Thumbs Rule Marketing, Says Facebook

Marketers may soon be taking orders from one master — the thumb. Mobile is already involved in the majority of shopping decisions and within five to 10 years, all shopping will occur on mobile devices, says research released last week by Facebook IQ.

Fat thumbMarketers may soon be taking orders from one master — the thumb. Mobile is already involved in the majority of shopping decisions and within five to 10 years, all shopping will occur on mobile devices, says research released last week by Facebook IQ.

“The Thumb Is in Charge” says 73 percent of consumers always have their devices with them. Smartphones help consumers research products and services, compare prices, check inventory and find other information, even in-store. But many shoppers are moving beyond just these uses.

Facebook IQ research
Facebook IQ research

“There are many factors driving people to buy products on mobile devices,” says the Facebook IQ “People Insights” blog post on Oct. 26. “Chief among them, convenience and mobility: 56 percent of omnichannel shoppers said that they made a purchase on a mobile device because it was conveniently in their hand already and 55 percent said because they can do it ‘anywhere, anytime.’ Looking ahead, 60 percent of omnichannel shoppers say they’ll either start purchasing or purchase more on their smartphones in 2016.”

Here’s what else Facebook IQ and other marketing thought leaders had to say about mobile shopping:

  • Facebook IQ research
    Facebook IQ research

    Path to Purchase Isn’t Linear, But Mobile Is Always Present. Attribution is the key. “In today’s multi-device world, people are discovering on one device, researching on another and converting on a third,” according to the Facebook IQ blog post. “Add in activity that happens in-store and it becomes even more complex.”

  • Optimize for Mobile. As IBM found during Holiday 2014, many mobile shoppers convert on larger screens because the sites aren’t mobile optimized. IBM found drop-off due to the friction. Facebook IQ says 54 percent of shoppers say desktops and laptops are easier to use for purchases and an equal number say it’s easier to view products there. Surprisingly, a much lower percentage — 26 percent — told researchers that the difficultly only arose when trying to enter personal data on smartphones. “In a world where screen real estate is shrinking, personalization, visualization and experimentation is becoming increasingly important,” according to the Facebook IQ research (opens as a PDF).
  • Facebook IQ research
    Facebook IQ research

    Give Consumers What They Want, While Designing for Where They Are. “Build for specific platforms,” according to the Facebook IQ report. “Account for non-wifi or low-bandwidth connections. Build for discovery and browse modes. Be sure to direct people to the right landing page.” As other mobile experts tell Target Marketing, the Facebook IQ research advises to design clear hierarchies of information while keeping it simple — don’t overload the screens. Make common action items easy to find and perform, as well as fast.

  • Design for Thumbs. Fat fingers like big buttons. “Frustration leads to bounce,” reads a June 2015 article in Target Marketing by M.J. Anderson. “From navigation and layout to button design and font sizes, make sure your site is easy to read and your calls to action are easy to click on.”
  • The Path to Empathy for All Generations Lies With the Millennials. In five to 10 years, everyone will shop on mobile devices, says Facebook IQ. Millennials are a mobile-first generation, so “think and act like a Millennial. … What Millennials are doing now is what everyone will be doing soon.” Other leading demographics, with of course some Millennial cross-over, are moms and multicultural consumers, says the Facebook IQ study.
  • Facebook IQ research
    Facebook IQ research

    A/B Test. “Test strategies like exclusive deals, personalized notifications and machine learning to increase transactions and basket size over time,” the Facebook IQ research reads.

How are marketers mastering the thumb?

Please respond in the comments section.

Author: Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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