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5 common mobile commerce mistakes

The mcommerce space has taken huge strides over the past year with major retailers rolling out their own commerce-enabled mobile sites and applications. Additionally, companies are using new mediums such as QR codes, as well as traditional ones including SMS to help increase revenue.

Here, industry experts sound off on the five common mobile commerce mistakes.

Mobile users are not desktop users
Marketers who dip their toes in the mobile commerce space assume that mobile and desktop users are the same.

However, this is not true and marketers need to take that information into account when rolling out their strategies.

Consumers are increasingly becoming more tech-savvy and using their smartphone in a different way than they would their PC.

“A big mistake that we see are retailers that assume that mobile users will act in the same way as desktop users,” said Ryan Kelly, vice president of sales and marketing at Mad Mobile.

“Simply porting over your desktop ecommerce site to mobile does not account for the mobile user’s unique behavior and results in a less relevant experience for that user,” he said. “A less relevant mobile experience results in lower conversions and usage for the retailer.”

QR codes gone wrong
Yes, QR codes are great.

When done correctly the end result can be beneficial for both marketers and consumers.

However, many companies are not using the technology properly and leading consumers to broken links or unoptimized pages.

Additionally, many users are still not educated with how to properly use QR codes and without a call-to-action, the campaign has no merit.

“The QR code black hole,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand. “Although QR codes are trendy, and effective when used properly, consumers are being conditioned to ignore them.

“Too many campaigns send people to broken links, non-mobilized pages, or unrelated content,” he said. “If you are going to use a QR code, make it count.

“The call-to-action and value has to be clear.”

Spam SMS messages
SMS is a great medium for marketers to keep an ongoing dialogue with consumers.

However, many companies abuse that privilege.

“Sending text messages linking to a login screen,” said Drew Sievers, CEO of mFoundry. “For any bank or commerce player looking to drive an action or transaction, it’s critical not to train your customers to click an unsolicited link.

“There are already examples of criminals phishing mobile phone users by pretending to be a bank, payment method or commerce site,” he said.

“If you click the link and log in, you’ve given the criminal your credentials. Marketers should never deliver text messages with an embedded log in link.”

Apps? Not for everyone
Many times, marketers roll out mobile applications because their competitors have one.

However, one size does not fit all.

App discovery is still an ongoing problem for marketers and companies need to figure out what their end goal is.

“Consumers aren¹t likely to download 20 to 30 apps for 20 or 30 different retailers and use a different app every time they enter a store,” said Cyriac Roeding, cofounder/CEO of shopkick.

“That is where the power of shopkick comes in,” he said. “It is one, easy to use app, where you can earn rewards everywhere and spend them everywhere.

“That is truly mobile and truly valuable ¬ to shoppers and retailers.”

Not providing a holistic mobile experience

Mobile provides marketing touch points that can connect the real world and the online world.

Overlooking this is a common mistake and many marketers treat the mobile experience as simply a smaller version of a traditional Web site.

“Optimizing for mobile is not simply a shrinking of the current online experience,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of sales and business development at Unbound Commerce.

“New capabilities and new use cases should be considered so that the mobile experience is linked to a tangible, tracked result,” he said. “The most common example is a QR code that sends a consumer to an online experience not optimized for the device that scanned that QR code.

“For a retailer or brand that sells consumer direct the ability to link mobile marketing with mobile commerce might seem obvious, yet far too many marketers fail to seize upon the opportunity to generate and track campaign-specific ROI.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York