Market-tested strategies and tactics are creating up to 28% increase in lift, 22% increases in customer engagement, and 50% increases in digital message open rates according to the 2015 Retail Mobile Messaging Study from digital marketing platform provider OtherLevels. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

Mobile-first messaging strategies built around content, frequency, customer segmentation, targeting and re-targeting can have a significant impact on the success of retailers' mobile marketing campaigns in time for the bustling holiday season, the study found.

The study reported 19% increases in lift in engagement from mobile messages that enabled customers to pre-order items, scan barcodes or join a retailer's loyalty programme. The study also noted up to 28% increases in lift around mobile app usage based on how recently consumers received mobile messages.

The findings were based on results of mobile marketing campaigns by OtherLevels for clients during Q4 2015 and Q1 2015. The report also includes data from third-party sources about the growth of mobile marketing in the retail sector.

Mobile will play an essential role in ecommerce growth this holiday season - eMarketer predicts US retail mobile commerce sales to increase more than 32% by the end of 2015. Beyond that, Deloitte's Global Powers of Retailing 2015 report affirmed that mobile retailing is expected to reach US$614 billion in annual global sales by 2018.

"The data in our Retail Mobile Messaging Study confirms the basic tenets of mobile marketing, and it gives today's mobile marketers assurances and clearer guidelines on how to craft, target and deliver mobile messages that are personal, relevant and engaging," said Ramsey Masri, CEO for OtherLevels. "These client-based results show that message frequency, client segmentation, targeting, and personalised content can produce big gains in engagement and activity with mobile customers."

Among the other key findings from the report:

  • Relevant content can create a 19% increase in users' views and clicks, especially if consumers rely on the smartphone as a personal shopping assistant.
  • Retailers noticed a 13.7% increase in lift around the ability to add items/products to a shopping list, for example, and nearly 15% lift in usage for a sort-by-aisle feature.
  • Retargeting has the potential to boost message open rates by 50% or more.
  • Brand engagement increases with messaging frequency - up to 11.8% lifts in engagement for consumers logging up to 10 sessions of app usage and 22.2% lifts in engagement for those logging up to 20 sessions of app usage. The underlying content tended to be utilitarian, timely (e.g., holiday-related) or based on consumer preferences, activities and previous behaviours.

"Mobile marketing is simple and complicated at the same time," concluded Masri. "But it's fundamentally about creating an immersive experience with smartphone-enabled customers. Personal, relevant and timely are easy concepts to understand, but they are often challenging to deliver because they require a lot of data and the right strategies."