How to Use Mobile to Enhance Your Retail Sales

With more than 2 billion people carrying smartphones now, it comes as no surprise that mobile marketing has become a hot topic.  Businesses and mobile application development companies have over 4.2 million apps in the two major app stores right now. Mobile can be highly effective way increase brand awareness and drive customer engagement.

A customer’s attention is a commodity that is in high demand.Right now, mobile is a prime component of consumer behavior, but keep in mind that currently, a customer’s attention is a commodity that is in high demand. Smartphone users have a wealth of information available in the palm of their hand that they can access anytime day or night.

For the past couple years, mobile has been ahead of desktop when it comes to internet usage and the gap is continuing to grow.  Because of this, most businesses are looking for ways to leverage mobile to enhance their business.

Many companies have adopted a mobile-first approach, allowing them to integrate the benefits of mobile apps into their existing sales funnel in new and exciting ways. Most customers will now consult their mobile device at the early stages of shopping and will even check it while in physical stores. Consumers will read reviews and check product details, price and availability to confirm their choice or look for the best price.

The benefits of mobile

This shift from desktop to mobile use has created many exciting opportunities for businesses and marketers, allowing them to engage with consumers on whole new levels that 15 or 20 years ago they never would have even dreamed of. This is in part due to the technology incorporated into mobile devices such as GPS.

Beyond the hardware and tech features of the devices, the use of mobile device allows businesses to collect new types of data about the consumers they want to reach and utilize it to improve customer experiences.

Retail stores are in a prime position to be able to capitalize on these benefits. You can now deliver personalized messages and ads that are highly relevant to individual consumers at the time and place where they will do the most good.

Mobile allows businesses multiple possibilities of reaching consumers when they are on the go. If their campaigns are done correctly, relying on relevant data, they can deliver contextually relevant ads, offers, messages, etc. that can help them achieve new levels of engagement and success.

Why you need a mobile app

When it comes to mobile, consumers prefer mobile apps to mobile websites. In fact, according to comScore, mobile app usage is ahead of mobile web usage by a 7 to 1 margin. This indicates a very strong preference in the market that your business must account for in your mobile marketing plans.

From building your own app to allocating more resources to in-app advertising, when it comes to mobile, app related activities should be a primary focus. According to research on in-app ads, native ads are the most effective. Look for opportunities to utilize native ads since they are the less invasive to users and do not disrupt their user experience in the same way a display ad does.

And while mobile apps should be a primary focus, don’t forget about the mobile web. It has a substantial number of users and should not be forgotten. Keep in mind that the number of mobile searches on mobile surpassing desktop searches worldwide a year or so ago. You need to be prepared for users searching for your brand on the web.

Image:  Alan Stanton (Flikr)