7 Top Mobile Commerce Tips for Independent Retailers by @e_mphasis #IndieRetail

The mobile phone is something we all rely on for communication and more recently access to information and services. How can independent retailers tap into the switch from desktop to mobile browsing and what can you put in place today that reaches out to this rapidly growing marketplace?

Mobile internet use will overtake desktop browsing in the next few years

All predictions are that mobile internet use will overtake desktop browsing in the next few years, successful retailers in the next 5 years will need to adapt their business model to the mobile consumer. Here are a few key considerations for ensuring that your target mobile consumer will want to shop with you.

Your Website – How does it fare in a mobile commerce world?

Make sure that your website is readable and can be navigated on a mobile device, mobile is the fastest growing internet platform and not everyone has an app(!).

If your site doesn’t work well on mobile you have several options, amend it to resolve any issues, build a separate mobile site and provide a link/automated redirection or start from scratch with a common platform that supports mobile browsing.

Mobile Analytics – keep track of what’s happening!

Use website tracking tools e.g. Google Analytics, to see how much of the traffic on your website is using mobile already. Use that information to help identify whether you should consider mobile more in your marketing.

You can also use analytics to check for issues with mobile navigation, do mobile users never fill in contact forms, only view certain pages or stop part way through the sales ‘funnel’, perhaps a link, form or menu is not working or doesn’t display clearly for mobile users.

E-commerce – how compatible is your ecommerce site with mobile devices?

If you provide a transactional website then test it for compatibility on mobile devices, certain types of content may not function correctly meaning that users of specific makes of mobile may not be able to transact on your site.

Much like your website the options available to enable you to deal with these issues are to fix, work around or start again depending on their severity and the importance of mobile to your business.

Social Media – are you involved in the conversation?

After basic communications, Social media is the primary activity on mobile, make sure that you are monitoring the right social networks to identify potential customers, look for those with relevant interests and complaints about competitors. Engage in topical conversations, talk about your product range, offers and demonstrate your credibility for what you do best e.g. product knowledge, customer service or warranty.

Local Search – “Where can I buy [item] in [location]?”

Ensure you have set up and claimed a Google Places listing for each of your business locations, mobile users often navigate and search by using Google Maps so don’t miss out on this very targeted marketing tool. Get your Google Places optimised to increase the range of phrases for which you appear and ensure that you tap into relevant topical search phrases as they happen throughout the year.

Open a Mobile Channel

Provide a means by which mobile users can be kept informed. At the simplest level get a PAYG mobile (or SMS service) and offer consumers the choice to text their email address to be added to your mailing list or to check stock if you don’t yet have e-commerce.

Positively Encourage Mobile

Mobile users tend to have higher levels of engagement and therefore are more likely to respond and buy. Ensure that any incentives you offer are available to mobile users or even uniquely designed for them e.g. competitions, vouchers or special events.

Mobile commerce is one of the most effective tools for the modern retailer – what are you doing to ensure you are mobile enabled?

In summary, mobile commerce, implemented correctly is one of the most effective tools for the modern retailer, regardless of size.

Make sure that you consider all of the functions of today’s mobile devices and tie all of the above in with your traditional marketing, and avoid fads that only tap into a small proportion of the mobile marketplace…

If you need any help or advice then of course don’t hesitate to contact us.

This blog was written by Andrew Rayner, Founder and managing director of e-mphasis internet marketing.
e-mphasis are a specialist agency who support retailers, hospitality, leisure and travel businesses to develop a comprehensive online marketing strategy with particular e-mphasis on local, mobile and social search.

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About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
This entry was posted in Blog-a-day for Indie Retail, Consumer Trends, Increasing Sales, Independent Retailer Month 2011 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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