Yesterday Google announced that if you don’t have a mobile-optimized landing page for your mobile AdWords campaigns your ad quality score will suffer. This is designed to create a better mobile experience for the consumer-user but also to motivate laggard marketers to mobilize.
Google expressed to me on the phone the importance of being ready for the coming holiday shopping season, which will see very heavy mobile usage (research but not buying for the most part). It may be something of a watershed, with people using both smartphones and iPads to shop in unprecedented numbers. If you’re not ready for mobile, people will abandon your site (especially if it’s slow). There’s nothing worse that clicking through to a site to see a traditional PC site with flash or a pop up, etc. Au revoir.
SMBs need mobile sites too (see Duda Mobile, etc.); however most people looking for local businesses will use directory sites, verticals, Yelp and Google to do local business lookups. Few people search directly for SMB websites on mobile devices. However if you’re an advertiser with a search or display campaign you’d better make sure that you’ve got a mobile landing page. Many publishers and some ad networks (e.g., xAD) do this as part of their SMB advertising packages.
The message is: mobile is now a critical part of the shopping process and marketers need to be ready for holiday 2011. Another theme this year will once again be deals and discounting. It may be a big year for deal providers as consumers continue to be frugal and selective in a bad economy.
An online survey from Synovate indicates that consumers will be very price sensitive and will only buy online with incentives such as free shipping and offers.
There’s no reference to daily deals in the chart above. The closest thing is 11% of respondents checking the “I will use coupons for the first time.” However the overall message is savings. Accordingly I suspect that for those deal purveyors that get it right, this could be quite a good holiday. And for those SMBs who offer the right deals it could equally be good.
The problem, as the speakers on my session on deals at SMX East showed, is that calculating ROI on deals for SMBs is “extraordinarily” complex. Thus they need help to figure it out and structure it properly, which they’re mostly not getting. Regardless, this holiday season is going to be replete with deals of the “check-in” and “daily” kind.
Preparing for the multi-channel onslaught, smart marketers will be using a mix of online incentives and mobile offers (e.g., check-in deals) to drive people into stores as well.