Smartphone use has become an important part of our modern lives and has become “the way we do things”. According to a recent study by GlobalWebIndex, 80% of all online adults now own a smartphone. Additionally their research discovered that “75% percent of smartphone users are accessing mobile internet services on their smartphones.”
Clearly if your business isn’t presenting a mobile friendly face right now it is missing out on a sizable opportunity to interact with your target consumers and increase sales. Mobile isn’t something you need to think about in the future, mobile is right now.
1. Start with Strategy
Start with an understanding of your objectives. Any good strategy begins with objectives, but be careful not to only consider your business’s objectives. Any good mobile strategy will be sure to consider who the end users are and what their objectives are going to be as well. In fact, placing a priority on a customer based focus will pay dividends.
You will also want to analyze technical issues as well such as whether you should hire in house talent or look for a mobile application developer to help you with your project. Other technical considerations such as choice of platform should be part of your strategy as well. Are you going to be building mobile applications or a mobile web site? Or both? Your choice can depend on your business and the goals of its mobile program.
If you are looking to deliver data such as locations or reviews to help customers and potential customers while they are on the go, then mobile web sites are a terrific way to deliver that information due to the proliferation of mobile searches. On the other hand, if you want to stay connected to loyal customers and increase engagement with them, then mobile apps are definitely the way to go. Ideally modern businesses would make make both options available.
2. UX is a Priority
Regardless of which strategic choices you make above you will want to make sure you prioritize user experiences as part of your project. Your mobile web site and mobile application will need to provide information to users in a clean, easy to understand format. The smaller size of mobile devices, along with the fact that they are often used on the go, make ease of use a priority that cannot be ignored. You must make information easy to access and easy to consume.
3. Personalize the Experience
Never before have marketers and businesses had access to provide personalized experiences they way they can with mobile. Mobile devices allow consumers to access information instantly creating a great deal of change in consumer expectations towards retailers. Today’s consumers want to be able to choose whether or not they receive notifications and if they opt-in, require that a business is delivering relevant personalized content. One-size-fits-all is not how consumers think and businesses should not try to paint them into that box with their mobile offerings.
4. Alerts and Notifications
Modern consumers are regularly checking their mobile devices (often whether they get an alert or not). We have become somewhat tethered to our devices. Since people are regularly checking their mobile devices, it would be silly not to send out alerts and notifications to increase engagement with your mobile application or business. But please be careful that you do not annoy your customers by sending out too many notifications, sending out notifications about trivial items that will make customers feel like you are wasting their time or sending out notifications at inappropriate times. You will also want to make sure you provide an easy way to opt out or refine the delivery to personal tastes.
5. Leverage Location
By using geo-location, you can generate location-based ads, alerts and notifications that can send out targeted messages to specific customers. Beyond personalizing a user’s experience and content you can also make it contextually relevant by delivering it based on location as well. It is estimated that fewer than one quarter of the offline businesses are making effective use of location based marketing so there is ample opportunity to gain advantage over your slower to adopt competitors.
Photo: Marco (Flikr) http://bit.ly/1I4MstH
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