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.
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.
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.
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.