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Mobile and Search — Will They Blend?

I love the revered Blendtec campaign, “Will they blend”. I could literally watch the YouTube videos for hours (as an Apple fan boy, the “apple” ones give me heartburn). Stay tuned for one of my favorite ads below (teaser: it’s even an apple product). As I was watching one of the latest Blendtec videos, a thought occurred to me. Almost anything will blend in one of their pricey, but highly effective blenders. I wish I could take a “virtual” Blendtec blender to a few things in my life – for example and most recently, Mobile and Search.

Mobile traffic has been on the rise. IBM recently predicted that Mobile Retail traffic in the month of November would originate 15% of the time on a mobile device – 15%! In October of this same year, 9.6% of sales were on a mobile. This means that retailers are finding their virtual store-fronts expanding in an unprecedented way. Good news, right? Retailers were similarly excited in early 2000 when most major companies began launching websites. This meant that retailers no longer had to worry about consumers entering their brick and mortar store to make a purchase. Who wouldn’t want to know that consumers can now open their wallets from their homes or offices, and even while the store front doors are closed. Today, this change alone just virtually expanded retail locations into the homes of millions of Americans.  comScore reported earlier this year that $37.5 Billion was spent in Q2 2011 alone on U.S. e-commerce Retail.

What will be new this year? Mobile retail sales will be unprecedented this holiday season. In December 2010 Paypal reported that December 12th was the peak mobile payment day with it ending at $4.7 million. Today, Paypal reports that $10 million in mobile payment volume is about average. It’s feasible to think that we could then see an easy $15 million in mobile payments this holiday season, if not more.

The mobile e-commerce adoption rate should be great news to retailers of all types. However, it can also cause some major problems for search marketers. Marketing professional typically and historically have been able to follow a “bread crumb” trail of searches as a consumer flows through the funnel when making an e-commerce purchase. However, a consumers search trail becomes more fragmented every passing day as CE (Consumer Electronic) devices become web-enabled at a higher and higher rate. This can make it extremely difficult for marketers to understand the buying process of a consumer or to attribute sales to a particular keyword.

All marketing professionals should be thinking about how to connect the dots or adapt to these new trends. If you aren’t thinking with mobile in mind, then you may find yourself behind the pack. Look for the next big thing to be technologies or marketing approaches that figure out how to attribute sales in this brave new mobile world. However, before you get too serious, watch an iPad blend into oblivion.

Blendtec blending an iPad (Zantac not included).

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