How is mobile commerce changing how retailers reach customers?
Seeking a larger “share of wallet” is a common ambition among retailers vying for the attentions of shared consumers. However, in order to attract business, retailers should also concern themselves with increasing their “share of screen” – a significant contributor to commerce today.
Now that mobile commerce has reached mainstream status among online shoppers, comprising a full third of all e-commerce transactions today, some experts believe sales from mobile devices this year will grow three times faster than e-commerce in the United States. As people increasingly rely on mobile devices to research products and make purchases, storeowners are confronted with the challenge of finding new ways to reach customers on their self-guided journey to the checkout.
Mobile optimization of websites
Having a responsive website is not optional any more. Every storeowner must have a website that adapts to the user’s screen size and orientation if they expect consumers to browse on their phones and tablets. Non-responsive websites are not only frustrating for users; they are unlikely to show up in mobile search results on Google. As part of the search engine’s relentless focus on providing a good user experience, Google’s search algorithm now gives preference to mobile-friendly websites.
New ways for mobile users to pay
Speed and convenience are primary considerations for online shoppers, and merchants who offer easy payment options are seeing their efforts rewarded. Keying in credit card numbers on a smart phone is an awkward process that many retailers are replacing with faster options like PayPal and Google Wallet. As digital wallets continue to grow in popularity, people will pay with a single tap on their screen instead of filling out payment card forms.
Using loyalty programs and email marketing
Mobile payment services can also help merchants boost sales in store as well as online. Retailers can now link loyalty programs and email marketing to their POS systems.
In earlier years, customers used to use key chain fobs and cards to get loyalty credit for their transactions at the register. With mobile payments services like Google Wallet or Apple Pay, customers can make transactions while updating their loyalty accounts in real time. Users can now easily access and manage their accounts, and as a result, they have more incentive to increase the frequency and size of their transactions.
Merchants can also use email marketing to increase revenue from mobile users. By managing profiles in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, business owners can create different segments of their customer base and send them targeted offers through email. By including mobile-friendly options to purchase directly from email, retailers can test the effectiveness of different offers and increase revenue while also learning more about customer tastes.
Using social media to find consumers
As consumers get more comfortable with mobile commerce, storeowners now have many new tactics to attract and retain business. Social media gives merchants an extensive toolkit to connect and create relationships with their consumers. Popular platforms like Facebook offer targeted filters for advertising that allow businesses to reach users based on a variety of factors, including demographics, geography, income, behaviors, and interests. By employing social media to find and communicate with the relevant audience, merchants can often create real affinity with customers before they ever make a purchase.
Mobile commerce has completely changed the landscape of online marketing and retail in general. Shoppers are getting more comfortable and confident using their phones to make purchases, and in some cases, letting them replace their wallets entirely. Businesses that take steps to create a mobile-friendly shopping experience today, both in-store and online, are sure to find the shoppers of tomorrow.