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How Lenovo leverages mobile search to drive in-store sales

LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ – A Lenovo executive at the Mobile Shopping Fall Summit said that the brand is working around the fact that that it does not have physical stores with 5,053 location-based mobile search pages to increase traffic to consumer electronics retailers.

Attendees got a first-hand look at how Lenovo is using a combination of responsive and mobile design to drive both online and in-store sales during the “New Mobile World, New Online Search Thinking” keynote session. The executive also spoke about some new work that the electronics brand is doing with mobile couponing.

“We found that about ten percent of our SEO traffic was coming from a mobile device,” said Donna Bedford, global SEO lead at Lenovo, Morrisville, NC.

“So we have responsive design and we have product pages, but we actually really don’t know if we’re reaching the requirements of people, so then we went deeper into what they are searching for,” she said.

“We found that a lot of searches were focused around products that we sold in stores and were trying to find information about the product. We also had a lot of searches about finding a location for Lenovo. If anyone knows Lenovo, we don’t actually have stores, so this is a little bit of a problem for us.”

Driving in-store traffic
The Lenovo executive backed up the importance of local search with a statistic from Google’s Mobile Playbook finding that 55 percent of actions taken as a result of searching via mobile take place within one hour.

Additionally, 94 percent of smartphone owners look for location information via a mobile search. Fifty-one percent of those consumers later visited a store.

There are roughly 20,000 – 30,000 searches per month on where to find a Lenovo store. The executive expects this number to go up during Black Friday and throughout the holidays.

To break into local search, Lenovo created 20 basic HTML5 pages targeting consumers in specific cities with a Google Map integration and worked with retail partners including Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy and Office Max.

The top portion of the ads drove traffic to and was integrated into merchandising, and the ad also included a map to a retailer where consumers can buy Lenovo products.

Mobile coupons were included on the left-hand side of the ads, and Lenovo is now working with the retail partners to get in-store coupons that can be redeemed via a mobile device.

The two-month pilot program immediately increased traffic, which Ms. Bedford chalks up to the fact that there is not any competition in the space.

Lenovo is now rolling out the effort to all 5,000 – 6,000 locations in the United States where its products are available.

The landing pages are available in English with a Spanish version currently rolling out.

Shop on mobile?
Lenovo also has several other different mobile initiatives in certain markets.

The electronics brand has a responsive design in a few countries, and there is mobile commerce site where consumers can shop the brand’s products.

Because Lenovo is a premium product, consumers are less likely to buy on mobile devices, meaning that loading up product information is important to help consumers research from their mobile devices.

The growth in consumers shopping from smartphones and tablets is predicted to be on the uptick this holiday season, and the Lenovo exec stressed the importance of having a dedicated mobile team to keep up with email, paid search and SEO.

Although the opportunity for mobile commerce continues to pose a big opportunity for retailers, marketers should also focus on using mobile as a research tool for consumers.

“Yeah, responsive design is great, in mobile [we can] give you coupons to use on the site, but we have a lot of people that don’t know what they want,” Ms. Bedford said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York