this point; however, what we’re referencing here is how you lay out your back-to-school promotions or pages on your website. Consider how a consumer might approach your website when looking for back-to-school promotions; they're most likely looking for anything specific to “Back to School”. You can ensure that they’ll find this part of your site by creating a home-page centered around your back-to-school promotions or having a prominent link to a back-to-school section that is clear and visible from the home page on a mobile device. 

Your next step is to actually use the site from a mobile device (and test it out on a tablet as well) to make sure it's easy to navigate on a small screen. Try using only your thumb and index finger to reach your back-to-school section and go through the steps to actually purchase online or take the intended action. A good rule is to put your most important content in the middle of the page for the best mobile engagement.

Update Your Search Ads to Attract Mobile Shoppers

The majority of online mobile purchases start with a search engine, which means that your search ads should be optimized for mobile devices as well. Switch up your search ads to target back-to-school related queries, and then incorporate that language in your actual ads to increase click-throughs to your site. Advertising specific promotions for in-store shoppers is a great way to incentivize people to visit your store while they’re actually out shopping because G/O Digital research shows that quite a few shoppers actually search for deals and promotions on an item while they’re at or near a store.

The copy used in your search ads is just one part of the equation; you also want to create a clear connection between the search ad and your business. You can accomplish this through ad extensions, which are offered through Google AdWords and are completely free. For mobile shoppers, you should add click-to-call and location ad extensions so shoppers can easily call your business or get directions to your location while on their mobile device.

Use Social to Facilitate Mobile Purchases as Well

The average Facebook user spends about 50 minutes on Facebook apps (Facebook, Instagram and Messenger) each day. Your retail business can capitalize on this by using Facebook’s advanced ad-targeting features for your back-to-school promotions. You can not only target people who already like your business’ Facebook page, but you can also target by demographic parameters to reach more people in your area. If your local retail business has products for K-12 students, you can target the parents of those consumers (who are most likely to make the purchasing decisions). If you are trying to reach the back-to-college crowd, Facebook allows you to target that age range as well. And if your business spans across all of these groups, you can create different ads specific to each customer base and target them to separate audiences so that each group receives more personalized ads. Keep in mind that you want to bring these back-to-school shoppers to your mobile-optimized shopping pages since they’re likely to be using a Facebook app.

With these tips, you’ll be able to reach back-to-school shoppers with a positive mobile shopping experience at your retail business. 

This is part 5 of 5 in our Back-To-School blog series. Make sure to check out the other posts here: 

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