Many partner marketing programs have yet to address the large opportunity presented by the growth of purchasing on mobile devices. If you are looking for a way to ensure you hit your goals this year, it’s time to get your partner program mobile-optimized. Here’s how to make it happen.

Sarah Bundy, founder and CEO, All Inclusive Marketing

Sarah Bundy, founder and CEO, All Inclusive Marketing

A few years ago, affiliate sales made on mobile devices were an afterthought for many marketers. Back then, mobile commerce sales were fairly modest. Today, this is no longer the case.

In 2019, mobile sales will comprise 67 percent of total digital sales globally. Even in the U.S., where consumers have been slower to adopt m-commerce than in some other markets, four out of 10 digital transactions now take place on a mobile device.

Yet despite this, many partner marketing programs are not capturing the full extent of sales that take place in mobile, and especially in mobile apps. Further, many retail, travel and other companies effectively limit their mobile sales with bad user experience on a small screen.

Great mobile commerce results come from thinking about all of the potential use cases and ensuring that there is an easy way to complete each of them.

If you are looking for a way to ensure you hit your goals this year, it’s time to get your partner program mobile-optimized. Here’s how to make it happen.

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Start by Measuring Every Mobile Sale

It doesn’t matter how many sales you make on mobile devices if you cannot measure them. Yet many affiliate and partner programs have incomplete measurement in place for mobile.

Baseline third- or first-party cookie-based methodologies do not effectively capture all mobile sales, because cookies are problematic in mobile. At the root of the challenge is that both iOS and Android have made it difficult to share information across apps or between apps and web browsers. iOS deliberately makes it especially challenging to connect app-based data sets.

The way to measure in-app sales properly is with a software development kit (SDK) or a direct application programming interface (API) connection between measurement provider and advertiser.

The right approach for you depends on a variety of factors. Networks and platforms are all working hard to get every client mobile-ized in a way that will suit them best. Platform provider Partnerize, for example, offers its own lightweight SDK and direct server-to-server connections, as well as integrations with the major mobile measurement providers (MMPs).

According to their data, ensuring comprehensive mobile measurement has driven immediate 8-35 percent increases in sales credited to the affiliate channel. They showcase that even in the less mobile-centric U.S. market, the average gain is in the high teens.

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Ensure an Outstanding Mobile Shopping Experience

Far too many marketers still address mobile experience second, after they work on the PC customer journey. According to most UI/UX experts, it’s much easier to “scale up” a good mobile buying experience to PC than scale down a PC experience to mobile.

Starting with mobile also ensures you give adequate attention to minimizing page weight, how much information you provide without the user requesting more, your touch- versus click- experience, and how product assortment is organized.

Traditionally, brands would strip out content for mobile under the assumption that people shopping on mobile are “on the go” and just want to quickly transact and go. But as mobile-time has permeated our lives, many mobile shopping occasions are just as considered and evaluative as PC-based transactions.

94 percent of people keep a mobile phone on hand while consuming TV and other media, according to a recent Facebook IQ study. And Nielsen Norman Group research reports that one of the most common complaints about mobile sites is a lack of product information. Great mobile commerce results come from thinking about all of the potential use cases and ensuring that there is an easy way to complete each of them.

Accommodate the Mobile Needs of Your Partners

While we’ve discussed making your site mobile-friendly, it’s time to think about your partners. Making sure to have everything your partner or affiliate program needs to help drive maximum revenue from every screen is the next step.

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First, ensure you offer all of the creative sizes and formats needed for mobile. I also think it’s valuable to see your partner messages in situ, on a mobile screen. Visit your partners when your programs are running. Examine how your links, ads, emails and tenancy agreements translate to handheld devices.

Additionally, have regular conversations with partners to understand what works well. Ask specifically about mobile best practices and placements for their audiences.

Opportunity Calling

For billions of people in the world, the internet is mobile. Even in markets like the U.S. and Canada where PCs are well established, mobile is driving the vast majority of ecommerce growth.

Brands today must ensure that they are ready for the throngs of people that expect to be able to research and buy on handheld devices. That’s as true for partner marketers as it is for the stewards of every other consumer channel.

As partner marketers are tasked with finding more growth from limited resources, it makes sense to ensure you are tracking all the sales you drive, including those that include mobile web and apps. After all, going above and beyond on your KPIs is a fantastic way to get the recognition and investment you and the channel deserve.

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All Inclusive Marketing is a performance marketing agency

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