Fashion Brands: Don't Wait to Test Mobile (and Here's Why)

If you're a fashion marketer then we'd strongly advise you to test mobile marketing.Why are we so convinced that mobile marketing will work for you?  Firstly,because  all the research we've seen points to smartphones becoming an ever more integral part of consumers lives and an ever more integral tool to support their fashion shopping. And secondly, because of the results we've seen from the mobile initiatives we've undertaken with our own clients.Let's bring you up to speed with the research first.According to Ofcom, smartphone penetration has now reached 56% - in 4 years time, it's estimated that level of penetration will be 80%. And smartphone owners like to use their phones to go online - in fact, 59% of them access the internet every day and a staggering 28% of all internet usage is now accountable to mobile phone browsers.But smartphone owners aren't just using their phones to browse, they're using their phones to buy too.  33% have used their phone to buy something and it's estimated that smartphones will influence in-store retail sales worth £15bn across the UK in 2012 - that's 10% of all retail sales.  It's predicted that this figure will double over the next 4 years.From a fashion specific perspective, there's strong evidence that mobile is having a significant impact on sales. The graph below also supports this assertion. It plots smartphone penetration and online fashion sales and shows a strong correlation between those age demographics that show the highest level of smartphone adoption and those that are most likely to buy clothing and/or footwear online.UK_Smartphone_Penetration_vs_Online_Fashion_ShoppingThis graph shows the importance of mobile to fashion retailers even more starkly - demonstrating that clothing and footwear are 2nd only to books when it comes to the proportion of smartphone and tablet owners that have purchased them using their device.Mobile_Sales_by_CategoryAnd mobile marketing at present offers an opportunity largely uncluttered by the efforts of competing brands. As you can see from the bar chart below, despite the fact that mobile outstrips all other media bar TV in terms of time spent by consumers, on average only 1% of marketing budgets are being allocated to it.Time_Spent_vs_Ad_SpendAnd mobile marketing is not just about mobile search.  It can play a role in all stages of the purchase journey - from awareness with mobile banners and pre- rolls all the way though to action with mobile sites. We've outlined some of the options below but the possibilities are vast - Cream has created entirely new formats for clients. And as smartphone screens get bigger, the opportunity to showcase product gets better.Mobile_Marketing_Can_Influence_all_Stages_of_the_purchase_journeyIf all that market data doesn't convince you then our own firsthand experience with creating mobile campaigns for our fashion clients should. Our conclusion is that, in short, mobile works.Results have included CTRs from mobile search ads that were 56% higher than from a desktop, impressively high levels of engagement and, perhaps most tellingly, hard evidence that mobile marketing can drive retail footfall and sales if used in the right way.If you'd like to find out more then just drop us a line and we'll be happy to share our mobile marketing experiences in the fashion sector with you.We're convinced that dipping your toe into the mobile marketing waters will be something you'll not live to regret.

MobileNeil Cunningham