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Fingerstopping Strategy: Using Mobile to Drive Store Traffic and Power Desktop Sales

Posted by Victoria Flores on June 13, 2019

Mobile's Steady Growth

It’s no secret that mobile use among consumers is on the rise. Last year, retailers saw an average of 50% increase in mobile orders and 49% revenue gain, compared to a mere 15% boost in desktop revenue. Knowing that mobile is growing is the first step, but understanding how it’s growing and changing is the leap that will make your digital strategy outperform your competitors’ when optimized.

For smart digital marketers, mobile is impacting sales in two ways:

  1. Driving in-store traffic
  2. Powering desktop sales

Let’s dive deeper into why and how to optimize for mobile to boost sales both in-store and online.














Mobile is to desktop what compasses are to maps.

Now, 82% of smartphone users turn to their devices for guidance when deciding on a product. It is becoming the go-to when people want something now. Consumers are using it as a compass to complement their desktop shopping. Always in their pocket, the smartphone is the first resource to secure their sense of direction, whether it’s to find out if a product they want actually exists, to check if it’s available in a nearby store, or to see if any stores have a deal on it. Customers are reaching for their minicomputers to get instant answers on the go. It’s in these crucial moments, on the smallest screen, that you can see your biggest impact.


Become a magnet on mobile and “the compass” will point customers to you.

The top tool in your mobile toolbox is your digital advertising. Brands and retailers should include ad extensions with their Product Listing Ads (PLAs) for mobile devices to make the consumer shopping experience easier. People love swiping through image carousels, and PLAs are the perfect format for the handheld screen. They have a positive impact on CTR (Click Through Rate), yet few retailers take advantage of them when creating their campaigns.

Google has the power to pick and choose which extensions to display alongside your shopping ads and how frequently they will appear. Local inventory ads and merchant promotions are favored over product rating extensions for now, so take advantage. These are some best practices to follow across all facets of your mobile digital ad campaigns:

Google Merchant Promotions

  • Include special offers along with shopping ads
  • An added incentive for people to click on their ad
  • Used for basic offers like free shipping and BOGO offers
  • Only available to US-based advertisers

Local Inventory Ads

  • Formerly known as Local Product Listing Ads
  • Allow retailers to display real-time local inventory information such as in-store availability and pricing along with their shopping campaign ads
  • These will include price and local inventory information, such as in-store availability and distance to the nearest retailer's storefront
  • These extensions allow shoppers to find what they need without running from store to store
  • Limited to US-based advertisers who already have an online product feed

PLA Product Ratings

  • Aggregates your product reviews from across the web and presents their star-ratings based on a 5-star scale below your ads
  • Differentiate yourself from competitors and proves that you are a legitimate retailer
  • Use if you have customers that you know will leave good reviews
  • Only available for US consumers

Help customers navigate the in-store experience from their mobile devices.

The integration of mobile apps into the shopping experience is one way that mobile can drive store sales. Target does this well with their Cartwheel program in the Target app, which lets users see their nearest store’s hours, browse a variety of discounts and product categories, build a shopping list, and scroll through their weekly catalogs.

One of the great things about the app is the ability to use it in-store. If a shopper wonders whether the product they want to buy is on sale, they can use the in-app barcode scanner to check the price along with any applicable offers or discounts. By mixing mobile into a physical shopping experience, it personalizes the customers' engagement, which can drive sales and increase customer loyalty.

Exclusive discounts in the app incentivize downloads and mobile participation from brick-and-mortar retail shoppers. The 2019 merging of Target’s apps into one “mega-app” also allows shoppers to access the full catalog on mobile if they’re ready to convert in-app, making the omnichannel shopping experience as seamless as possible.

To learn more about how to attribute in-store sales to digital ads customers browse on mobile, read our blog post “Top 3 Tools to Attribute In-Store Sales to Digital Ads”.

Make sure the compass is guiding them somewhere good.

Your mobile UX should complement the desktop version of your site, so customers experience your brand and have an easy time browsing through your website or app to convert. To improve your mobile experience, you need to optimize both content and UX.

How to Optimize Your Content for Mobile

  • Any videos you have on your website should be compatible with all smart devices and include autoplay options where needed.
  • Scrollable content is key. The fewer clicks, the better.
  • Images should be high-quality and compressed. Take advantage of tools like TinyJPG or Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • CTAs should be easy for customers to identify and click.
  • Use responsive design to adapt to different screen sizes.
  • Avoid long paragraphs. On mobile, people expect to navigate through content quickly.
  • Consider what your customers value most on your website and make sure they can easily locate it in the navigation.
  • Keep Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in mind so images can load as you scroll, improving site speed and the overall experience.
  • Make sure your checkout process is easy on a small screen. Multiple payment options that users can save in their phone boosts conversions.

Best Practices For Mobile UX

  • Research what your top competitors are doing and how they deliver their website to mobile users.
  • Keep in mind that you will have to adapt your website for different devices. Apple devices have one button, while Androids have multiple.
  • Stay minimalistic if possible. Functionality + ease of navigation = mobile.
  • Use a test group to see if the experience works for them.
  • Navigation menus should be short, sweet and to the point.
  • Search bars should have auto-completing and suggested related queries.

If you want to view how your webpage responds to multiple screen sizes, use the Inspect Element tool in your browser to see how they are delivered to customers on anything from a tablet to a mobile phone. These steps will ensure your mobile experience has the best chance of leading the best customers your way.

All in all, mobile works in harmony with other channels to boost engagement and conversions. There is still a lot to see from mobile as a channel in the coming years, especially with the changes in app features. But, one thing’s for sure. Without a good mobile experience in this day and age, a brand can quickly fall behind competitors and leave their potential customers lost.


Learn more about how to drive in-store traffic and reach your omni-channel customer with our white paper! Simply fill out the information below.

Do you need help improving your mobile strategy? We are here to help! Contact us today.

Topics: mobile advertising, mobile app, mobile shopping, mobile best practices, buyer behavior


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