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Mobile Marketing in Retail: Understanding Teens and Technology


mobile, marketing, retail, sales, shoppertrakAs mobile commerce increases with the expanding use of mobile devices, it’s imperative that retailers continue to focus on how to best reach those who have never known a world without the internet: today’s teenagers. With heavy use of the internet and mobile devices from a young age, teens have the expectation that businesses should also have a strong understanding of mobile connection and interaction.

It’s no wonder then that teenagers often hold the belief that the mobile internet was created for them with its immediate, on-the-go access. Therefore, retailers must understand that the most effective way to reach this age group is to get them where they’re at: on their phones.

According to a Pew Internet study, examine the technology use patterns of today’s teenagers, and you’ll see those patterns show up later in the adult population. This is not surprising since this age group is considered “the leading edge of mobile connectivity” with three in four teens accessing the internet through mobile devices, and smartphone ownership significantly increasing from 23% in 2011 to 37%. In fact, we’re already seeing their effect on technology patterns as mobile use has been significantly increasing in adults.

However, effectively targeting teens through their mobile devices is not without its concerns and challenges. A Pew Research study revealed that location information is a very sensitive area for teenagers, especially girls. In fact, 46% of teen app users dismantled the location tracking feature on their phones due to privacy concerns. Girls were considerably more likely to turn it off outnumbering boys 59% to 37%. Teen boys, on the other hand, showed much more activity in downloading apps than girls. 

Without question, reaching teens through their mobile devices is a crucial marketing tool. However, the continual challenge brands face is figuring out the most creative ways to do so.

It starts by placing authenticity and transparency in their brand message to capture the awareness and gain the interest of this very discerning, skeptical age group. To overcome the challenge of gaining their loyalty, brands must understand and invest in those resources teens value most. Teens especially have short attention spans these days as they have acquired the skill to easily filter out the endless online chatter. Brand messages must be concise, relevant and to the point – especially on a mobile device. Retailers must optimize their mobile marketing in order to give teens the valuable experience they require.

To effectively establish a mobile marketing campaign that overcomes the challenges of targeting today’s teenager, ShopperTrak can provide you with the tools that can accurately measure its success through our people counting solutions. Our in-store analytics system helps retailers filter through the meaningless figures in order to acquire the useful, insightful data that retailers can put to actionable use.


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