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Top Mobile Personalization Trends of 2020 (and Beyond)

Recently on PostFunnel, we discussed the importance of providing a truly personalized experience to your individual customers.

While this is certainly true across the board, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to personalize your customers’ mobile experiences with your brand.

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Reason being:

A large and growing chunk of the modern buyer’s journey happens on mobile devices.

According to data collected by BroadbandSearch, mobile traffic has increased 222% from 2013 to 2019, now accounting for 53% of all web traffic in the world. Meanwhile, mobile’s share of organic search has increased to around 60%. Media consumption via mobile has skyrocketed as well.

And although consumers typically use desktop devices to actually make purchases, we’re seeing more and more individuals finalize on mobile as of late. In fact, mobile retail sales numbers are expected to eclipse desktop by as early as next year.

Now, the takeaway here isn’t “consumers are using mobile devices more often.”

It’s that modern eCommerce retailers are killing it when it comes to mobile personalization.

In this article, we’ll take a look at five key things brands are doing to provide a more personalized mobile experience for their customers—and the impact it’s had on their business.

Creating a Mobile-Focused Omnichannel Path to Purchase

A quick addendum to the stats we mentioned earlier:

As you know, the average consumer uses multiple devices along their path to purchase.

In 2017, Monetate discovered that those who began their journey on a mobile device are actually more likely to end it on that same device. What’s more, Monetate’s research found cross-device users to be much more valuable than their single-device counterparts.

In other words, brands want their customers to use multiple devices—specifically mobile devices—along their path to purchase.

To that end, teams have begun creating ways for customers to use their mobile devices at various points along their path to purchase.

Wishlists, for example, play right into the idea that most consumers plan purchases over mobile—but often finalize their purchase through other devices. By allowing your customers to create personal wishlists on your site or in your app, you’ll allow them to pick up right where they last left off on any device they choose.

You can also deliver personalized notifications based on a customer’s actions or behaviors. Using geofencing technology, for instance, you can send push notifications to individuals who enter a certain physical area.

Or, you might send similar notifications due to inaction. If a customer abandons their cart—be it on mobile or desktop—you might send out a quick reminder via push:

Remarketing is another key tactic that can be leveraged via mobile. Particularly on social media apps, brands are increasingly using remarketing to nudge hesitant

customers back on track and toward conversion.

It’s all about using mobile to deliver value that moves customers further along their buyer’s journey. By creating and experimenting with new ways of engaging your audience via mobile, you’ll always be able to keep them on the path to purchase.

Using AR and VR to Deliver Immersive Mobile Experiences

One of the biggest drawbacks inherent to eCommerce is the inability to physically showcase products to potential customers.

Unfortunately, this can lead to two major issues:

In cases where a customer buys a product but ends up not wanting it after actually seeing it, you’ll have to spend extra time, money, and energy processing the return.

Or, the customer could simply forego the purchase altogether—and may potentially leave your site behind for good.

To combat this, many brands have begun using augmented reality and virtual reality to showcase their products in the most realistic way possible.

To be sure, companies have been using this tactic for some time now—and AR and VR technology has been improving all the while. For example, IKEA’s original AR-powered app debuted back in 2013, but has since evolved into a “game-changer” for the company and its customers.

AR and VR also play a role in mobile marketing and advertising.

Here, Michael Kors created a Facebook filter that allows customers to see what they’d look like while wearing different pairs of sunglasses.

And Progressive went as far as to create an entire virtual reality experience for its mobile users.

Progressive Lake Dash VR Experience from Next/Now™ on Vimeo.

By nature, every AR or VR experience your customers have will be unique to the specific instance in question.

Maybe they’re customizing their new look. Or, they might be exploring an entire virtual world at their leisure. In either case, AR and VR tech allows each individual customer to take control of, and immerse themselves in, your branded experience.

Delivering Hyper-Personalization via Mobile Device

As its name suggests, hyper-personalization is all about taking personalization to the next level.

This means doing more than just injecting the customer’s name into your emails and providing basic product recommendations.

Hyper-personalization uses context to deliver the best possible content, offer, or promotion for a given customer at a given moment. It requires building campaigns not just around customer personas, but also around behaviors.

Many brands have found major success using mobile to deliver hyper-personalized experiences to their customers.

Starbucks, for example, tailors its loyalty program “challenges” to the individual customer based on their purchase history and frequency.

This takes upselling and cross-selling to a new level, incentivizing customers to expand their horizons and treat themselves—while earning points toward a freebie in the process.

Digital services like Netflix and Spotify are dedicated to providing hyper-personalized experiences to their mobile users. Netflix, for example, delivers announcements and suggestions via push notification based on a user’s viewing history.

Again, it’s not just the recommendation that’s important here. Timing is just as crucial to achieve true hyper-personalization.

The goal is to deliver a message, offer, or other piece of content at just the right time to motivate the recipient to take action. As shown above, Starbucks perfects its timing by assessing purchasing patterns—delivering various challenges to individual customers at different moments in their lifecycle.

The average smartphone user spends over three hours a day on their phones. It’s up to you to determine when your customers are most likely to have their phone in hand—and to deliver hyper-personalized value at the most receptive possible time.

Automating One-to-One Service and Support via Mobile Chatbot

As chatbot technology improves, brands continue to experiment with it in a variety of ways.

Still, most consumers engage with chatbots primarily for quick assistance or guidance with a specific problem.

Mobile provides a number of options for brands to choose from when delivering a chatbot experience to their customers:

  • On-site chatbots
  • In-app chatbots
  • Messenger app chatbots


The various AI-powered chatbots on the market today aim to inject personalization into every customer touchpoint.

For example, MobileMonkey collects data from customers in real-time then uses dynamic attribute insertion to add relevance to subsequent messages. It also recommends events and experiences based on the user’s engagement history.

As explained in Cognizant’s The Chatbot Imperative:

“Over time, bots will evolve from being systems that perform rote and repetitive tasks, to those that learn over time and can offer personalized interactions with recommendations. This will be possible through their ability to access data, process it and respond quickly, using technologies such as neural networks and machine learning.”

The report also points to a trend in developing countries where messenger apps have become a go-to tool for communication and commerce. As consumers the world over become more accustomed to using messenger apps for retail purposes, we’ll undoubtedly see increased investment in personalizing these experiences for the customer.

Mobile Payment Options Lead to a Major M-Commerce Boom

As we said earlier, most online purchases made in the US are not made via mobile.

But that’s changing a lot more rapidly than anticipated.

In 2107, eMarketer predicted that by 2021, 54% of all eCommerce retail sales will take place on mobile.

A major reason for this increase: the proliferation of mobile payment options.

As one example, eMarketer’s report shows that eCommerce retailer Shinola saw a 19% increase in mobile conversions after adding Amazon Pay to its payment options. Moreover, one in four Shinola customers uses Amazon Pay when making a mobile purchase.

Here, the personalization is in providing the options your customers want and allowing them to tailor their checkout experiences to their liking. If they’d rather connect their PayPal account than input their credit card number, you certainly want to let them—lest you risk losing them altogether.

Adyen illustrates how this can play out on mobile devices for customers using different default payment methods:

Simple? Absolutely.

But it serves to streamline the checkout experience in an individualized way for each of your mobile customers. It’s low-key personalization—focused solely on allowing the customer to go through with their purchase as intended.

Wrapping Up

Personalizing the mobile experience for your customers doesn’t just mean tailoring the surface-level things you do for them, or giving them suggestions based on a few “on-paper” traits.

It means using your customers’ mobile devices as a means of integrating your brand into their life—providing exactly what they need from you at any given moment or touchpoint.

And it means allowing them to take control of their mobile experience—engaging with and deriving value from your brand as they see fit.

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