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Mobile commerce success is about more than a sale: SapientNitro exec

January 30, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – A SapientNitro executive at the 2013 Mobile Marketing Association Forum San Francisco said that marketers need to be looking at a variety of factors and key performance indicators to understand how consumers are shopping nowadays.

During the “Mobile Commerce: Process Task Force” session, executives from SapientNitro and Merkle discussed the multiple touch points that are involved in a mobile commerce transactions. Additionally, attendees weighed in on what challenges they face in their own mobile initiatives.

“The path to purchase is not a direct one anymore,” said Dan Israel, Atlanta-based strategy lead for mobile practice at SapientNitro.

“If the only metric we use to figure out whether we are succeeding on mobile commerce is the ultimate sale then you miss the other benefits,” he said.

“We all know that it is big and we want to move beyond the transaction piece.”

Multichannel shopper
Nowadays, consumers shop from a variety of platforms. For instance, a consumer may begin the research process on a smartphone but end up finishing the transaction on a desktop.

Social media sites also play a strong role in product discovery, per Mr. Isreael.

The shift in shopping presents multiple challenges for marketers, especially around key performance indicators.

One of the goals of the MMA is to give marketers a benchmark on which metrics and information is important as part of the multichannel shopping journey.

For example, time spent on a Web site might not be a major focus for ecommerce, but it can be a major factor in understanding mobile users better, especially with mobile applications.

Although second-screen experiences offer marketers new ways to target consumers, attribution is a challenge.

“Second screen is not necessarily a new concept, but the digital interface is,” Mr. Israel said.

Becoming a mobile purchase
Another topic that the session brought up is when can marketers categorize a mobile sale with consumers using multiple devices as part of the shopping journey.

Amazon is an example of a retailer that gets mobile commerce, per the session. The company has made it as easy as possible for consumers to shop across multiple devices with shopping carts and easy payment options.

“A lot of the brands are looking back and saying, ‘OK, someone purchased on a tablet but what is credited for the sale,” said Chris Wayman, vice president and general manager at Merkle, Columbia, MD.

“This is no longer siloed media – brands are looking at this as an overall media mix, and in order for mobile commerce to grow and foster, those are some of the things that we have to get at to tie it back to what the purchase funnel looks like,” he said.

“If you’re doing two things at the same time, then how are we going to measure it?” he said.

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

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