With 4 out of 5 of today’s consumers using smartphone technology to shop, investing in a mobile presence is a must. In fact, more and more businesses today are developing “virtual store fronts,” stores with no actual brick-and-mortar presence, through which smartphone customers can shop on-the-go. If your business isn’t starting to gear up for the mobile takeover, it’s gearing up to be left behind, so let’s take a look at a few ways in which even small businesses can begin to carve out a presence in the mobile marketplace.
Is your Website Smartphone Compatible?
According to mobile industry statistics, 56% of people believe that mobile makes the shopping experience more enjoyable. If your website is not smartphone compatible, you may be losing a large portion of the “shop and click” demographic. Given today’s climate of instant gratification, customers who find your mobile page slow to load, difficult to navigate, or incompatible with mobile wallet payments may well take their product search elsewhere. To optimize mobile retail profit, design a mobile page for your business that specifically targets smartphone users. If your web page is already content-light, with a fresh, clean layout, you may only have to make a few tweaks in order to adapt your site to smartphone usage, but if your site contains a lot of graphics and details, you will likely have to create a page exclusively tailored for mobile visitors.
Building a Mobile Presence with Social Media
With 78-84% of consumers relying on social networks when researching new products, building an effective social media presence is absolutely essential in the world of the mobile marketplace. If your business doesn’t have a Facebook, a Twitter, a Google + and a Pinterest, then you’re missing out on a major mobile marketing gateway. Many customers today find products through social media outlets, visiting company websites after checking them out on Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Facebook, or even Instagram. By maintaining an active social media presence, you can keep customers engaged in your product or service, prompting increased traffic to both your website and your brick-and-mortar stores.
Click-to-Call: Phone Traffic and the Mobile Web
One of the best aspects of the mobile marketplace is the ease with which customers can now connect with your business. Thanks to click-to-call links, smartphone visitors to your mobile webpage don’t even have to dial your business number in order to make contact with a service representative. As traffic to your mobile webpage grows, so will your incoming phone traffic, so be sure to keep your business telecommunications up to speed. Many businesses are now even using VoIP calling methods to improve customer service with direct communications. Features such as the Kindle Fire’s live tech support allow consumers to speak face-to-face with a customer service representative, helping to avoid the potential for miscommunication and confusion that more indirect communications can be a breeding ground for.
Retailer apps take up the greatest portion of consumer time, with 27% of mobile smartphone users shopping through app-based retail stores rather than online or in-store. Developing a store app for your product gives customers 24/7 one-click accessibility to your business, prompting lucrative impulse purchasing. Many app-based retail stores also engage consumers by offering special deals and coupons, encouraging customers to keep coming back for more. If you’re on a small business budget, you can even develop your own app using DIY tools such as Appmakr and Swebapps.