3 ways predictive analytics is transforming mobile commerce

  • Convert one-time customers into loyal customers with in-store incentives targeted at customers' unique preferences.

  • Create more effective, highly targeted marketing programs based on a comprehensive picture of customer interactions with the business.

Predictive analytics is the practice of using previous consumer behavior and buying patterns to determine future actions. By gaining more information about their customers, businesses can use this data to increase the quality of customer engagement. This isn’t a new concept. Amazon and Netflix have been using predictive analytics for some time. However, what is relatively new is the recent proliferation of mobile platforms and the reliance on smartphones among consumers.

For years, the PC was the preferred device among consumers, but its influence is declining. A recent study by IDC says that by the year 2019, 80 percent of all smart devices will be smartphones. Additionally, a study by Ericsson predicts that by 2020, 70 percent of the world’s population will own a smartphone. As consumers gravitate to mobile devices, businesses that use big data will be rewarded.

Here are three ways that predictive analytics is transforming mobile commerce:

1. The buying process is simplified.

Consumers value their free time and will reward a business that makes the shopping experience less time consuming. Smartphones are naturally shortening the sales cycle by enabling consumers to research – and purchase – products and services from anywhere at any time. Predictive analytics can further simplify the buying process by strategically delivering buying suggestions based on consumers’ past purchases and actions taken directly from their mobile devices. With the suggestions at their fingertips and the technology to purchase in their hands, consumers find what they are looking for much faster and will likely return to the business in the future.

2. Customers are converted into repeat buyers.

A business that uses predictive analytics has the opportunity to convert a one-time customer into a repeat buyer. This opportunity is magnified when the engagement takes place in-store on a mobile device. Armed with customer data, a business can offer instant in-store-only promotions. In addition, these promotions can be tailored to fit the customer’s budget. As the level of personalization increases, the relationship between buyer and seller is strengthened.

3. Promotion becomes more personal.

In the past, a business may have promoted its product or service with a single advertisement and hoped that it reached as many people as possible. Predictive analytics is changing how businesses approach advertising. As data becomes more consumer-specific, ad strategy is shifting from offering one mass message to several targeted tag lines. The more the customer interacts with the business, the greater the volume of data. From that data, highly relevant and unique advertising can be created based on a customer’s preferred size, color, price, and other wish lists.

Mobile purchases leave a trail of data that can tell us quite a bit about consumer buying behavior. This data allows businesses to form more relevant and lasting engagements with their customers. And as the buying process becomes more simplified, customers will reward brands they trust with recurring purchases.

As a result, if your business wishes to pursue a mobile strategy, you should consider including predictive analytics in your marketing strategy.

Pat is a freelance writer from Kansas City, MO. He writes content on a variety of topics including technology, manufacturing, workforce collaboration, marketing, and engineering. He has served as a columnist for The Kansas City Star and is a frequent contributor to LinkedIn. All opinions are his own. AT&T has sponsored this post.

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