According to a recent study eBay commissioned to Verdict 75% of mobile users in the UK would spend more through their mobiles if more websites were optimised.
As the research shows businesses investing in mobile will see great rewards as smartphone and tablet ownership rises. Therefore it’s a matter of placing mobile at the heart of the business marketing strategy which precisely starts with a website optimised for mobile devices e.g. a mobile friendly website.
In despite of the fact that mobile creates opportunities to build new applications which enable new consumer behaviour and can unlock new economic potential not enough businesses have optimised sites that harness the potential of mobile.
Five key areas have been identified through the research by Verdict to understand the place of mobile within a business and the sort of things to look to do.
1 – Long Term Optimisation Planning
Mobile will not just impact direct sales but – although indirectly – will impact other areas of the business as well.
To provide both the business and consumer with a seamless experience across all channels all systems have to be integrated. Functions such as pricing and stock management should be the same for every channel.
Mobile will touch on all parts of the retail operation. Businesses must think about how different functions will be affected by mobile and need to be mobile enabled. Thus will customer services departments need to accept and respond to SMS messages from customers?
2 – It’s Not All About Apps
There is a big difference between an native mobile app and a mobile site. Whereas mobile sites need to be simple, fast and easy to use in general apps serve a more engaged audience and as such can be more complex with greater levels of functionality.
3 – Utilise mobile technology to the full
Because most mobile devices have GPS businesses can use geolocation information to tailor offers, communication and information in a way that makes it specific and relevant to individual places.
Businesses can use media rich devices to enhance the retail experience. For instance allowing consumers to take pictures of clothing they like and upload it to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter where they can share it with their friends.
4 – Partner With Third Parties
An opportunity exists for businesses to generate marketing and positive publicity, forge stronger relationships with their customers and make the shopping experience more enjoyable by engaging with consumers through third party apps.
Mobile Apps such as Vouchercloud and Shooger and Street Savings in the US allow retailers to send customer coupons, discounts and reward programme offers to be redeemed online or in store.
This provides businesses with a flexible system through which to drive footfall, shift slow moving stock and promote specific store branches.
Apps such as Yelp enable users to write and access product and business reviews while on the go. Retailers are able to edit their own pages to supply information about themselves and respond to shopper reviews as well as sponsor listings to appear higher in search results.
Applications such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places and Just Mapped! revolve around location-based social networks which users connect to via Smartphones utilising GPS functionality to checkin at their geographical locations. In return virtual rewards are collected which can then be redeemed for real life rewards such as discounts.
5 – Backward Integration
Although the primary purpose of mobile within retail will be to service consumers businesses should think about how this can help the back end operations too. For instance enhanced service can be provided by employing mobile technology within store and among staff.
In the case of retailers mobile devices can be used as quick payment terminals in store allowing any staff with the appropriate mobile device to complete transactions for the client and prevents queue build up as well as giving a sense of very personal customer service as Apple put it to effective in its stores.
Customer details can be entered by Staff with handheld mobile devices within the store environment and bring up details of their past purchases and preferences which will enable to customise and tailor advice and service levels.
- Smartphone users now account for 9% of all online traffic
- Mobile searches have grown by 400% over the last two years
- By 2013 more people will use mobile devices than PCs to get online
As such developing a mobile strategy for your business makes sense. The sooner the better.
Are you interested in developing a mobile strategy for your business? As developers of The Geolocation-Based Social Media Just Mapped! aka QuoVadis Live! and the LinkedIn-based Digital Business Card Web-Service My Linked In Card we’ve formed Red Flag to bring our mobile, geolocation and social media engineering expertise to businesses. As such if you’re interested in developing a mobile strategy for your business feel free to contact us or give us a call at (01) 507 9434.
Developing A Mobile Strategy – The Guardian Media Network
Seizing The Mobile Retail Opportunity aka eBay's Mobile Manifesto – eBay