I wrote about this some last year, but since the Apple Watch is now available, marketers will be figuring out ways to incentivize on-site purchase through location-based marketing. Adobe’s CMO predicts that wearables will be on 1 in 4 Americans by the end of 2016.  This trend makes sense especially for retailers, who can offer real-time “cart abandonment” incentives and reminders while in stores. Also, the more that seamless payment catches on with wearables, the more opportunity for loyalty cards and other database-driven marketing has to take off.

Mobile Phone User

With that in mind, Mobile is king, but is showing limited returns versus direct. Mobile digital media time in the US is now significantly higher at 51% compared to desktop (42%), and this margin has grown every year. Spend on mobile is up, but conversion rates are still well below desktop for digital media. You can digest this as twofold: consumers research more on mobile, but make more purchases on their desktop. Cart abandonment is much higher on smartphones than on desktops or tablets, so retailers will look to streamline the PURCHASE experience on smartphones in 2016. 

Another important wrinkle in evolving mobile engagement are notification screens and smartphones that have a sidebar for quick reference. These notifications are disruptive, real-time and offer potential for immediate conversion. Groupon has done a great job using this technology, and in 2016, look for brands to develop apps almost solely for the purpose of utilizing this sort of marketing.