It’s official: 2014 is the first year Americans have used mobile devices more than any other means to go online. In fact, Custora, a predictive analytics platform, recently revealed that mobile shopping will be a $50 billion industry by the close of this year.
What’s surprising, though, is that social media promotions aren’t primarily driving this shift. Even though e-tailers are prioritizing their investment in social media advertising, especially on Twitter and Facebook, their calls to action (CTAs) aren’t passing muster.
Custora revealed that only 0.6 percent of e-sales were made on smartphones last year after social media pushes. Compare this to email marketing (which has been getting the cold shoulder from some experts): it drummed up 26.7 percent of all mobile orders.
It’s clear that customers are using their for shopping, but are marketing efforts misdirected? It turns out that pay-per-click (PPC) advertising might be the golden ticket here, and maybe getting the most likes on Facebook isn’t as fruitful as you think.
Forget e-commerce, because m-commerce is where it’s at in 2014. There’s no stopping it, considering m-commerce was “just” hovering above $2 billion in 2010 and jumped to nearly $43 billion by 2013.
Many marketers are put off by the idea of paying for advertising when there are so many free options. Add in the plentiful blogs and articles about how it’s pointless to pay when freebies abound, and it’s easy to see how marketers are getting misled.
Email is a lucrative way to drum up business, but paid search might be just as rewarding (if not more so). Consider this: PPC ads led to 13.3 percent of phone conversions last year, which (in terms of capita) outpaced even tablets.
You’d think more people would be shopping on tablets, given their bigger size, but it’s evident that smartphones are a big draw for shopping. While that 13 percent might seem like it can’t touch email marketing’s nearly 27 percent, there are also a lot more marketers using email versus PPC.
The smartphone commerce
In the world of smartphone commerce, organic search has proved to be better than paid … so far. Organic search led to 16 percent of total sales, but it dropped slightly to 15.4 percent on the tablet.
Affiliate marketers tossed in their 0.6 percent for phones and 1.3 percent for tablets. It doesn’t look like much, but compare that to social media’s 0.6 percent for phones and 0.2 percent for tablets.
Also, remember that efforts and research on social media marketing trumped smartphone commerce, the current underdog, by far.
What this might mean for smartphone commerce is that it’s a largely untapped resource, especially when it comes to PPC. Marketers should know that most of the time, you really do get what you pay for.
Even though a free platform such as social media is appealing, it’s not really “free.” Manpower counts for something, and constant efforts to engage consumers can easily lead to a full salary.
With paid search, you purchase a marketing product, after which you can sit back and watch the numbers roll in.
A case for PPC
One thing isn’t going to change: More and more consumers will reach for their phones to shop. Looking at the numbers, it’s obvious that what marketers are doing now isn’t working.
There’s been an industry shift away from email marketing (even though it’s performing) and toward social (even though it isn’t working). It would be smarter to look more closely at PPC.
That might just be the trick up your sleeve that you need to take down the competition.