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Digital giving continues to evolve, driving high bounce rates: American Cancer Society exec

NEW YORK – An American Cancer Society executive at the MMA Mobile Marketing Leadership Forum revealed that  70 percent of consumers who start the donation process online abandon it, pointing to the challenges nonprofits face as giving platforms evolve.

During the session, Mobilizing Cause-Marketing: How Non-Profit Marketing is Evolving and Why it Matters to Your For-Profit Business, the executive explained that while the organization still has a long way to go in its mobile capabilities, a mobile-first mindset is essential. Completing actions behind the scenes, such as looking at things on a mobile device instead of a large desktop screens and design experiences with a mobile-first mindset is key.

“Consumers want an easy, easy experience,” said Zoe Galde, managing director of digital marketing at the American Cancer Society. “So there are apps out there where you can donate to all your different charities in one place. We are starting to see these mobile technologies come out of the woodwork.

“The donation process across nonprofit really runs the gamut because a lot of these nonprofits are just starting to get acquainted and innovative in the space,” she said. “So 70 percent of the people that begin the donation process online bounce.

“This is probably because we ask them too much information, or because the site loads 12 seconds plus, or they are just not ready when they get to that page.”

Mobile-first consumers
A wide range of marketers are discussing mobile and mobile-first strategies, but many are lacking simple actions to do so such as such as testing and viewing their efforts on the actual devices, a strategy that can be detrimental.

A significant factor in appealing to the modern mobile-first consumer is to make sure to listen to customers and understand what they want. It will not matter how amazing the technology is from a marketer if it is not something the consumer wants or is interested in.

Mobile donations
While the American Cancer Society still has room for improvement for its mobile properties, its donation programs through SMS are widely effective because they provide convenience for consumers. For instance, many consumers are interested in donating but maybe do not want to while they are on the go, so the American Cancer Society has a program in place in which users can text a donation pledge and will receive a link to donate.

Whenever that mobile user is ready, he or she can then follow the link to donate a pledge. Another streamlined method of donation is text to donate, which allows participating service providers to bill customers after they opt in to give through SMS.

The nonprofit also has a series of applications and Web sites it leverages for connecting to consumers and donations.

“It does not really matter how great and innovative your technology is if no one is using it,” Ms. Glade said. “For us specifically and nonprofits letting our audience and our volunteers be a part of our mission.

“The more we can bring them in from the beginning in the first place, because they are the reason we are here in the first place, creates more loyalty, which equals more donations.”