When smartphones hit the shelves back in 2007, nobody knew what their impact would be. There was a sense that they were an important step up from the handsets we had at the time. But it was hard to predict just how they would eventually change our lives.
One area that was really hard to predict was the growth of mobile marketing and customer interaction. Today about 83 percent of American adults own a cell phone. And over half of those are some form of smartphone. Smartphones have made it easier than ever to browse services and go shopping. And according to research, about 87 percent of smartphone users browse the internet every day. For businesses, this is a tremendous marketing opportunity. But many have been behind the curve, desperately trying to keep up.
On the consumer end, precisely the opposite it true. Customers find out very quickly that their smartphones are the ultimate in shopping convenience. And they expect businesses to keep pace. Some, of course, are. And they’re doing very well for themselves. Others aren’t, and they’re lagging behind.
Here’s how to engage your customers in the mobile space:
Foster Spontaneous Reviews
Mobile sites tend to be pared down versions of full, PC-based sites. As a result, many companies exclude options, like customer feedback. But when they do this, they’re missing a trick. One cool thing about mobile reviews is that they can be conducted while the customer is at your establishment. Real-time reviews are great for getting immediate feedback. And they’re also great in a world dominated by real-time social media.
Mobile reviews are also a good way to capture your customer and get them to leave feedback. Send customers requests, asking them to leave feedback on sites like TripAdvisor and Glassdoor. These sites will help you grow your online presence.
Use Location Services
Not all companies are in the cloud or on the blockchain. Some are still location-bound. Thus, knowing the location of their customers is important. Businesses that hold events, for example, might like to know how far their customers have to travel, on average. With the right information, it might be possible to reduce travel times by changing venues. Companies that want to set up a second store are also interested in location information. They want to be able to see where their customers are clustered in order to choose a great second store location.
If you’ve got a location-bound business, encourage your customers to share location data. Apps like Foursquare and Where are both perfect for letting you know how often customers visit. These apps are also useful for letting you know where customers have come from. Customers can also share hints and tips about your business with others.
Give Customers A Worthy Experience
When it comes to mobile experience, it would be fair to say that businesses have been lagging behind. Even today, many small businesses don’t have a mobile site. And even those that do don’t offer great functionality. Of course, it’s important to have a site that’s responsive and does what the user wants. But that’s really only the bare minimum of what the mobile experience should offer the customer.
Internet marketing firm Hubspot recently did a survey revealing the importance of mobile to business. They found that a staggering 40 percent of smartphone users checked online prices while shopping in-store. Thus, companies that don’t offer great mobile experiences will miss opportunities to generate sales. The best solution right now is to implement custom software on your mobile site. Most users now expect a bespoke experience on Android or iOS.
In the past, businesses didn’t have to worry all that much about the format of their email marketing. If it looked good on their PC screen, it would do. But now, a significant chunk of emails are opened on mobile devices. And so if your email marketing is to be effective, emails need to be designed for mobile.
The trick with mobile email marketing is to keep the title of the email short. Most phones don’t have the space to display longer titles. And customers are likely to lose interest in long, winding sentences anyway. Next, plug in your brand name. Ideally, this will come just below the title and be clearly visible. After that, place the offer. And finally, add in your call to action. Finally, at the bottom of the email, include a link to your website and your Facebook page.
Granted, this is a lot to take in. But remember, mobile is the future of customer engagement. And it’s never been easier for your business to get involved.