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Mobile click-to-buy ad units can strengthen holiday marketing ROI

October 6, 2010

Fandango included a tap-to-buy unit in a mobile campaign

Fandango included a tap-to-buy unit in a mobile campaign

It makes sense for retailers to adopt the click-to-buy ad format for the holiday season even though the payment gateways for mobile are still somewhat in their infancy, according to mobile advertising experts.

The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for consumers, making it difficult to fit in gift shopping. Advertisers that incorporate the click-to-buy ad format will expedite the shopping process, which some people loathe for a range of reasons.

“Click-to-buy is fast and easy for the user, which ultimately takes the hassle out of holiday shopping,” said Dave Gwozdz, CEO of Mojiva, New York. “On the advertiser side, it is a highly targetable medium and can offer a sound ROI if done correctly. 

“It’s a win-win for both parties involved,” he said.

Are consumers ready to click-to-buy?
Consumers are generally ready to buy via their mobile devices. However, it depends on what is being advertised. 

Mr. Gwozdz said that lower-cost items tend to have a higher purchase rate, as it takes the user less time to consider the expense and make the decision to buy. 

However, regardless of the price point, if the campaign is highly targeted and appeals to that specific user, he or she will be interested in the click-to-buy experience.

“While mobile continues to play numerous roles in the media plan, we haven’t seen a significant increase in advertisers specifically using click-to-buy ad units for lower-funnel purchase activity,” said Marcus Startzel, senior vice president of sales at Millennial Media, Baltimore, MD.

“Campaigns utilizing a click-to-purchase or mobile commerce-related activity have been hovering around 3 percent, and while that will likely increase as we draw closer to the holidays, advertisers continue to leverage mobile to influence upper-funnel brand consideration,” he said.   

Best practices for click-to-buy
As with all mobile strategies, keep it simple, Mojiva’s Mr. Gwozdz said.

Advertisers need to be specific with campaign targeting.

“Make the buying experience easy – ensure users can easily see an image of what they are buying via details of the item and a final price before they have to commit to the purchase,” Mr. Gwozdz said. 

“We’ve seen slower adoption than anticipated, but we are bullish on mobile commerce and think that advertisers are ready, and moreover, consumers are ready to buy on their phones,” he said.
Mr. Startzel said that advertisers that are executing click-to-buy ad campaigns are driving consumers to make purchases through large digital retailers.

The digital retailers are executing click to buy with their retail partners, or directly at major big-box retailers.

Mobile is an incredibly valuable channel to influence purchase in the check-out line in-store.

“Retailers are wholeheartedly embracing mobile rich media and as their comfort level and understanding of the power of mobile rich media grows, so will their use of transactional units,” said Elena Perez, director of marketing at Medialets, New York. 

“This year we’ll see some click-to-buy ad units, but primarily advertisers will focus on brand awareness, store finder/locator and product showcases,” she said.

Final take
Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor of Mobile Commerce Daily

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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